Not only does the New Year afford us motivation time to get our bodies in shape, but some people also use it to start purging their homes of excess “stuff”. One of my daughter’s goals for the past few years with her friends is to get rid of 2019 unwanted or unnecessary things in her home. These items can be pieces of paper, out-grown children’s clothes or toys that the children have lost interest in. I admire them–not sure I have the patience to monitor the count of such an undertaking!
Bu this morning, the Lord reminded me of the need to do emotional and spiritual purging as well. Do we carry around in our hearts unneeded concerns that He asks us to release? Are we carrying around wrong attitudes about ourselves or others that crept in during difficult situations? Doing an inventory of our souls is not only helpful, but necessary.
Create in me a clean heart O God and renew a right spirit within me. This verse from Psalm 51:10, is a place to begin. Ask Him to sort through the recesses of your heart where un-forgiveness, disappointments or any roots of bitterness may be hiding. We do not have to fear His examines, because He already knows what’s there. Repentance is not a “bad” thing, it is a good thing. The more specific we can be about the situation, the clearer and cleaner we will feel.
We also need to examine our hearts and get rid of any fears that may have attached themselves along our life’s way. Recently, He showed me I was starting to “FEAR” getting older. The lies that were beginning to sound like truths to me were starting to take root. I renounced those thoughts and switched my mind to determining I wanted to walk into my more senior years like Caleb or Moses! Some health issues were part of the lies, but also had to admit the uncertainty that came from walking with my husband’s unexpected stroke event fueled some of the anxiety. I had to admit to the Lord that truth, and ask Him to bring more restoration to that area.
We also need to examine unnecessary burdens or concerns that may fill our souls. Concerns that we may need to pray and release back to Him. I wonder how hard it was for Abraham to watch Hagar and Ishmael walk off into the wilderness–trusting them to God’s promise? There is no indication that he saw Ishmael again. God told him to listen to Sarah and do her bidding on the situation. Not easy, I am sure. There are circumstances where we must believe and trust in our prayers because that is all we can do. Casting our burdens on the Lord, and remembering that He not only cares for you, but for the people involved makes it easier to release them into His care.
My mom always told us to “clean as you go” when we were cooking. To wash a pot when you finished with it as soon as possible. It made for smoother and easier clean up after the meal. She urged us to have a sink of warm soapy water available to at least start soaking the pan if we were to busy to wash it immediately. I believe that pattern does well with dealing with our soul issues as well. Bringing them to the Lord quickly helps prevent a longer restoration time in many cases. Simply crying, Help me Lord is a great place to begin!
Sometimes we need to include others in our purging sessions. Close safe people may have the clear eyes to see areas where we might have grown blind. If this seems overwhelming to you, ask the Lord for wisdom on who to ask for help. We need each other.
Father, teach us to walk in faith and show us how to release our cares and concerns to you in an more effective manner. Help us to rely on your truth and trust your love as you bring us into your freedoms that releasing our sins and our burdens brings about.