Clean House and Clean Heart
Tracie Miles

“Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10 (NLT)

I was tired of tripping over shoes, left over belongings, stray hangers, and dirty clothes!

I finally admitted I had to clean out my closet. After hours of sorting clothes, I stepped back to admire my clean, neatly organized closet. I breathed a sigh of relief and reveled in my success. Although it took quite a long time, it was well worth the effort. I could hardly wait to get up the next morning and enter my tidy closet, looking for my clothes with a fresh, new perspective.

Cleaning is something we all prefer to avoid, but its something that is necessary. When it comes to cleaning house, the more we neglect doing what is needed, the worse things get, and the longer it will to take to get clean again. That was the case with my closet.

As I admired my coordinated closet, I considered how our hearts are like messy houses at times. On the outside we look in order, but on the inside our hearts are full of clutter – clutter such as unforgiveness, bitterness, self-condemnation, sadness, lack of joy, worry and much more. All this clutter makes for a huge mess behind the closed doors of our hearts. Just as putting off cleaning our homes creates chaos around us, the longer we allow our hearts to stay cluttered and messy, the more messes our bad habits make in our lives. Think about the havoc negative self-talk, selfishness, or grumpy attitudes have caused in the past.

I felt God nudging me to do a little house cleaning, or should I say, heart cleaning. For example, in a house with two young teen daughters with changing hormones, busy social lives, and lots of drama, sometimes I have to remind myself that they need a happy mommy, not a grumpy mommy. They need a patient mom, not an impatient mom. They need a forgiving mom, not a mom who constantly reminds them of their mistakes. My husband needs a happy wife. My friends need a faithful friend. My church needs a willing servant.

The mentality of cleaning up our heart can apply to every area of our life – marriage, family, work, relationships, and even self-image. Let’s face it, as nice as a clean house is, it is more important to have a clean heart!

Today’s verse reminds us how we should desire a clean heart. When David prays this prayer, he desires a new heart, a clean heart, and a spirit that desires to be like Christ. David knew that the only way he could achieve a clean heart, was through the power of Christ. So it is the same with us. Therefore, we must ask God to create a new heart, a clean heart, within us and believe that as a result, our spirits will be renewed.

Maybe you know you have some serious house cleaning to do, but could it be you have some heart cleaning to do as well?

Dear Lord, I seek Your face today and ask You to restore in me a clean heart. Help me to rid of all the clutter in my heart which is keeping me at a distance from You, and preventing others from seeing You working in and through me. Infuse me with a desire to maintain a clean heart throughout each day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Cleaning up the Clutter by Emilie Barnes

My Heart’s At Home: Becoming the Intentional Mom Your Family Needs by Jill Savage

Visit Tracie Miles’ blog

Application Steps:
Pick an area of your home to de-clutter this weekend. As you clean, pray for God to purify your heart.

What has been burdening your heart lately? Is there some unforgiveness there? Bitterness? Or doubts?

Ask God to renew your perspective and help you begin the cleaning process.

Power Verses:
Jeremiah 17:9-10, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? "I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve." (NIV)

© 2008 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this! It is just what I've been needing. I have two drawers that I've been meaning to organize, as well... :)) More importantly, I know that the clutter in my heart is a hinderance to an abundant life. Thank you for your positive direction... I can't wait to get on it.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was so perfect for me right now. We are in the middle of a major remodel where our whole house is dirty and disrupted and will be for awhile. But God is giving me His grace and the ability to clean as best I can when I ask Him and trust Him for it. Otherwise, I get extremely discouraged. This is encouragement that I don't have to let my heart get this way because God gives us a clean heart and we can keep it clean with confession and trusting Him for His forgiveness.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for todays devotion. It applied to me on so many levels. I realize that the children and my husband need all those things, but what if mom is feeling broken...what then?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for being right on target, i have a day tomorrow and i kept feeling i need to do somethings both phyiscal and mental i have being putting off, one of favorite passage of scripture but never seen it like this thanks for reminding us in Gods word.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is for anonymous from 1:47 pm. My heart hurts for you. You are feeling broken and I am praying for you. Lord, show this woman that you love promised to never leave us or forsake us....pour out your love and tender mercy on her and hold her close in the arms of your love. Look to this day only and live it the very best that you can. I pray that you will feel God's presence as you do this.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reminder of a clean heart as well as a clean house! My teen doughter recentley told me mom your not perfect why do you keep reminding me of my failures!I pray as well as cleaning my house i recieve Gods' help to clean up my heart. thanks, and god speed to you all. ksn

Blogger The Clark Clan! said...

This devotion spoke to me so much. God had already been speaking to me about cleaning up my clutter or as I call them, my piles of junk. Thank you so much.
I blogged about it here.
I even posted a link to the Proverbs 31 blog. I hope that is ok.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise the Lord that we are under His grace! He used this to encourage me so much because I have been struggling with ALL of it! He is so good, Thank you Jesus.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I REALLY needed to read this today in a way I can't even begin to share. Suffice it to say I have been professing with my lips and not showing with my actions the love of God to my husband. He is a Christian as well and we both have been uncharacteristically ugly towards each other this week. Tears came as I read the follow up verses and today's devotion as well. My heart needed this renewal...I pray it spills over to my H.O.M.E.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really neede this today. My heart needs a good cleaning. thank you thank you!

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