There is a shampoo that I like to use every so often. It is an anti-residue shampoo by Neutrogena. They say that regular shampoo, conditioner, and hair care products leave a residue in our hair. This little gem by Neutrogena magically gets rid of that residue, when used periodically. It does make my hair feel cleaner. Or maybe it’s all in my head. 😀
I was recently thinking about the need to get rid of residue in our lives as well. Sometimes we collect debris in our hearts, little by little. Like the residue in our hair, we might not even realize it’s there. It could be a negative attitude, a sin of some sort, worry, a bad habit, or any number of things that loiters in our lives.
According to Merriam-Webster, residue is “something that remains after a part is taken, separated, or designated or after the completion of a process.” So could it be that we thought we got rid of our temper, but a little remains? Could it be that we fought a temptation, but a small amount is still lingering?
The good news is that, as children of God, we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us, who can help us get rid of the residue. In John 14:16-17 (AMP), Jesus said, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever— the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive [and take to its heart] because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He (the Holy Spirit) remains with you continually and will be in you.” Look at all the ways the Holy Spirit is described here – Helper, Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor, Counselor, Strengthener, Standby, the Spirit of Truth. How amazing it is to know that God has planted this very same Holy Spirit inside you and me and all of His children. What a precious gift.
And the Holy Spirit can help us identify any residue in our lives. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit will be quick to convict us of any sin in our lives. In those cases, we should immediately pray and repent. Or sometimes, we might not have sin necessarily, but we do have things in our lives that keep us from a wholehearted relationship with the Lord. We might not always realize that these things are holding us back. They might even be good things, yet they are not part of God’s plan for us or they might distract us from more important things, like our relationship with Him.
I think it is a good idea for us to seek the Lord and ask Him to reveal to us anything in our lives or in our hearts that needs to go. We can repeat the words of David found in Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
When prayed from the heart, with determination to follow through on whatever is revealed, this can be a powerful prayer. In the words of Craig Groeschel in his book Dangerous Prayers, “Be forewarned, this prayer has the potential to convict you. To correct you. To redirect your life. To change the way you see yourself. To change how others see you.”
Some people might cringe at that statement. But honestly, that makes me want to raise my hands and say, “Yes, Lord! I am all Yours! Search my heart!” When we make God the center of our lives, we want to seek Him at every turn. We want to place our lives fully in His hands. We want Him to change us from the inside out. And we want to do everything for His honor and glory. That’s why I love this prayer so much. And that is why I believe it is important to remove the residue in our lives. If you are ready for a radical change, then take some time today to sit with the Lord, pray this prayer, and then listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. In the end, you will not regret it. You will walk away feeling closer to God and with a renewed sense of peace.
© 2021 Bridget A. Thomas