There are seasons that just make us want to dive into our areas of clutter and begin a donate campaign. The beginning of the new year, springtime, or a move all give us that proverbial shove to get rid of our piles!
We tiptoe into closets that are brimming with things we’ve stuffed inside, perhaps because we didn’t know what to do with them, or we were in too much of a hurry to put them in their proper place. Lurking on shelves, in shadows and under stacks, we find so many items that are no longer useful. Oh what freedom comes from filling bags with all the undesirable bits and bobs!
Early one recent morning I walked into my closet – my walk-in clothes closet where I also pray. I grimaced at the little pile I had
hidden placed behind the door, but I ignored it, shut the door, and knelt to pray. It was then that the Holy Spirit brought to my mind that there are areas of clutter that are far more serious than that pile in my closet. It was so easy for me to see.
Oh yes, Lord! In my life I look around me and recognize the hording that slows my spiritual progress. It deadens my sensitivity to Your Spirit. It makes my testimony ineffective, keeping my eyes on earthly things, rather than the heavenly treasures.
A “pile” of spiritual clutter that came to my mind is found in Colossians 3:
- sexual immorality
- evil desire
- covetousness, which is idolatry
- obscene talk
Before you raise your eyebrows and think I’m living in immorality, (I am not), I was reminded that this list might sound like it’s directed to the “really bad sinner.” But the Spirit of God reminded me that if I allow any of this to enter my closet door through means of someone else throwing it in there, it’s still cluttering my life. That means I may need to “toss out” people I follow on social media that promote their sinful lifestyle. Comedians that laugh at what God calls pure may need to be added to the trash pile, and “entertainment” that uses profanity, promotes obscene language or nods “yes” to things God clearly condemns all must be added to the “donate pile.”
I also see that filling my minutes/hours/days with useless things is even more cumbersome to my life than hanging onto the sweater I loved but has a hole in the sleeve.
As I continued in my prayer time, I heard the Lord giving me directives on what to “toss” and what to add to my spiritual closet. Confessing my spiritual clutter was the only thing needed to unload the mess. I rose from my knees with a sense of peace. This time was needed. The shadows had revealed the lurking loads that were now clean, fresh and ready for enjoying, rather than sighing with the burden of knowing it is all there, but not dealing with it. It is gone.
Lest you think this is a boast of legalism where we have to “follow all the rules,” I must add that in Christ we are free. We are free to choose the path of righteousness that will lead to greater spiritual fruit, or we can choose the way that gives a short-lived satisfaction but yields only weeds and thorns that we will regret. We live with eternity in view , knowing that Christ could come today. I want my “closet” clean and ready to receive Him. I want others to see the joy of walking with Christ. I, too, love the precious things the Lord adds to my life each day. You know the happy feeling of dumping all that load of junk at the donation center? This is far greater!
If you ask the Lord to show you the clutter that needs to be removed from your life, He will faithfully reveal those things to you. Humble yourself before Him and be ready for the peace and joy that comes from your obedience.
Praise God for removing the clutter!