We have two cast iron skillets made in Taiwan. They are 8-inch and 10.5-inch in size. We also have a big, brand new wok pan. The skillets were passed on to us whilst we purchased the wok. None of these were ever used by us. Due to storage in an outside shed, these items became wet. The roof leaked and has since been replaced. Not knowing these items became wet, we left the skillets and the wok on the shelf until a few days ago. Cleaning the skillets was relatively easy, as only the one had some surface rust. The wok pan was another story. The rust penetrated much deeper over a larger portion of the inside of the wok pan. Although the wok pan was Teflon coated, this coating was less than “skin deep”. Should I dump the wok pan or could I clean it up sufficiently to use when we fry a mixture of meat, rice and veggies outside as a type of braai? I feel it is worth an attempt.
Due to the shape of the wok pan, it is not that easy to scrape the inside, so I used some rust repellent liquid allowing it to sink in overnight. This morning I tried to scrape and chip the inside. I got some of the rust off. I then tried using a scouring pad, a wire brush followed by steel wool without much success. So … I am trying another type of rust removing liquid and will see what happens by tomorrow. Due to the deepness of the rust, it’s possible that I would need coarse emery paper or even the use of a grinding disk. The Teflon is already ruined, but getting the rust off could mean the wok pan can be used … and after use, cleaned and treated with oil or fat to prevent rust again.
The above story is appropriate when it comes to the soul! You see, leaving the soul without protection could result in spiritual rust. Caught early, like the skillets, there might not be much damage and may be “cleaned” up spiritually quite easy. On the other hand, should the spiritual rust penetrate like in the case of the wok pan, some serious spiritual work is required.
We read in Ephesians:
Eph 4:22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
In verse 22 there is “to put off” and in verse 24 there is “to put on”. The “put off” is interesting. An aunt of mine suffered with sugar diabetes rather badly. In the 1960s and early 1970s, they were not as clued up as they are today with how to treat this illness/disease. Due to gangrene (caused by the sugar diabetes), she lost her one leg and a few years later she lost her other leg. In both cases the doctors had to cut off her leg to save her life. That is the meaning of “put off” in verse 22! Cut off the ‘old self” … remove completely the old self because it “is being corrupted [rusted] by its deceitful desires”.
You see, if I can’t deal with the rust on the wok pan, I’ll lose the wok pan … that I have never used! I need to literally cut off the rust … cut it away from the pan to save the pan. When spiritual rusts comes along, that is exactly what you need to do before it’s too late and you lose your soul … not that a saved soul can be lost, but that through spiritual rust you prove you were not saved at all! Put off … cut off … remove completely!
One can meditate upon the whole of Psalm 119 … but for today, we’ll just consider the following passage:
Ps 119:9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.
10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
12 Praise be to you, O LORD, teach me your decrees.
With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.
14 I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.
15 I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.
16 I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.
The method to prevent spiritual rust is found in verse 9 … living according to the Word. If you live according to the Word, then the Word is hidden in your heart to prevent spiritual rust. Through regular use, there will be a going over the Word (v13), meditation and thoughtfulness (v15) with a commitment not to neglect the Word resulting in rejoicing (v14) and delight (v16).
Lord Jesus, help me to do regular spiritual stock takes to ensure that my soul does not suffer spiritual rust. Amen.