“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord.“Though your sins are like scarlet,they shall be as white as snow;though they are red as crimson,they shall be like wool. (Isaiah. 1:18 NIV)

Have you ever gone out to eat and dropped food on your clothes?

When that happens, the first thing that comes to my mind is, how am I going to get this stain out?

If I’m at a restaurant, I will go into the restroom and attempt to wipe my clothing with a paper towel or cover it up in some way. Today, they have products specifically created to help remove stains if you’re on the go.

No matter what treatment we may try, the truth is that the stain remains a nuisance until the article of clothing is washed and cleaned.

In our walk with Christ, salvation is the moment we choose to acknowledge and accept our need to be cleansed by the blood that Jesus shed on the cross. Salvation is when we realize that we were born into sin and we need a new birth so that we can be born into righteousness. This decision is the moment that marks every other moment that will follow.

But after salvation, we’ll begin to become aware of the stains in our lives.

These are behaviors that are outside of God’s perfect will for us. They are things we say and believe that don’t reflect Christ. They are negative mindsets and attributes that have taken residency in our heart. God knows that if these issues are not dealt with, they can fuel our sinful natures and threaten our sanctified natures. Because God wants every hidden spot of sin to be removed, He will reveal these areas to us over time. This is often done through connection and conviction.

As we read last week, Ephesians 5:26 indicates that we are cleansed by…the washing of water with the word.

This tells us that our time spent with God in prayer, study, and devotion connects us to His heart so that we better understand His ways. Then, when Holy Spirit convicts us, we receive the correction He intended from a place of love and kindness, leading us to repentance.

Here’s the thing, our longing to do better and be better comes from our longing for Jesus. Although God is looking for a bride without a spot or wrinkle, He knows that before we come into the knowledge of Him, we will have sins, spots, and more. Even so, He is more than willing to clean us up. In Him, every longing is fulfilled and with Him every spot is removed.

Today, ask God what spots He wants to remove from your life. Remember, God reveals the spots for two reasons: repentance and restoration. Consider this your invitations for both.