While overseeing the Prophetic Ministry of the Arts in Rustenburg, South Africa, I would periodically get an urge to “spring clean”. During these urges, one could find me removing all the furniture from the office, pulling up the carpet to be cleaned, and/or scrubbing down the walls and floors. This cleaning spree would always be unannounced, and would always occur during our scheduled practice days. After all, what a great way to teach these youth some discipline, right?
A couple of hours before their arrival, most of the furniture would already be outside. I would be found sitting outside with a bucket of soapy water washing down every piece of equipment and furniture we owned. Each team member would arrive in shock (and I’m sure a bit of disappointment) to find that they would immediately be issued instructions to assist in this endeavor.
The most tedious task was always the floor. Oftentimes when the carpet is removed, one would find almost a half inch layer of dust underneath. The South African method of combating this “dust bowl” would be to sprinkle water throughout the floor then proceed to mop. I never subscribed to this method because I felt we were only lubricating and circulating dirt. Therefore, I would commence with several rounds of sweeping before even considering mopping.
Sometimes, I would have four to
five people follow my lead by of sweeping at least two times before carrying out other chores. Only after the room had been swept to the point that the dust remaining was minimal would I move on to the mopping phase. You couldn’t even imagine the amount of dust that would be flying in the air during these sweepings.
One day while we had been sweeping, I stepped outside only to see plumes of dust streaming from the windows. As astonishing as that was, I was more astonished to find that the dust seemed to never settle after we had finished cleaning the room. Everything I saw outside seemed to be overshadowed by a cloud of dust. Then, I removed my glasses only to discover that the dust cloud was actually a coat of dust that had settled on the lenses of my glasses. Amazingly, after cleaning my lenses, everything seemed to be so br
ight and clear!
And I, brethren, could not speak
unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? (1 Corinthians 3:1-3)
In this passage of scripture, carnality is likened to immaturity. Based upon this comparison, it is safe to assume that when you are dealing with someone of a carnal nature, regardless of how long they have been saved, or how much of the Bible they know, they must be treated as and instructed with simplicity just as a mother would treat or instruct a baby.
We must consider that even if s
omeone has a command of scripture, if it is based solely upon intellectual knowledge, personal life application may allude the carnal minded person. I say “personal” life application because often times people tend to see application of scripture for the lives of others without applying both edges of the sword of the Word of God to their own lives while they look in mirrors through the soiled lenses of their own hearts.
When you look through dirty lenses, it is easy to see spots in the lives of others (and even expect them), because with our eyes, we typically look out. But turning our eyes inward most often only happens in hindsight.
Additionally, looking through dirty lenses causes us to see (or erroneously perceive) things in others that are not there, but are rather simply a reflection of the corrupt lens of our own hearts.
Next time you begin to consider the state of someone else, make sure you clean your lenses. Look into the mirror of your own heart through those same lenses and consider your own state before judging anyone else.