Well-Swept Heart

1 John 1:9 (Amplified)
If we {freely} admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins {dismiss our lawlessness} and {continuously} cleanse us from all unrighteousness {everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought and action}.

(God’s Word Translation)
God is faithful and reliable. If we confess our sins, he forgives them and cleanses us from everything we’ve done wrong.

Leah was standing by the chair I was sitting in, wearing a sparkly dress and my heels. She has a “passion for fashion.” Our little conversation turned to using God’s name in vain and how sometimes it’s an accident. I explained that while it’s true sometimes we say or do things that are wrong on accident, we should still ask God to forgive us. But then we can just move on with our day.

My little brown-eyed girl then launched into a litany of things you may accidentally say but shouldn’t. As the hand gestures flew about I listened to her list. Then she plainly described asking for forgiveness:

Lord, I am sorry that I accidentally said Oh My God and please forgive me. In Jesus name.

Then in a swift and sure motion she drew her right hand across her forehead and said, Then you just sweep it away! You go on with your day. It’s like you write it on a piece of paper then ball it up and throw it away. It’s over.

Pause. Wow. Yes Leah! That is exactly right!

Swept away.

God forgives us…cleanses us…sweeps the muck from our hearts away…when we simply and humbly come to Him.

It’s over. The record of our wrong is like that piece of paper crumpled and thrown out.

Is it too good to be true? Are we convicted and in full agreement we need mercy and forgiveness but do not ask because we cannot receive?

And can we not receive because we know how undeserving we are? We hear God removes our sin as far as the east is from the west, that He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us and that sounds good for everyone else. But not for us.

Check it out. The Amplified above says God is Just. Maybe we think of justice. What is deserved. What is fair. Okay, but look again.

God cares about justice, but He also is Just. He is true to His own nature and promises. He will not go back on His Word. He will not break a promise. He will not be untrue to who He is, to His own character. He can’t. He’s God.

He promised, and through the blood of Jesus provided, forgiveness for our sin when we ask.

God forgives us because of His nature. So, when our lives are a mess and need a good sweeping we can receive forgiveness and grace because God is true to Himself. It will never be about what we deserve. About what we can prove and turn around first. About how much will power we can muster. Or even about how long we carry shame and condemnation.

It has always been and will always be about Him.

God loves us. Jesus is the walking, talking, bleeding and death-conquering proof. God wants us. And because God is love and created us for relationship with Him, He spared nothing to make it possible.

He knows what we are like.

I need a lot of forgiveness. Smile. And you know what? Beginning to believe and receive 1 John 1:9 has the potential to change my life. How can I walk on…how can I move past…How can I ever grow?!…if I don’t believe God actually wants to forgive me. He wants me to ask as often as I need to with a genuinely repentant heart. Why? So I won’t go to Hell? Sure, but so much more than that. So I can abide. So I can remain. So I can grow more sensitive to His leading and voice in my life. For relationship. For Love.

Sin gets in the way. It clogs things up and makes a mess in our lives. The more I know Jesus, the less I should sin. But I will never be perfect and so forgiveness will always be a key ingredient. The junk and muck that comes with sin causes much heart-ache and pain in our lives. But I can be clean. You can be clean. Without the weight of shame and condemnation.

With confidence, even.

Confidence that when we go to God, He will not reject us. He will forgive us, cleanse us and sweep it away. Then we have to be willing to let go ourselves, to move on. Not because we have proven anything to God except that we know, for sure, how very much we need Him.

If as you read this you know there is sin in your life that you are not dealing with, I pray your heart is touched. Not with guilt or condemnation but with a hunger for peace, for a sweeping away, for a fresh start. Jesus is all about a fresh start! Every day His mercies are new. The Bible says so.

And if you carry the yuck of sin but really don’t care, as in it doesn’t really bother you, I pray your heart is touched, as well. Smile…I’ve been there. See, after a while the accumulation of yuck begins to harden us. Conviction and Godly sorrow have a tougher time penetrating us. But it’s never impossible and it’s not based on guilty feelings. Even with a hard heart we can be real with Him. This, God, is where I’m at…I’m okay with my sin. But You are not, so if You want to change me then I give you permission to work in my life and melt the hardness.

I pray our lives are ever-changing as we experience a well-swept heart.

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