“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17 (NIV)
I’m not sure what it is about the beginning of a new season, but it turns me into a Deep Cleanin’ Diva. I enter into a borderline unhealthy tidying-up overdrive. No material possession or clutter-collecting corner is safe from my wrath.
Confession: this may be due in part to the fact that for the remainder of the year I am less than energized about cleaning of any sort…
This past week, our church announced a clothing and canned good drive to collect items for several ministries in town. Happy to channel my obsessive compulsive cleaning efforts towards a worthy cause, my kiddos and I spent most of the weekend “primping” the pantry.
While plodding along on our little “possession purge,” we unearthed several questionable cans of cream of mushroom soup that I can only assume were inherited from our ancestors several generations ago…
The purging of expired products and unnecessary clutter spurred reflection in my heart. By clearing out, we visualized the endless list of blessings that God had poured in to our lives all year long. The food. The clothing. The safety of our home. The comfy beds to sleep in at night. The list goes on and on.
And who can forget those intangible blessings He offers us, too? His love, salvation, protection, forgiveness, grace…God is so good, friends.
A wave of gratitude hit me like a ton of bricks. We are so undeserving, yet our Father provides in ways we take for granted each day. By giving up what He has so graciously gifted to us as a service to others, we are honoring and continuing the depth of His mighty blessings.
This clothing and food drive took on a whole new meaning for all of us. Instead of simply offering some of what we have to someone in need out of good will, we wanted to do so as a means of thanking the Provider himself.
Then, a “God-thing” occurred. I ran across the following quote from Beth Moore: “Whatever God is urging you to clear away cannot begin to be compared to what He ultimately wants to bring you.”
Wow. Powerful stuff. Let’s digest that for a moment…
I immediately started considering the clutter that had formed in my heart. The dust that had settled and was taking up space. Those carnal barriers that had formed between me and my Savior. Things like grudges in old relationships. Late night online shopping excursions. Daily excuses to avoid my quiet time with the Lord.
So I thought to myself, isn’t it intriguing that the only “self-help tidying” we do in our lives is predominantly material. We clean out our closets. We sweep our floors. We get a haircut when we need one. But what do we do about the mess existing in our hearts and souls?
God offers us more than we could ever dream of achieving on our own. More than any human could ever provide us. He offers us a kind of indescribable, unconditional, infallible, over-the-moon kind of love that no movie has ever even come close to depicting. He wants to be our confidant. He wants to be our guide through this crazy thing we call life. He wants to be all that we need. Why is it that we spend so much time on other things when we need to be focusing on HIM?
Once we take the time to clear out all the unnecessary junk that has collected, even in our subconscious, we can once again focus on our intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father: the most important relationship in our lives.
So, today, I am grateful. I am thankful that God not only provided me more blessings than I could ever need or deserve, He has offered me the opportunity to serve Him by sharing those gifts with others. And when we give, it is a meaningful act of gratitude to the Ultimate Giver.
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Discuss: What are the steps to clear away our “Heart Clutter” and serve others as a means of expressing our gratitude to our Savior?
Step One: Identify the areas in your life that are causing a disconnect between you and God. Take the time to make a list of these and tuck it away in your Bible or other private place.
Step Two: Determine to conquer the clutter! Decide within yourself to move away from whatever it is that stands between you and the most intimate, incredible relationship you could ever dream to possess.
Step Three: Humbly approach God for the direction on how to conquer your clutter. Get in the Word and stay there. Wait to hear from Him. Someone once said, “Do not say God is silent when your Bible is closed.” Seek and you shall find. In addition to reading God’s Word, pray often. Ask Him point blank to help you clean up any mess that exists and start fresh.
Step Four: Commit to Change. Much like an apology, if you do not commit to change, the thought does not count. Determine the adjustments that will be required of you to make the necessary shift in your life.
Step Five: Return to your “heart clutter list” often and conduct a status check with yourself. Make sure that you are always striving to serve in direct gratitude to your Savior.
Once we clear the clutter, we will be wholly available to accept God’s provisions, be grateful for His blessings and serve others through His love.
As we look for ways to give and serve others, let us not stop at cleaning out our closets and cupboards. Let’s be intentional about cleaning our hearts, too.
Prayer: God, thank you for your many blessings in my life. I ask that you help me to clear away all the clutter existing in my life so that I may better honor and serve you with everything I am and everything I have.