Mikvah (Spiritual Cleansing)

Our Christian practice of baptism originates from a Hebrew term “mikvah” (or “miqweh”). It is a derivative of the root word “qavah,” which is translated as a “gathering of waters.” The word “mikvah” also means hope. In this case, a hope of being purified and given a fresh start. So in essence, a mikvah represents a spiritual cleansing – a being washed and made clean/pure. One of the key ingredients for this mikvah is living water, which is a beautiful parallel to our spiritual cleansing which happens by the living flow of Holy Spirit.

If one is seeking transformation into the fullness of what God has called them to be, that process begins with a desire to be purified – made holy, a spiritual cleansing. The key element here is a desire for purification. When one is being baptized (again, in essence a mikvah), there is first the desire for it to occur.

The next step is a preparation of your heart. You make ready – both practically and spiritually for what lies ahead. Looking forward with expectation to the transformation that true change brings.

Next, there is a releasing of that which no longer serves you. During baptism (like with a mikvah), there is a death to old ways or uncleanliness as you are lowered under the water. It represents a dying (or an ending) that you might be raised again, which leads to the next step.

After you have released the old, you must grab hold of the new. You cannot become a new creation while trying to cling to old ways, patterns, and habits. If those things have “died” (been laid aside), it is time to embrace the new that God has for you.

Finally, you must walk in the newness of life you’ve been given. Understand you are a new creation and as such have new expectations for yourself. Expect to be different and focus on creating patterns that support that change. 

Remember that this isn’t a one time process – our journeys with God are full of spiritual cleansing, which is why the Torah outlines so many times the mikvah process was necessary. It was an ongoing reminder of the process of cleansing, purification, and transformation. So, may you embrace your own transformation. I encourage you to give yourself grace in the process and be intentional in your pursuit of transformation by God’s Holy Spirit.

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