Close and Clean

Close and Clean - Caz's Corner Staying Connected to Christ and Committed to Purity

It’s crazy that a month has already gone by in this new year! There’s something about a new year that inspires us to want to start fresh and wipe the old slate clean, but even in as short of time as a month, for many, their "resolutions" have already fallen by the wayside.

Years ago I was on staff at First Baptist Spartanburg under Dr. Alastair Walker, and to this day I still consider him one of my most influential mentors. He spoke in this classic Scottish brogue, which I love so much.

About this time of year, he would always come in and challenge us to be "close and clean," in other words stay connected to God's word and do everything possible to be pure in your thoughts and actions.

Alastair Walker was the inspiration for the round conference room we have here at Upward Sports. He would say: "Caz, welcome to the knights of the round table."

Of course, at the time we were actually walking into a square room with a square table, but the idea was there. The idea was we were all a part of the body of Christ and everyone’s opinions mattered, regardless of our position on the staff.

On occasion he would call an unplanned meeting, and at these particular meetings you could see steam coming out of his ears. I can only remember one topic that made Dr. Walker mad.

He would call all of the ministers on our staff into the conference room. He would come in and he would slam his hand down on the table, and he would say, in his rumbling brogue: "Boys - we’ve lost another knight from the round table."

He would be referring to one of his friends, or someone he knew in the ministry, who had fallen to some sort of sin. It was almost always some sort of unfaithfulness to their spouse, and it was because that particular person had let their guard down, in some way, shape, or form.

There was nothing – nothing - that frustrated him more.

One of our core values here at Upward Sports is "The Life of Integrity," the idea that what we do is more important than what we say. The challenge for ALL of us is being intentional about staying close and clean – it won’t happen on its own.

There are two things that I’ve always tried to do to help me in this battle, and I would recommend to you:

  1. Find an intentional, daily connection with our Heavenly Father
  2. Find an accountability partner that you can connect with at least once a week and give them permission to speak into your life.

Satan loves to put us in comfortable situations. He loves to put us in warm water. We like warm water. We can swim around in it, and say: "Hey this isn’t so bad. I can do this, I can get used to this."

Before we know it, though, the water is boiling and we are cooked through. That’s the sad story of what happens when sin begins to creep into our lives. We start out in comfortable situations, in warm water, and Satan slowly runs the heat up to a boil.

My momma always used to say that "if you miss 1 day talking with Jesus, He will know it; if you miss 2 days you will know it; and if you miss 3 days EVERYONE will know it."

How true that is. My prayer for you today is that you always have a seat at the round table. Stay close and clean my friends!