Posted in Spiritual Growth

Clean Up – Inside and Out

I am one of those people who doesn’t like a lot of clutter around me.  Though I’m not perfect at it, I try my best to not let things pile up to the point they become overwhelming just to look at.  Dirty laundry goes into the hamper, clean laundry gets folded and put away, dirty dishes get rinsed and put into the dishwasher, and so forth.

Several months ago, the Lord told me to clean out and clean up.  I knew He didn’t mean “clean the house” in the general sense of that phrase.  He meant for me to dig out all the stuff I had been toting around in boxes for years.  The stuff I had been hanging on to. So one day, I pulled all those neatly stacked boxes out of the closet in the spare bedroom.  What was inside, however, was not so neatly organized.  I just threw stuff in there over the years thinking “I’ll get to it later”. One by one, I went through them.  I had photos scattered throughout most all of them I think, instead having all my photos in one box.  I still had stuff from when I was a teenager because it meant something to me at the time.  I had a lot of stuff I collected and kept from my Mom’s house after she passed, most of which was just because it was Mom’s.  Most of it didn’t really have any value, sentimental or otherwise.  It all was a jumbled mess.

The Lord had me do this because I needed to learn to let go of things.  And there were many things that I thought, “Why did I keep that?! What was I thinking?”  Those were easy enough to trash.  But I also found there were many things I kept because of a past memory that needed to go. It wasn’t about the thing, it was about what was attached to it.  I didn’t think to count how many boxes I started with, but I am down to 9.  Some of those remaining have things that I can and will sell.  But the Lord wasn’t finished with that just yet.

The past month or so, Jesus has been working on the closet in my heart.  I had gotten myself, or rather allowed myself, to get in a funk.  I felt like I was just stuck in the mud and couldn’t get myself out.  The worst of it all was that I lost my joy.  I don’t know if one could even call it a prayer, but I just said, “Lord help me with this. I feel like a mess inside.”  He did just that.  Little by little, in various ways.  Some of it was through grabbing a pen and paper and just writing out the stuff that kept popping up in my thoughts.  Some of His help came through some of the programs I watched on BVOVN.  There were two programs in particular that Jesus really got through to me with.  One, was an episode from “Your World With Creflo” titled Abandonment Anxiety. And the other one was (I believe the 2nd episode) of the new Kellie & Jerri Show titled Happy To Be Me.

After watching these shows, I said, “Okay Lord, I yield myself to You. Peel back the layers and shine Your light on those hidden things lurking in my heart that I don’t know.”  And just wow!  Layer after layer, the Lord has been revealing some stuff in me that I had no idea was in there.  But with every layer revealed, so much of what I’ve gone through in my life (most of which was self-inflicted), now makes sense to me.  And so much of it was just lies from the enemy….a.k.a trash!  Not worth keeping!

I thought it was going to be an uncomfortable process, but it went better than I thought it would.  I got rid of much of the hidden clutter in my closet.  I also got rid of some of the hidden clutter lurking inside of me that I really wasn’t aware of.  My natural closet in the spare bedroom was a reflection of my inner, spiritual closet.  All nice and neat on the outside, but a jumbled mess on the inside.  I needed Jesus to help me tackle both closets and set me free from the junk hiding inside.  I needed cleaning up, both inside and out.

I pray this helped you in some way today.  And always remember that God’s love will change your life for the better! Believe in His love! He’s not out to get you, He wants to heal you and set you free!

 

Posted in Love

A New Foundation Built On Love, In Love

The devil had attacked me in my thoughts and emotions rather fiercely in recent months, and it had become so loud in me that I wasn’t sure what to do.  When it was over, I felt as though I was buried in a pile of rubble wondering what happened.  Afterwards, I started sliding down that slope of depression. I was so angry with myself. I started telling myself what a failure I was (again) and a bunch of other not-so-nice things.  I just felt stuck, I lost my joy and my peace. Every morning I woke up with a heavy gloom over me.  I didn’t want to pray or pick up my Bible, and I didn’t really want to talk to the Lord about it all, either, because I was afraid I would get sternly rebuked for whatever had happened with me (I thought it was all my fault). I finally managed to squeak out a prayer of sorts and asked the Lord to help me.  Though I didn’t hear a response inside right away, I believed that He would do it.

I have always been rather hard on myself when I make a mistake, or don’t get something quite right. I had been improving over the years, but lately I have been finding myself starting back down that old and familiar road.  First thing I heard was that I needed to start over.  I felt in my spirit that what He meant was I needed to start over with a solid foundation.  The one I had started when I first got born again wasn’t built with much faith.  And I certainly didn’t have a true revelation of His love for me.  I believed it in my head, but I didn’t really know it in my heart. When I first got saved, I was immediately hungry for the Word.  I just began devouring it like a starving person.  There wasn’t any rhyme or reason to my immersion….just feed me! A better way to say it would be that I didn’t have any structure to my time in the Word.  Yes, it was changing and helping me, but I just kept doing things that way for some years.  I would read my Bible, out loud even so I would also being hearing, but I never focused on choosing a topic such as love or faith, and then study and learn more about it in depth.  This is part of why the devil was rather successful in his attack and my not knowing what to do.  All of this revealed that my foundation wasn’t so stable.

Little by little, though, the Lord started showing me different things about myself, a lot of which I heard while listening to teaching through various ministries.  One thing after another began to click.  One day a couple of weeks ago, I heard someone sharing their own story about how they had come to a place similar in their own life.  The person said to just lay all the pieces down at the feet of Jesus, and to let Him start peeling back the layers and pull out the junk.  And so I did that, and He’s been doing that.  As He has cleared the rubble away, He’s shown me that I didn’t have a correct view of love and that I didn’t really know what true love is.  Part of this was because I didn’t have the best example of a loving relationship growing up.  Yes, I had a stable home with both parents who stayed married until they died, no abuse or anything like that.  However, it was a rather rigid environment, with my mom being the more dominating person and my dad rather on the passive side.  There were other things, too, that didn’t lend towards my learning how to have a healthy and loving relationship. I also didn’t know that I could have a relationship with Jesus.  Yes, I knew Him as Savior and Lord, but not as friend, Let alone having Him for my best friend.  After going through this attack, I had forgotten for a bit all the wonderful times I had with Jesus getting to know Him more and learning how to let Him inside of me. The devil tried to make me believe that I was so wrong about all of it.

But Jesus!  He is so awesome and amazing!  He told me that He was not mad at me, for starters.  He also said this, “Don’t block Me out! I love you and I so love and enjoy our time together! Yes, even when you’ve had a bad day or struggle to find joy. I told you I accept all of you, bad habits, faults and all. That means I also want to be with you and spend time with you, bad habits, faults and all. Don’t let ANYTHING keep you from coming to Me! Not even your poor self-image! Try Me….yes really. That’s religious performance when you act like you have to be all prayed up, spend hours in My Word and doing everything just right in order to come spend time with Me.  Our relationship, fellowship, companionship, our being one together, is what means most to Me. That is what you were created for.  You were created for fellowship and companionship with Me.  All else is secondary. Yes, I have things I want you to do and accomplish for Me, but not at the expense of our relationship, our time together. Always remember that!”  Thank You Jesus!!!!!  I just sense in my heart that this word isn’t just for me.  It is for anyone who will believe and receive it.  Amen!

I feel so light and free! It’s amazing!  And now Jesus has given me several tools in this process to help me dig down and build a new, solid foundation.  A foundation built on His love, knowing His love, and believing with my heart, as 1 John 4:8 says, that He IS Love!