Monday, October 22, 2012

The Hesitant Hoarding Heart

If you've ever been to my house you wouldn't consider it suitable for an episode of Hoarders.  However, if you were to look into my heart you'd find hurt piled high and that selfishness and disobedience are scattered wall to wall.  The fact of the matter is that God's been trying to clean house, but I'm hoarding.  Why?  Why would anyone want to hoard hurt, selfishness or disobedient practices?  Just as homes suffer from hoarding practices, my physical and spiritual health suffer when I hoard.  As David wrote in Psalm 31:10:

I am dying from grief;
    my years are shortened by sadness.
Sin has drained my strength;
    I am wasting away from within.

Yet, unlike many hoarders I finally chose to face this issue and I yearned for a remedy. So... I began to converse with my Creator:

Me: Lately, I've been hesitate to pray.
The Spirit: Why?
Me: Because I'm afraid of what God will tell me or ask of me...
The Spirit: He has already directed you. Why are you afraid?
Me: ....
The Spirit: It is because you don't believe His words...
Me: ....
The Spirit: Why don't you believe His word?
The Spirit: It is because you don't trust Him...

Bam. Owned.  The Spirit just laid a heavenly smack-down.

What I realized through prayer is that what I chose to hold onto---emotions I chose to hoard---created a false sense of control.  This need to control was deeply rooted in a lack of trust.  Not trusting God is an unhappy and unsettling place to be.  Never sure of anything, and that is the opposite of faith.  Trusting is done in actions, not just words and it is a mindset.  Unfortunately, I had allowed myself to believe that there was a point to keeping  some sort of connection to these situations, albeit the connection was a devastating emotion.  Or that I even deserved to suffer from such distressing thoughts.  Yet, God stays true to his promise to "never let us be snatched from his hands" (reference John 10:28).   He has called me in so many ways to let it go and to move forward.  He has been steady in this cleaning process, and now I am a little more determined to assist Him. Scared? Yes, but still determined :)

While I don't advocate home hoarding, neither do I advocate heart hoarding.  Whatever is not being put to good use, or whatever is taking up room and needs to be replaced don't hesitate---let your heart be cleansed.  

"So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you...
But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language...
Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him."
Colossians 3:5, 8 & 10 (NLT)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Voice

I have to admit that I just discovered this show a month ago and thanks to Blake Shelton's warm southern drawl (I HEART accents!) and the talent, I am a fan.  But this post isn't about the show The Voice.  No, I'm talking (or typing) about the one(s) that whisper advice to you.  Yes I made the word "one" plural, read on and you'll understand why... 

Today I read a spritiual devotion entitled "Do you believe God or  Satan?"  This is something I definitely struggle with.  It's not that I intentionally trust Satan over God, but it's a matter of determining which voice I'm hearing is truth.  Like any other serious Christian, I want to be sure that I am trusting and following after God's directions and not being deceived and following another direction.
Well I'm finding that Satan's voice always echoes discouragement, fear, doubt, feelings of hopelessness and moreover, mental.bouts.of.torture.  You see, if he can get you to think of the same hurt, guilt, and regret over and over again he's tearing you apart spiritually and enjoying every minute of it.  But God led me to remember what the  Bible says about Satan:

  • "he accuses us day and night" (based no Revelation 12:10)
  • "...your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8)
  • "the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy..." (John 10:10)
  • "...for he is a liar and the father of lies"  (John 8:44)

I can honestly say that Satan has truly shown these many facets of himself in my life.  So why am I still tripped up by him?  To be honest, I don't stay prayed up as much as  I should.  In fact for a while there Satan had me so discouraged from praying when he knew all along it was what was needed to set me free from his mental grasp! But thank God for His Word and His promises to never let us be snatched from His hands.  My Savior reminded me that I must constantly be on my gaurd.  More specifically, I must put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:11), keep God's word locked in my heart (Psalm 119:11), and on my lips (Proverbs 22:18).  

So daily I am trying. Trying to listen to that one true voice.  Which voice are you listening to?  Remember, God's directions ALWAYS line up with what is in the Bible.  So look for confirmation there if you are feeling confused or uncertain..BUT remember God is not the author of confusion, so the enemy may be at work to slow you down and turn you away from God's will in your life.  

So while Christina, Blake, Adam and Cee-Lo are out looking for voices, we have plenty to choose from.  Choose the one that speaks life.  Remember Jesus' words:  "My sheep listen to my voice.  I know them, and they follow me"  John 10:27