A recent encounter in the kitchen with the Holy Spirit has taught me yet another lesson in life.
An unused vessel had been hanging near the stove for a long time and it had been exposed to a lot of oil over the past months. The result – it lost its initial shine, charm, and beauty and now was slightly discolored too. Moreover, Dust and oil combined to form a thick layer over the vessel. I set out on a task to get it clean..Besides, how hard can it be?! After 2 rounds of scrubbing and washing, there was still no change to the vessel’s appearance. Out came my secret weapon against tough stains… my steel scrub! Part by part the layers cleared, and finally, the vessel was restored to its original state.
This could be an everyday story for most women who work in the kitchen but if we pay close attention, the Holy Spirit can teach us something here.
In Paul’s letter to Timothy, he compares our lives to vessels. A vessel will only be used by its owner if it is clean. There is a constant struggle trying to maintain this cleanliness in our lives as we are so vulnerable to outside influences. Past wounds, our ego and complexes, and other priorities have left us stained with layers over layers. This accumulation has not only made us lose our original shine but dipping our face value (worth). One fine day, we wake up to a realization that we are no longer being used by God and all our so-called ‘achievements’ have gone in vain.
I like how Ravi Zacharias quotes in his book ‘I, Isaac, take thee Rebekah’ –
“If God has reminded us that His desire is to dwell with us and to meet with us in the sanctity of the human body, the violation of that locus destroys its purpose.”
The Bible calls our bodies as the temple of God. The sanctity of this temple is our responsibility. No amount of detergent is stronger than full surrender to the Holy Spirit for a cleansing of all that has defiled our hearts and mind.
In 2 Timothy 2:20-21, we read – “In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.”
The next step obviously is not just to ‘go’ through a cleansing but to ‘grow’ through it and not repeat it. Above all else, guard your heart for it is the Wellspring of Life and be a vessel of honor to be used by your master.