Clean House

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The Bible discusses the importance of removing "detestable" objects from our homes in several passages.  For example, God told the Israelites, "Do not bring a detestable thing into your house or you, like it, will be set apart for destruction. Utterly abhor and detest it, for it is set apart for destruction "(Deuteronomy 7: 26).  God repeated this warning in several other scriptures: 2 Kings 23:24; Deuteronomy 13:17; Joshua 6:18; Joshua 7:1  These warnings were for good reason.  He did not want his people to experience the unpleasant consequences associated with those objects. 

Modern day examples of detestable objects include pornography in all its forms and things associated with the "the Occult."   God wants us to have nothing to do with these things primarily because they are forms of idolatry.  He jealously yearns for our total devotion (James 4:4-5).   Keeping such things in our homes dishonors God, creates a potential snare for sin and gives the enemy an open door to attack us.  The sensible thing to do is to purge our homes of all detestable objects that we know of and/or that God reveals to us. 

Before you start cleaning out your house, please take a moment to ask God to give you wisdom on what to remove.   Suggested prayer:  "Lord God, please show me the things in my home that are not pleasing to you.  Please convict me of what I should do with them. Thank you, Father, Amen."

The below suggestions come from our own "house cleaning" experiences over the years.  We've gone through about 4 of them since we started serving the Lord.  You may find that after getting rid of the obvious things, God may later show you other objects that need to go.   I encourage you to cooperate fully with the Holy Spirit and follow through on the convictions he gives you. 

One of the challenges we faced in our house cleanings was the desire to sell the detestable objects to recover the value, or at least give them to someone who could use them.  The Lord showed us that either course would only help others to fall into sin.  Therefore, we recommend that you destroy the objects and resist temptations to sell or give them away.  By destroying them, you are making a sacrifice to God similar to what the people in Acts did by burning their magic books (Acts 19:19). 

House-cleaning suggestions:

Change your computer setup:

  • Change internet access and email accounts to a filtered internet provider & have a friend install and keep custody of the password
  • Install a content filter & have a friend install and keep custody of the password
  • Move your computer into an open location
  • Purge your computer files of all porn images/programs
  • Erase all porn sites from your "favorites" folder in your internet browser
  • Delete all cookie files
  • Disable "cookie file" use on your web browser (banner "teaser" ads may query your cookie files)
  • Run a clean-up program to ensure all the internet clutter is gone (ex. like Norton Systemworks)
  • Install a pop-up add blocking program
  • Install a text-only browser (like Lynx) if search engine pictures are causing you to fall to temptation

Other actions:

  • Destroy any porn literature that you have
  • Destroy magazines that are sources of temptation
  • Cancel subscriptions to any mailing list you are on that produces material you lust over
  • Cancel your cable television service or at least downsize it to exclude channels that offer porn or sexually explicit entertainment (ex. HBO, Cinemax, MTV). 
  • Destroy porn and other sexually explicit or violent videos (ex. rated "R" videos usually fit this category)
  • Destroy books and objects of the occult  (ex. Ouija boards, New Age crystals, dream catchers, good luck charms, Masonic rings, Tarot cards, magic books, doctrinal books of non-Christian religions) 
  • Destroy clothing associated with past sexual sin
  • Destroy video games that depict sinful acts for entertainment and/or contain images that cause you to lust (violence, murder, sex, magic, spell-casting, etc.)
  • Destroy letters and pictures of people you have committed sexual sin with (if you are still cherishing the sin you committed with them)

After you've cleaned out your house, please take time to ask God's forgiveness for having kept the detestable objects in your home.  Suggested prayer:    

"Heavenly Father, I confess that I have kept these detestable objects in my home.  Please forgive me for this.  I renounce my possession of those objects and turn from them now to pursue Jesus wholeheartedly.  In the name of Jesus, I break any curse or foothold that may have been created as a result of my having those objects.  Thank you, Lord, that I am cleansed and forgiven by the blood of Jesus Christ.  In Jesus' name I pray, Amen." 

Fill the House

Now that you have cleaned your house, fill it with good things that will point you to God and encourage wholesome living.  Consider  Colossians 3:1-2 NIV:  "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things."  We can bolster a "God-focused" heart and mindset by what we keep in our homes and what we do for entertainment.  

We can ask God to give us wisdom on what actions to take in filling our homes.  Here is a suggested prayer:  "Lord God, I desire to set my mind on things above, not on carnal things.  Please give me wisdom about how and what to fill my home with. Thank you, Lord, Amen."

House-filling suggestions:

  • Pray over your home, TV, VCR, DVD and computer.  Dedicate them to God's purposes and renounce any sinful use they may have had in the past.  As an added measure, anoint these areas & objects with oil in the name of the Lord (see anointing). 
  • Recite key Bible passages in your home during your quiet time and any other times throughout the day.  Speaking the Word of God in your home sets a positive "spiritual atmosphere" that helps repel the forces of evil.
  • Speak positive words in your home; resist the temptation to speak evil of other people
  • Post Bible verses in key places (ex. computer monitor, bedroom, bathroom, workshop, office) and review/recite them often (see temptation verses)
  • Play and/or sing praise & worship music in your home as often as possible.  Praise music helps establish a spiritual protective covering over you and helps you focus on God.
  • Tune your radio and TV to Christian stations; minimize exposure to secular stations
  • Listen to teaching tapes and read books that encourage you in your walk with Jesus (see suggested books, tapes & CD's)
  • Invest in wholesome videos/DVD's:  They can be a challenge to find, but they do exist.  Look for programs that edify the family and affirm biblical values.  Avoid violence, foul language, sexual themes, etc. - these things can easily wear down our resolve to live for God and weaken our faith.
  • Make time for rest:  While this isn't a physical house-filler, it is something that should be part of our weekly schedule and may often occur at home.  God's word says, "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10 NIV) and he specifically commands us to take a day of holy rest each week (i.e. the Sabbath) in Exodus 20:8-11.  Rest will help us focus on God and will also benefit every other area of our lives.  
  • Make your home a place of peace:  Peace will help maximize our times of rest at home.   Just as the disciples sent their peace to the homes they stayed in (Luke 10:4-6), we too can send God's peace to our homes.  We can say, "I speak the peace of Christ to my home and everyone in it."  Through Christ we can expect supernatural improvement of the peace in our home.   We can contribute to this peace by periodically silencing the various noisemakers (radio, TV, computer, phone, etc.) and devoting time to prayer. 

Personal Application Questions

  • What detestable objects have you found in your home?
  • Have you discarded those objects?  If not, when will you discard them?
  • Did you find any things that you are not willing to give up?  If so, please take a moment to ask God to give you the conviction and strength to give them up.  
  • Please list the actions you plan to take to fill your house.

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