June 28, 2007

Cleaning house...


Today I watched the Session 1 video for the Living Beyond Yourself Bible study, and I spent some time in prayer, and I drew some pictures to remind me of what Beth's key points were.  And then I walked through the dumping ground or dungeon of my house on my way to my husband's computer where I scan in my pictures.  I saw a little more floor space, a little less clutter than was there a few days ago, and it felt good to know I've made some progress in decluttering this mammoth area that recently doubled as my morning obstacle course.  Then I realized that God was teaching me to do the same thing spiritually...Wow!

Holding on to what's in my basement instead of just getting rid of it when my family's done with it...well, that's like holding on to my sins...not bringing them before the Lord to receive forgiveness.  And holding onto boxes of stuff that other people have given us but we haven't used in the years they've sat in the basement...that's kind of like claiming someone else's sin as my own.  As I sort through the boxes, keeping things that are of use and placing them where they belong, and tossing the enormous amount of garbage, and giving away things that are useful, just not for us...that is like examining my life through God's eyes, allowing Him to help me see where I need to change, what I need to set aside because it has no place in the life of a child of God (selfishness, pride, fear....).  Of course if I don't actually accept His forgiveness for the wrong attitudes and the sin in my life, it does no good...just as if I just move all the stuff from my basement to another room, it will make my house no better.    Even the garage isn't the most suitable place...after all, my kids started emptying one of the boxes I had set in there that needed to be donated to charity!  I just have to get these things out for good!

Eventually, I will need to let go of a lot more of the junk down here, even those I think I may need someday.  Those represent the concerns I have in life that I need to give over to God.  I need to bare my soul to Him, just as this basement area will need to be emptied out.  My husband and I have dreams of finishing the basement, of perhaps having a home theater in it someday.  An exercise room would be nice...or maybe another bedroom, as we're quickly running out of space upstairs!   A section of this basement area is already trying (quite unsuccessfully) to be his office.  A lot of stuff just has to go!

So after I clean out the basement, we had better do something with it fast, or it will once again become a dumping ground for our old stuff.  In the same way, I need God to fill me with His Spirit so that I don't once more become a stronghold of fear, selfishness, pride... 

If I allow God to transform me by His Spirit, I will become a competent minister of that Spirit.  I will bless others!  God will use me to fulfill the purpose for which He designed me.  And as my basement is transformed through having walls and a ceiling, perhaps some tile or carpet on the floor, it will be able to fulfill a good purpose as well.  The room that is stubbed for a bathroom will be able to serve it's purpose far better without boxes of Christmas ornaments, seasonal decorations, and camping gear stashed in it.  My husband's "office" will be far more useful if it becomes well-lit, and boxes of old cords, software, keyboards, and monitors are removed...if real walls replace the cardboard boxes that he has leaned against the wooden beams. 

Lord, thank you for the lessons you're teaching me about cleaning out my house and cleaning out my soul.  Help me to remember to come before You daily to confess my sins and lay out my concerns before You.  Help me to acknowledge and accept Your forgiveness and purification, and to be constantly filled with the Spirit instead of trying to fill my life and my body with the things that do not satisfy.  As You transform me, make me a blessing to others, and help me to fulfill Your purpose in my life.  Amen.

Posted by jennbeck at June 28, 2007 07:20 AM