“. . . in the wee hours of the morning, as I lay reflecting on all that we have accomplished up to this point, I was reminded how utterly cluttered and messed up our lives can get.”
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My wife and I recently made a commitment to change and began organizing our house. The first rooms we concentrated on were our living room and kitchen. We added some large shelves, and got rid of some larger pieces of furniture. In the kitchen, we walled off access to one door, and took our bar and island, which are movable, and switched them – turning them in a different direction. The effects, for us anyway, were immediate. We have more room and more storage without changing much at all.
So of course, in the wee hours of the morning, as I lay reflecting on all that we have accomplished up to this point, I was reminded how utterly cluttered and messed up our lives can get. We have these large things that we try to fit in rooms that are too small, like commitments at work and at home. After school extra-curricular things like sports games and practices consume our nights. And we can’t forget the different kinds of practice and performances outside the realm of local school offerings – like dance and tumbling; or maybe karate.
I’m not going to tell you what to spend your time on, because that is your choice to make. I will just say to you, and myself – have we given God enough of that time that we have allocated for ourselves? That is for another time. No, what I am going to say is that we all need to look at our lives like my wife and I looked at the rooms in our house. We need to ask ourselves what is indeed important and what can be trimmed down or cut out completely.
For the Christian, we must not only look at the external, but the internal. Are we too full of things that do not need to be there? We all can pause and reflect on this. There are things that may be too painful to share with others, or things that we think we need to take on by ourselves. Whatever the case, it is here that we have to face that sometimes painful feeling of conviction, at least to our sinful selves.
Then, after confronting our “demons,” we all need to move the way of repentance. Now, I know I have said it before, but I’ll say it again – repentance is nothing special. We do not have to go find an altar and fall down and weep uncontrollably to prove ourselves to God, or to man. If we all would pay attention to the Bible, God tells us all through the New Testament that it is a “heart” thing.
Sin always comes from the heart, and that is where sin gets dealt with. I have seen, and heard too many people go through all of the outward motions, but it does not stick. The people stay the same. Repentance is nothing more than a change of mind. It’s reorienting ourselves back on God and Jesus. It’s a turning away from whatever in our lives are coming between us and God. That is why Jesus tells the woman caught in adultery to simply, “go and sin no more.”
What does this have to do with rearranging a house? It is simply this. If we would all take a good long look at what we are doing with the time we have been given and the things that we are filling our lives with while we are down here on Earth, we would see things from another perspective and realize we all have things that we need to repent of and change. They might not be big things, but they are things that need changed nonetheless. For some they can be huge addictions that they need help overcoming. That is why we need to be preaching and sharing our experiences that give others hope, and that demonstrate the power of God.
Romans 8:9-11 (NKJV)
9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
If you are a Christian, then you do have the power to overcome, but you have to want to change. You have to pray for that change and ask God for it. If you do that, then He will give you that power to overcome, and also will work out change in your life. But you have to trust God. Trust in His power to change.
Grace & Peace,