Have you ever had a closet that was a disaster? And you finally tackled the daunting project, sat back and looked at the great job you did? Later in the day you went back, opened the door and smiled -- reveling in the fact that you completed such a huge feat, and patted yourself on the back for what great organizational skills you have!
You have two or three other closets that need re-doing, but for the next few weeks you keep going back to that beautiful closet, opening the door and smiling. "I'll get to the others soon," you say, and yet keep passing them by.
Isn't this just like sin in our lives? We're willing to get rid of one sin - and then we want to rejoice in the fact that that one is gone - but ignore the others because they're just too hard to let go of. I see an endless hallway of closets in my mind - and one by one - He wants me to clean them up. Not just clean it and then stand back and gaze at my handiwork . . . but to gently prod me on to attack the next closet.
I use this illustration a lot as I think about our Christian walk. Every day we are supposed to be learning and growing in the Lord -- getting closer to Him each day -- and as we learn and grow, we see the imperfections that He wants us to work on. The closer I get to the Lord, the more I find. Some are very minute, but He wants to help me work on them -- one at a time. Until I am a pure reflection of Him. James 1:2-4 is a perfect passage for this -- the end of the verses say this, ". . . perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." Wow! I want to be mature and complete! But to do that, I must persevere. I haven't done the greatest job at that. I have back-tracked, side-tracked, zig-zag-tracked, and every other kind of off-track you can come up with. I am however, determined to keep on. I must clean out all of my closets, one at a time. And not go back and dwell on what a great job I did -- but to keep moving forward, knowing that He wants to finish a work in me.