Clearing Out the Clutter

As most of our church family knows, we are in the process of moving. After over four months of serving here as pastor, we are finally moving to the community. I must say, my wife and I are very excited to soon be living in the community to which God has called us to minister. A 45 minute drive to and from church has made things a bit challenging to say the least.
But as excited as we are, we are also dreading the next two weeks. We have lived in our current house for almost 22 years. It is by far the longest amount of time we’ve ever lived in one place. The result of which is an accumulation of lots and lots of ….. junk! I don’t mean to sound harsh but let’s face it, after 22 years, there is a lot of stuff that ends up in a closet or the basement and before you know it, those treasured possessions become nothing more than junk that we don’t even think about anymore. As we’ve gone through this stuff, it has dawned on me that we just have too much that we don’t need, want or even remember owning. Of course, since I’m a pastor, I immediately saw some analogies that also applies to my spiritual life. Let me explain.
 
As the years go by in life, if we’re not careful, we can allow junk to enter our minds and hearts and find an empty closet to rest in. Some of these things aren’t bad in and of themselves, but they clutter our lives and keep us from being passionate toward God. If left unchecked, these things can handcuff us and even cause damage to our lives. Often, bitterness, resentment, unresolved anger, impure thoughts and just plain bad attitudes can sit there and fester and really create havoc, and in many cases, we don’t even realize it! Has this happened to you? Well, allow me to illustrate. You’re going through your day at work, taking care of your job, not being bothered by anything on the surface, and then out of nowhere, someone says something innocently that just makes your blood boil. You think, where did THAT come from? You had no idea there was this smoldering rage inside you. Can I suggest you spend some time cleaning house? Get alone with your Bible and the Holy Spirit and allow Him to begin packing up and moving those “boxes” out of your life. It may take some time, and it may be painful at first, but if you will keep at it, God will begin to move out the junk and move in His Fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. (Galatians 5:22-23) You’ll be amazed at the difference it will make in your relationship with God and with others around you. I’ve had to do this often in my life and moving has reminded me of how important it is to keep up with.
 
In closing, let me encourage you to do some “moving” of your own. Take an honest look inside your heart and mind and see if God shows you things that need attention. Don’t put it off. The longer you wait, the harder it will be. Trust me, this move has been painful in many ways, both on my back and on my emotions. I’ll be thankful when it’s all over and we’re settled in our new home. And maybe I’ll remember to keep my inner self uncluttered as well. You’d be wise to do the same!
 
God’s blessings,
Pastor Jim

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