By Brandi Roberts
Breakthrough is commonly defined as a sudden, dramatic and important discovery or development. We prayed for breakthrough during this year’s conference and for many I believe there was profound breakthrough which came from experiencing the teachings of Pastors Mike and Maria Durso. Pastor Maria’s testimony was so powerful, yet so palpable, how could there not be breakthrough? For you Oprah fans out there, my “A ha” or breakthrough moment of Kings and Priests 2020 came through a simple question. “Are you as meticulous with cleaning your heart as you are your house?” What a question! Am I as meticulous with cleaning my heart as I am my house? When I really thought about this question it reminded me of a childhood memory. I had a love-hate relationship with the idea of having company, especially when that company was my Mama (pronounced “Mam-maw” for those who don’t speak southern). Having company over meant work; it meant giving up Saturday morning cartoons because the house had to be “presentable.” When Mama visited, you better believe there was going to be a major house cleaning in the near future. I’m not talking about your every day, run of the mill house cleaning where you could get away with dusting around everything. Oh no, we are talking full on attack mode, complete with white glove test! My mom took house cleaning for Mama to a whole new level. Everything was removed from the coffee tables and mantle. Each picture frame dusted and windexed, every figurine wiped down, pledge sprayed on every wooden or “nearly” wooden surface. Every bed was stripped, floors were mopped or vacuumed, all closets organized, toilets and tubs scrubbed. And yes, my friends, even our fridge was not safe from this full-on assault. Every single item was removed from the fridge so the shelves could be cleansed and bins wiped down. My mom ran a tight ship and we always had a clean house, but there was a difference between clean and “Mama clean.” When things were “Mama Clean,” Mr. Clean himself would have been proud. We would work all morning until the entire house was spotless and the air smelled of chemically induced lemony freshness. This, in my experience, was a meticulously clean house.
I love a clean house as much as anyone. Do I keep a meticulously clean home on a daily basis? Not even close. Would I like to keep a meticulously clean home on a daily basis? Maybe. Keeping a meticulously clean home is hard work. Sometimes it is just easier to put a few things behind closet doors, under a bed, or down in the basement where it can be hidden from eyesight. To the outsider coming in your house appears to be clean, but to the owner of the house, we know better. As a matter of fact, as the host, you may even spend most of your evening praying your guests don’t ask to see “that room” or accidentally open the wrong closet door exposing your mess. The worry about the hidden mess robs you of truly enjoying your guests while they are in your home.
Pastor Mike stated, “The Holy Spirit deserves to live in a clean home.” Ouch! What kind of housekeeper have I been with my heart? I fear many times my heart has looked like the room of a teenager. A room so messy you literally could not see the floor. I didn’t even care enough to bother hiding the mess. This was the condition of my heart when I invited Jesus to come in and take up residence. We teamed up and I allowed him to clean up a few things; you can now see the floor and the bed has been made. BUT, open a closet door or look under the bed and you will still find clutter. Clutter disguised as anger, unforgiveness, jealously, greed, pride, etc. filling up the hidden spaces where I have asked the Holy Spirit to dwell. It looks clean from a distance, but the Holy Spirit and I know where the clutter is hidden.
Keeping a meticulously clean heart doesn’t come by accident, just as keeping a meticulously clean home doesn’t. It takes work. Actually, it takes more than work. It takes intentionality, discipline, routine, training, experience, knowledge, patience, humility, etc. It doesn’t come naturally; we must be taught how to clean our hearts just as we were taught to clean our house. This is where surrounding yourself with believers is so vital. We learn how to clean our hearts by studying and meditating on his Word, worshiping and being teachable. The more we come into relationship with Jesus the more strength we gain to clean the dark spaces of our hearts. As we put on the full amour of God (Ephesian 6:11), we are better equipped to battle the clutter of our hearts including those hard to reach cobwebs hiding in the corners. When we receive testimony like Pastor Maria’s, it allows us to “know that I know, that I know” that we are beautiful, (Psalm 139:14) chosen, (I Peter 2:9) loved, (Jeremiah 31:3) children of God (John 1:12). We all have some spring cleaning to do and the beauty of it is this chore doesn’t have to be done alone. There is safety in the sheepfold. Make it a point to become fully engaged in the flock. Join a small group, ask a few people out to coffee, serve on Sundays, become intentional with your heart. The Holy Spirit deserves a clean place to live and he stands waiting with a broom and dustpan in hand.