For several years, I have spent the first week of June in Alva, OK, teaching a singing school for teens. The church always puts the teachers in one of the motels in Alva. The motel is one of those old style motels where you park right in front of your door and walk in. The motel has never been a Hilton, although for the first several years, the managers of the motel were very nice and accommodating. They did their best to keep the building as clean and fresh as possible. When management changed a couple of years ago, the motel began to show its true age. It began to smell (more than it already did) and it was not quite as clean. We finally talked to the elders of the Alva church and they moved us to a new motel the next year.Honestly, that motel turned out to be worse than the first.
This year, we were moved to a member’s home. WHAT A DIFFERENCE!!! The home was so nice; clean, comfortable and inviting. Unfortunately, this family is in the process of trying to sell their home so that they can move to another town. (I’m rather sad that we won’t have access to this beautiful home again.) Since the home is on the market, the family works feverishly each day to make sure it is tidy, ready for show. This home is always perfect.Everything is in its place, the floors are swept, the trinkets are dusted and the fixtures are tight.
The comparison between the motels and the home reminds me of our physical and spiritual lives. We must perform maintenance and continually clean our bodies and minds. Our physical bodies quickly become dilapidated through a lack of exercise and a poor daily diet. Similarly, our spiritual bodies become decrepit when we neglect the reading of God’s word and fellowship with other Christians.
Paul writes, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:1-2 NIV)
Peter furthers this thought when he writes, “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, the living Stone — rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him—you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:1-5 NIV)
Owning a home or running a business, such as a motel, requires maintenance. It requires attention to detail and continual upkeep. The spiritual life is no different. Christians work diligently to keep our bodies pure and undefiled. We purify our minds from the filth of the world through constant prayer and the study of God’s word. When we are devoted to the maintenance of our souls, Satan has nowhere to enter.