The other day Russ P. asked a question in his comment on my post “Humility Exemplified”, and I thought I’d share it with you today, along with my thoughts on the matter. The post was about Jesus’ washing of the disciples’ feet and how He both humbled Himself in doing so, and said that we should do likewise. The question was: “How do we clean the filth of sin from one another?”
In the post I mentioned that Jesus was doing more than helping the disciples with their hygiene, for He was showing that they must be spiritually cleansed; Russ was using some of my words in his question…
I think it’s a fair question; how can we help one another be spiritually cleansed?
I think it begins when we do all we can to be spiritually clean ourselves by immersing ourselves in God’s Word. Yet in making this statement I do not simply refer to reading some Bible verses, not even reading a chapter a day, for that often becomes a race with the clock to see how quickly we can get through it. Little benefit comes from reading Scripture as a form or ritual, I’m afraid. I don’t even mean careful academically based study, although such study is indeed a good thing. What I am really talking about here is our development of the spiritual discipline of praying in God’s Word.
To do so means that we spend quality time with our Lord in His Word, literally praying His Word and asking Him to fill our beings with the riches it contains. We ask Him to reveal to us it’s meaning and significance in our lives, and allow enough time to hear His reply so that if we were asked what God was saying to us in the passage we’d gone through that day, we could not only answer the question, but we could tell the other person what we were doing about what He said.
That may sound a little odd to some, but it is nonetheless true. Yes, it also begs another question: “How do we get to such a place?”
We get there by having a deep and profound relationship with Him; a relationship of openness and intimacy in which we hold nothing back from God, where nothing is allowed to separate us from God. It is a relationship in which we are naked and unashamed before God. I wrote a great deal about this when I covered the topic of “Nakedness as a metaphor in Scripture”. Those posts can be found by clicking on the tab at the top of the page.
When we have reached that kind of relationship with God, we will change in the way we deal with others. They will see His love and caring in the way we live our lives and interact with them. As relationships with others grow from acquaintances into mutual respect and trust, the Holy Spirit within us will do the heavy lifting to help the other person move forward in their relationship with our Lord, for at that point in relationship our main job is to show up and get out the Spirit’s way. This is hard to describe in a “how to” format, but when you get there, you’ll know.
You see dear reader, this is not a matter of working a plan or a program, it’s a matter of being in a place where we can let the Holy Spirit work in our lives, and through us, in the lives of others. This is dear reader, Biblical Discipleship.
Russ, I want to thank you for your comment and question the other day; I hope this will give you and many others a little more to ponder and to take to God in prayer.