Focus Passage: “…In the very first month of the first year of his reign, Hezekiah reopened the doors of the Temple of the Lord and repaired them. He summoned the priests and Levites to meet him at the courtyard east of the Temple. He said to them, ‘Listen to me, you Levites! Purify (sanctify) yourselves, and purify (sanctify) the Temple of the Lord, the God of your ancestors. Remove all the defiled things from the sanctuary…’” (2 Chronicles 29:1-12, NLT)
The Bible says that Hezekiah did what was right in the sight of the Lord. Living in a time where society rejected not only God but the house of God as well, he knew that Judah had to have a true change or the nation would fall apart.
Does that sound familiar?
To sanctify something is to set it apart for acceptable use (Romans 12:1-2). Hezekiah knew that he needed to clean out the house of God in order to return it to its intended use: to help his people pray and worship like they used to.
Do you need help cleaning out the corners of your life? Here are four steps to a spiritual clean-out.
1. Make church a priority again.
Hezekiah put a new door on the house of God (2 Chronicles 29:3). We must make sure the door to our church is open: open with no limitations, open to all who will come in.
At Vessel United, we welcome all colors, nationalities, and backgrounds. Sinners and saints should feel welcome in this church building no matter what their past or present holds.
The door swings both ways; it’s not just a one-way door where we come in and just stay in. When we come in and get what we need, then we need to go out and give it to someone else, too. We must share the blessings of the Lord with others.
“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25, NLT).
After he fixed the temple doors, Hezekiah told the people to get ready to experience a change (2 Chronicles 29:4-5).
2. Clean out the house.
Nothing in the temple was clean (2 Chronicles 29:5). It had been sitting dormant and neglected for years.
What’s good for the natural is good for the spiritual! If we want God to move in our lives, we must clean out the filthiness of the flesh by repenting.
We must not play with and live in sin. We must sweep out lust, sweep out gossip, sweep out hate and bitterness and empty religious motions. We must repent.
“For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News?” (1 Peter 4:17, NLT)
If we neglect the Word, prayer, corporate worship, and giving, we are neglecting the presence of God. And He is a jealous God! He wants our full attention and worship.
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19, KJV)
3. Remember that serving is about Him, not you.
Hezekiah reminded the priests and the people to serve God wholeheartedly and to forget their own selfish plans (2 Chronicles 29:11).
The moment your service to God becomes about you, you begin to miss the whole purpose of service.
People get offended in the church so easily because they’re focused on themselves and their desires. Once things don’t go the way they expect them to go, they’re offended and upset.
But our presence in the church is meant to glorify God and advance His kingdom, not ours.
“Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” (Psalms 100:2-3, NKJV)
4. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
“Then these Levites got right to work” (2 Chronicles 29:12).
When the priests went to work for God, they did not complain or argue. They had a zeal for wholeness and purity, and they went above and beyond to set things in order. They got all of the impurity out right away!
What’s good for the natural house is even more important for the spiritual house: your soul. Don’t delay in cleaning out your life, for “today is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2, NLT).
The cleaning of the temple caused a great change in Hezekiah’s whole city, and it can take place in your heart today too. God wants to pick you up and cleanse you so that your life will never look the same again!