The Oven Cleaning

by Joanna Deffner on January 29, 2020

No one can prepare you for the aftermath of an oven cleaning. If Mike Row, from the TV show “Dirty Jobs” is looking for his next episode spotlight, I’ve got one lined up for him.

It seemed simple enough: spray the oven cleaner at a 45-degree angle on all surfaces of the oven. Avoid contact with the skin and eyes. Close the door. Leave it alone overnight. Wipe clean the next morning. Out of all the warnings listed on the outside of the product bottle, one vital notice was missing—mentally prepare yourself for the depths of black goo pooling at the bottom.

I had no idea how dirty the oven of my new home would be. When I popped my head in the other day, I saw a few areas that obviously needed some elbow grease. I figured I’d get around to cleaning it upon the oven’s first use, but there was a nagging concern at the back of my mind. What if the grime was worse than I thought?

After a quick trip to the store, spray-down, and brief waiting period (a smelly one at that), I was ready for a quick clean up. However, the wipe-clean process was anything but fast. There was black sludge everywhere and it didn’t remain stationary as I attempted to sop it up with a sponge. By the time I was finished, my oven still looked black and grimy. While the surface goo was no longer present inside the oven, it was now all over me.

Although you wash yourself with soap and use an abundance of cleansing powder, the stain of your guilt is still before me, declares the Sovereign LORD (Jeremiah 2:22, NIV).

But if we [really] walk in the Light [that is, live each and every day in conformity with the precepts of God], as He Himself is in the Light, we have [true, unbroken] fellowship with one another [He with us, and we with Him], and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin [by erasing the stain of sin, keeping us cleansed from sin in all its forms and manifestations] (I John 1:7, AMP).

Our lives are a lot like my oven. We’re covered inside and out by the filth of sin. Most of us have no conception of how dirty we actually are because we only see small spots and blemishes. But, God looks deeper and knows just how unclean our hearts and bodies are.

In our journey of reading the Word, God helps us see how our lives are filthy with sin. He convicts us with His Word; we repent, are baptized in Jesus’ name, and receive the infilling of the Holy Ghost. The waters of baptism wash away all the black goop from our lives, which is immensely worse than we could have imagined. That pollution isn’t something we could have removed in its entirety on our own.

Unlike my oven which still isn’t 100% clean—some of the dirt and grime was re-spread out as I attempted to remove it—the blood of Jesus, applied through baptism, does more for us than just repositioning sin. It completely eradicates sin and makes us truly clean. God’s Spirit helps us keep our vessels spick-and-span, so we don’t get a rebuild-up of black goo in our life all over again.

We all need to take a moment today and examine our spiritual ovens. It may look like we just have a few spots of baked-on food that need to be chipped away, but in reality, there’s more grime to be removed. We need the Lord to speak to us and help us remove the gunk from our lives. We don’t have to spray and wait at least 6 hours to be cleansed. The blood works immediately to remove our sin-stains. Every day’s a good day for an oven cleaning. Have you had one lately?