In my last post, I posed the question, “Have You Let the Enemy In?” In that post, I listed several ways that we can inadvertently allow evil into our lives. I then provided a simple prayer that you can use to check in with God, to ask for guidance, and to repent of any misdeeds.
This process of praying and repentance (including removing any offending object and stopping sinful activities) is usually sufficient to get rid of evil and get back on solid footing with God. However, there are instances in which a little “house cleaning” is in order.
First, let me show you a biblical example of what I’m referring to.
Throughout the Old Testament, Jewish kings followed after foreign gods. They worshiped them in temples and in alters on “high places” and—even worse—within the actual temple of God.
However, Hezekiah was one of the kings who “did right in the sight of the Lord” (2 Chronicles 29:2a NAS). He issued reforms to purge the nation of idols and restore temple worship—but first, he had to cleanse the temple. To do this, Hezekiah called on the Levites, those who God appointed to serve within the temple. Here’s what they did.
“They [the Levites] assembled their brothers, consecrated themselves, and went in to cleanse the house of the LORD, according to the commandment of the king by the words of the LORD. So the priests went in to the inner part of the house of the LORD to cleanse it, and every unclean thing which they found in the temple of the LORD they brought out to the court of the house of the LORD. Then the Levites received it to carry out to the Kidron valley” (2 Chronicles 29:15-16 NAS).
“Then they went in to King Hezekiah and said, ‘We have cleansed the whole house of the LORD, the altar of burnt offering with all of its utensils, and the table of showbread with all of its utensils. Moreover, all the utensils which King Ahaz had discarded during his reign in his unfaithfulness, we have prepared and consecrated; and behold, they are before the altar of the LORD'” (2 Chronicles 29:18-19 NAS).
Then Hezekiah gave the order to offer the burnt offering on the altar. When the burnt offering began, the song to the LORD also began with the trumpets, accompanied by the instruments of David, king of Israel. While the whole assembly worshiped, the singers also sang and the trumpets sounded; all this continued until the burnt offering was finished” (2 Chronicles 29:27-28 27 NAS).
“Now at the completion of the burnt offerings, the king and all who were present with him bowed down and worshiped….So they sang praises with joy, and bowed down and worshiped” (2 Chronicles 29:29, 30b NAS).
You may argue that we don’t live in the temple of God, but the Bible says we are living temples of the Holy Spirit. (See 1 Corinthians 6:19.) Wherever we go, He goes with us. Wherever we live, He lives with us. Therefore, if we inadvertently allow evil into our lives and homes, we may follow the steps Hezekiah and the Levites took to cleanse the temple. And while it took days to cleanse the temple, you can go through the same process in minutes if you need to, and then continue to pray about the things on your heart over the following days.
1. Consecrate yourself
To consecrate means to “set aside” or to “make holy.” For the Levites, this may have included bathing, putting on clean clothes, abstaining from sex, avoiding anything unclean, and anointing themselves with oil. This was about preparing themselves in body and spirit.
At home, simply pray over yourself and your family. Read your Bible. Humble yourself before God and prepare yourself to seek His will and His peace in your life. If you’re familiar with anointing, you can anoint yourself with oil or water, but it’s not necessary.
2. Remove anything that doesn’t belong
The Levites removed everything that was considered “unclean” or not of God. Although there may have been idols made of gold or silver, they did not seek to profit off of them. They merely removed the offensive objects as far away as they could.
Ask God to help you identify anything in your home that doesn’t honor Him and then walk from room to room looking at all your items. God may bring your attention to an actual idol like a statue or print of Buddha or a Hindu god, or you may feel convicted about something ordinary that evil has become attached to. Whatever it is, get it out of the house. I recommend throwing it away; don’t give it to charity for someone else to stumble over.
This is also a good time to rebuke any evil that may try to remain in your home and life. The Levites didn’t do this in the Old Testament because this authority wasn’t formally bestowed on the saints until Jesus gave His disciples “authority over the unclean spirits.” (See Mark 6:7.) To do this, simply say out loud, “If there is anything here that does not belong to the Lord, I rebuke you now in the name of Jesus.” Just like the disciples, your power comes from God, not from yourself, so keep the rebuke short and to the point.
3. Consecrate items that do belong
The Levites consecrated the furniture and utensils used in the temple and crafted new utensils to replace those that had been destroyed. This was about treating God’s things as holy.
What has God entrusted to you? Are you giving His priorities enough attention? Do you need to mend relationships? Do you need to start going to church? Do you need to start reading God’s Word more? You may need to pray about this for awhile. If so, make notes about your convictions, say a short prayer, and then move on to step 4.
Once the temple was clean, Hezekiah reinstated animal sacrifices, starting with a burnt offering and sin offering to atone for all Israel.
Ask God to examine your heart and make it known to you. What have you done that requires repentance? Although you may need to do some lengthy self-examination, say a quick (but honest) prayer and then move onto step 5.
Hezekiah and the people rejoiced because they knew they had done right in the eyes of God and that He would bless their sacrifices.
At home, lift your hands and sing your favorite hymns. Play Christian music and sing along. Invite God to fill every space of your home and land with His Spirit, pushing out any remnant of evil. Spend time rejoicing that God reigns in your home and your life.
While worshiping, think back to steps 3 and 4. Ask the Holy Spirit to work deeply in your heart, and write down what you hear or feel. You may end up with a list of things you need to address—and that’s okay because it means God’s moving in your life.Check out this short guide on spiritual house cleaning! Click To Tweet
As you can see, this kind of “cleaning house” is really about putting ourselves right with God and inviting Him to reign in our lives. For that reason, I recommend going through this process at least every few weeks. Don’t wait until fear permeates the air or your kids refuse to go to church. Put God first and foremost in your life and be diligent against the schemes of the enemy.
What’s your take on “cleaning house”? Do you feel encouraged? Are you digging in your Bible to learn more? I hope so! I’d love to hear from you, so feel free to comment below.
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