My mind wondered a lot as I cleaned out our clutter. I am struck by the amount of stuff we accumulated over the years! The only thing that makes me feel a bit better is when my husband reminded me that we have lived in this house almost 10 years. Things do tend to pile up over time and it is time to let go.
The thought often occurs to me that clutter and sin have so much in common. I can only speak from my own experience, but as I go through all this excess, I see a pattern of what I was trying to find my worth in. If I could just get my outside right, maybe my inside would be accepted. Such a lie I believed. Letting the truth of Psalm 139:14 sink in has not been easy. This verse says this, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are your works, and that my soul knows very well.” I am God’s marvelous work, fearfully and wonderfully made and so are you. Is that what you think when you look in the mirror? Is this what we are telling our children, family, friends and strangers? What would happen if we all believed this truth, stated very plainly in the Bible? I have often lived like this applied to others, but not me.
If satan can get us to believe we are not of any value, then we will spend whatever it takes to buy our worth. When I see this lie being lived out in one of our kids, it causes such a reaction in my heart. I quickly tell them that this is a lie and replace it with truth. The latest name brand shirt, new car or beautiful makeup will not give you what your soul is longing for. Do not get me wrong, I like nice things and I wear plenty of makeup, but these things do not give me value. However, I sometimes forget and so do our kids. As I look at our world, I see so many kids unaware of who made them and the preciousness of their very existence. Heartbreaking.
Just yesterday morning, things did not go well for me as I got myself ready for church. My outward appearance was not what I had hoped and immediately thoughts of self condemnation came to mind. We headed into church and the first song we sang was “Who You Say I Am”, by Hillsong. Oh, how these words just washed over me and refocused my thoughts. “I am chosen, not forsaken, I am who you say I am. You are for me, not against me. I am who you say that I am.” Another line reminds us that if we are saved then, “Who the Son sets free, oh is free indeed. I’m a child of God, yes I am.” I needed the reminder of who God says I am and felt the dark cloud lift.
As our home becomes free of clutter, I pray my heart does too. I ask the Lord the same words as King David. “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24). It is not easy and is at times painful, but I ask the Lord to show me my sin. I do not have any desire to “hide” anything from Him. My heart is open to Him and anything that does not need to be inside, needs to be removed. I cannot be completely filled with Him if my heart is cluttered with sin.
In my heart clean out, trash bags full of pride, doubt, envy and hopelessness, to name a few, have been taken out. This makes room for the fruits of the Spirit to grow. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Galatians 5:22). Just think what our homes would be like if we were all filled with these fruits! So many problems in our country would go away. This I am teaching to our children and in turn, will spill out onto those they come into contact with.
I pray that the Lord gives us open hearts and eyes to see where we have sin. May He shed light on our dark places. Lord, give us courage, endurance and love to stand for You in the midst of evil. Thank you for the reminder, “as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12). We do not have to live with hearts cluttered with sin that God wants to remove. Throw it out like the expired coupons in that junk drawer. It is worthless and taking up unnecessary space. Let God do a work in your heart and I promise you, you will never be the same!