Gertrude West - Cleaning Time - Puchon, Korea - 1986

We want to speak a little about convention being like spring cleaning.  When we give our heart to God, we become God's house.  God wants a clean house.  He is the owner and the Master and we are just the housekeeper.  The housekeeper does some cleaning every day, but once a year a thorough cleaning.  Every corner and every cupboard is looked into.  It is a time to sort things out.

It is going to be like that at these meetings.  We are going to see into every corner of our hearts and lives.  And what are we going to do?  Just put everything back where it was?  No, we will sort it out and what we want and need and can use we will keep it.  And what we see is of no value, we will just throw it out. Sometimes we are inclined to just keep a lot of rubbish.  It is good if we are going to want now what we will need and want in eternity.  Now is the time to put those things in our hearts.  And the things we won't need in eternity, now is the time to get rid of them.

What are we going to want?  We are going to want a spirit that God can take to His eternal Home.  We need God's help to work at this.  God cannot take a defiled spirit to His Home.  Paul wrote about three important things.  He spoke about faith, hope, and love.  We badly need faith now.  And we badly need hope now.  And we badly need love now.  Because faith sees.  Hope has patience to wait.  And love pays the price to obtain what is needed.  Paul also said, "Love is the greatest."  I think this might be because we are going to need love all through eternity.  We will already have obtained what we believed in.  And we will already have what we had hoped for.  But I have the feeling that in that fellowship all through eternity we are going to need love.  So these are some of the things, the furnishings we need in our house.

Spring cleaning time is also the time for repairs.  If we see something wearing out, we mend it or fix it before a greater calamity happens.  Do you have termites in this country?  In Hong Kong, we used to have a problem with those white ants. They don't work out in the open where you can see them.  They eat away quietly and unseen.  But they sometimes cause disaster.  We lived in a little old batch one time and, one day, I went to open one of the doors and it fell off!  The white ants had been working inside the frame.  And it looked all right on the outside but it was empty inside and it could not hold the screws that held the hinges together. Those ants are just little things.  Wouldn't it be terrible if we were allowing some little things in the dark corners of our hearts, working and robbing us?  The only remedy for that problem was to check often.  That is what we need to do, too, in the dark corners of our hearts.

One of our friends had been doing some housecleaning and had used some rags with oil to clean and oil the floor.  Instead of washing the rags or throwing it away, they dumped it in a can in the broom cupboard.  They didn't use it, and one day they saw smoke coming out of the broom cupboard.  That oil had a combustible tendency and it was smoldering away until suddenly it burst into flames.  There are things that could be like that, also, in our hearts.  Maybe some jealousy, or some self-pity, or unforgiveness, or wrong motives.  It might be out of sight for a long time but when conditions are just right, it is apt to just burst out.  So these kind of things we don't want to put into the darkness of the broom cupboard, we want to get rid of it early.

Then it is a time to do some fresh decorating.  Peter spoke about the beautiful adornment.  He said a meek and quiet spirit was of great price to God.  A few years ago, a young brother was telling me how he admired his grandmother's gentleness. It helped me to understand why that young brother had that beautiful gentleness in his life.  He was admiring it in his grandmother and, if we see some beautiful marks that are adorning others, we admire it and we want to acquire them.

Revelations 21, John was seeing some things God wanted to show him.  Verse 2, "This holy city was the people of God."  A city has many homes.  In verse 9, "I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife."  He carried him up into a mountain and let him see this great city coming down. This is God's people - all those homes for God.  Then there are some of the ornaments in the 11th verse, “...the glory of God...a stone most precious... clear as crystal." Three things.  The glory of God in us is just the evidence of His hand having worked in our lives.  And the light of any life is their testimony.  He said, "It was as clear as crystal." No black spots. Nothing covered up.  And in 12th, "A great wall." That beautiful separation from all that is unpleasing to God.

In verse 15, he speaks about this angel that was with him having a golden reed to measure this city.  Gold in the bible is typical of what is divine.  Jesus is that divine standard.  That is what we will be measured by.  We won't be measured  by our own opinions.  We won't be measured by the world's standards.  God gives the divine standard, the golden reed.  And in verse 18, the city was pure gold.  It is just the divine that is going back to God to have a part in that divine city.  Now is the time to have that work accomplished that will make us a clean and ready house for that city.