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Friday, January 29, 2016

Letting Jesus Remove the Clutter



For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace...  (1 Corinthians 14:33 KJV)

Many people struggle with clutter in their lives:  inner and outer.  I face struggles in this area, yet there is a degree of order to the “mess” (in other words, I can almost always find what I am looking for).  There may be a method to my madness…or not!  At the same time, I realize that God has a different perspective about my clutter.

From https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/b9/00/38/b90038c1b3c95a44d6b50abb3dbfa813.jpg

Holding on to objects—whatever they may be—of our past, a past the Lord has led us away from is likely far more counterproductive than we realize.  Whether or not we realize it, we are weighed down, hampered, kept from the future that awaits us; the future that is created especially for us by Jesus our Savior and Lord.  This is the future where we will find a happiness, a contentment that comes from being where we are needed and doing the things the world most needs us to do.  This reminds me of a quote from Frederick Buechner:  “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”[1] 

From 

http://i2.wp.com/debtdebs.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Room-to-let-God-work.jpg


Letting go of the “stuff” gives us freedom for the future—openness, space, margin for the Lord to work and for us to work too.  When we are free of this “stuff”, perhaps “stuff” that haunts us, we can become the person we were meant to be all along!  All this “stuff” that we think we need only distracts and hinders us (this is at least partially true for me). 

To be sure, the “stuff” is not always bad; it may have served a good purpose in the past.  If the “stuff” is truly a thing of the past; a past that is no longer the path God wants you walking down, why cling to it, as if it has the power to save?  This is what I have talked to myself about in the past and even just this week.  At the point God made it clear to me that the path I was on was not the correct one, I was so overwhelmed that it did not occur to me to start parting ways with the objects that had occupied hours of my life for many years, and stuff that I had spent a sizable amount of money to acquire.

From https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/b5/65/0e/b5650e96b48f64205298df6dbeb4971c.jpg

Over the past several years, the Lord has been freeing me more and more of the files of paper, projects that were a significant part of my past.  Since the beginning of the year I have gotten back to work—it is work but it goes amazingly fast.  It is also completely overwhelming at times; mostly it feels great! 

From http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-mrpI1OOv7to/VEfVgL_dCdI/AAAAAAAAIEA/t1rR-sF9-J0/s1600/chaos-sign.jpg

Our God is a God of order (as can be seen the Scripture above).  He created order.  Therefore, order pleases Him—order in our lives, order in our churches—makes a difference, a difference that might just makes others take note.  God brings order to our disorder, if we allow Him.  As we depend on Him to remove the inner and outer “clutter” we find freedom.  This freedom gives us the necessary space to think, to create, and to simply live. 

Jesus also addressed this in His Sermon on the Mount:  Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:19-21 KJV). 

Where are you storing up treasures? 

I am working towards an increasing desire to store up treasures—the most important treasures—in heaven; a work that is in progress.  These are the treasures we should all desire.
In some way, releasing all this stuff, the baggage of the past—tangible objects and people may well be a type of “pruning” (see John 15).  Stay tuned for a possible future post on pruning. 
We can depend on God to help us in our weakness.  He is kind and gentle with us, yet He does not allow us to stay—growth, change happens and is expected.  I am thinking my releasing of this “stuff” will take me places I have never dreamed possible.

From https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/77/be/cc/77becc5c2059796c3e4ecb91a1a62624.jpg

What do you need to do with the “clutter” in your life?
How is Jesus helping you with the “clutter” in your life?
Please join with me in prayer:
Dear Lord of Order, We confess that our lives are out of order; we need your help in regaining order.  Enable us to see our living and working spaces with Your eyes, so that we can address the piles of “stuff” that weigh us down.  Likewise, we need Your love, grace, and power to clear away our inner “clutter”, providing the necessary space for You to do Your creative work within us.  Remind us to be loving, caring, and gentle with others who struggle, as well as with ourselves.  In Jesus’ Name, we pray.  Amen.

From My Heart to Yours,

Kim

6 comments:

  1. We can all benefit, Kim, from removing the clutter in our lives that stands in the way of a healthy relationship with the Lord. As Lent approaches, I'm going to sit down and reflect upon anything and everything that I'm allowing to get in the way of a right relationship with Jesus. Thanks, dear friend, for the inspiration today!
    Love and blessings!

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    Replies
    1. Martha, I'm so glad I could provide some inspiration today. Your focus for Lent sounds like a good one. I probably should do something similar. As I wrote this post, I realized that I was truly "preaching" to myself. Nothing like a message that hits close to home, huh?

      Love and blessings!

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  2. Hi Kim! Your first image really hit home with me. Clutter is anything that blocks me from living the life I want to live. That's a powerful statement, and I really connect with it. My home may be a little cluttered, but really, it's my soul and my life that need attention! What am I including in my life that needs to be 'tossed out'?

    That's a great place to start meditating on my day, and my actions. Thank you for this powerful post. You really hit on something that needs work in my life.
    Bless you,
    Ceil

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ceil! The first quote hit home with me too, as did the quote from Corrie ten Boom. Sometimes I think my outer clutter reflects the clutter on the inside. In the future, I really need to take a look at my inner life--storing up treasures in heaven really should be my focus.

      I'm glad you found this post to be powerful, and that it provided the necessary "push" to work on something in your life that needs attention. It's an answer to a prayer I prayed regarding my blog/this post. Know that I'm working on this too!

      Blessings to you for a meaningful weekend!

      Kim

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  3. Oh Kim, Now you are stepping on my toes! Clutter is one of those things that continues to bug me and bog me down. I come from a long line of clutterers in my family, and I have inherited a lot of clutter from them.Thankfully, most of my clutter is just that...stuff..."treasures" from people I love and gifts...but not so much the clutter of things that bind me. I would love to "clean house" and live more simply, but that is going to take time and energy and is not high on my priority list right now. I'm just learning to not allow the clutter to keep me from being what God wants me to be...but to actually allow the things He's provided to be a way to minister to others. We'll see how that goes...that could just be wishful thinking on my part. Something to ponder in this new year. Thank you for your inspiring words to help me focus on what is most important. God bless you dear friend.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Pam, Before I stepped on your toes; I stepped on mine! I understand you struggles with clutter. Like you, I come from a long line of clutters (or is it pack-rats?); thankfully, I've already gone through most of (if not all) the "stuff" left behind by family members who have passed away. Now it's just my clutter!

      I'm glad to have shared some inspiring words to help you focus on what is most important.

      God bless you, too, dear friend.

      Delete

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