Grease Trap

At one point Jesus speaks to a bunch of religious leaders who want to put an entire culture under the microscope of their “behavioral modification program”. He says some pretty interesting stuff to them. First, He tells them that they are a bunch of actors, pretending to live the way they say other people should live. He says they put heavy weights on everyone else’s shoulders but don’t lift a finger themselves. He tells them that they need to become humble because they are full of pride and only pursue status for themselves. He even says that they lock people out of heaven and make converts that are twice the children of hell that they are. Have you ever heard the phrase, “the blind leading the blind?” Well, Jesus coins it here. He says that they always give their money but they don’t care about justice, mercy or faith. And then he tells them that they are like beautiful tombs: lovely on the outside but full of death and filth on the inside. I mean, these are the ‘religious leaders’.

One of the most common misperceptions of Jesus is that He wants us to stiffly follow some sort of moral code and adhere to some set of religious principles. He really just wants our heart. It simply doesn’t matter how much we know, how well we behave, or how much we sacrifice; if we haven’t invited Him into our lives as the King over it, we’re just moral people.

When I worked at a sub place in college, we had lots of checklists of stuff that needed to be done. Some of the things needed to be done daily and other things only required us to do them once a week or something. But there was this one checklist I hated: the deep cleaning checklist. Just typing that almost made me throw up in my mouth. The things on this checklist were the things that needed to be done when the smell got so bad that you couldn’t stand it anymore. Or when there wasn’t a single employee on staff that actually worked there the last time it was done. These were the things you did when business was slow.

No one wanted to do the stuff on that list – it was stuff you’d definitely want to wear gloves for. You can find some pretty interesting things when you really clean something that hasn’t been cleaned in a while. And you can find out some interesting things about your heart if you really open it up to let God examine it. I know it’s a difficult realization to come to that no matter how much we have let God change us on the inside, He’s nowhere even close to being done. He wants us to open up our hearts and let him go to work. He wants us to get rid of all the pride that deceives us into thinking that He is already done with us. He wants hearts that desire Him and want to pursue Him. He wants you. Not the pretty outside of you, but the dirty inside that you’re afraid to let anyone see. He wants you to come before Him with a heart willing to let Him do whatever He wants to do, no matter how painful it might be. He simply doesn’t want who you pretend to be on the outside. He wants to go where you have never let anyone go before: to the center of who you are. So, may we stop negotiating with Jesus and allow Him to go to work on that grease trap we call our heart.

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