I typically blog with my sons thoroughly in mind, knowing that after I’m long gone perhaps my words will provide direction, comfort and counsel for them in a world that’s gone mad. In a way, reading my blog is like looking over my shoulder, to take a peak at what I am trying to impart to them and glean a thing or two in the process. Today is no exception, and I want to write to you about how to clean out the clutter of your life, because if you don’t learn how to do this — and master the practice — the clutter will suffocate you. Jesus said so, and there isn’t a soul on earth smarter than Jesus:
“Still others, like seed down among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth, and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.” — Mark 4:18-19
The context of Jesus’ words is within the famous “Parable of the Sower.” Within, Jesus reveals that there are four kinds of people in life:
- Those who have no interest in God;
- Those who have little interest in God;
- Those who are worried, distracted, and who eventually allow themselves to be devoted to something or someone other than God, and,
- Those who hear God’s word, accept it, and whose lives, empowered by God Himself, accomplish great things in light of eternity.
My sons, you want to be among that fourth group, because that’s the only group that Jesus commends. At the end of the day only God’s opinion matters. Be careful, boys, because if you aren’t, you’ll be swept away by things that really do not matter in light of eternity. You must always remember eternity, because it’s where you’ll spend most of your time. Since you’ve already given your lives to Christ, your eternity with Him has already begun. Now, it’s up to you to stay the course, finish strong, and live daily in the power of the Spirit. To do that, you must deal with the clutter in your life.
LIVE INTENTIONALLY: SWEEP IT AWAY
You must constantly be in the process of sweeping away the things that don’t matter. William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, said, “The tendency of fire is to go out. Therefore, watch the fire on the altar of your heart.” I’ve found this quote to be life-changing. Doesn’t it drip with practicality for you?
From time to time you will need a thorough “clean sweep” of your life, to address and turn from things that could consume you and detract you from being entirely sold out to God. I have also found that a bit of diligence goes a long, long way in preventing the build-up of spiritual “toxins,” those things that choke off love for God. The clutter often is seemingly harmless things, and sometimes even things that are “good.” But I have found that the enemy of God’s “good” is often man’s best.
When God has something good to offer, it really is best. Remember this, or you will allow secondary things in life to distract you from what is possible only through a life entirely surrendered to Christ. No one who truly surrenders to God will ever live to regret it, but there are millions of people who have found out the hard way that resistance to God is futile. No one ever gets ahead by resisting God.
Books, television shows, time spent on a smart device or a computer can all end up cluttering your life, pulling you from what’s best. Before you know it, a large chunk of your life will be over, never to return. Your life will eventually, and thoroughly, reflect your use of time. You will become like the people with whom you spend time, whether in real time or through the things they create (and you embrace) one way or another. The philosophies of other people will rub off on you — the question is whether or not those philosophies are helpful in the achievement of your life objective: to love and enjoy God with increasing momentum. Be careful and attentive, because love for God does not come naturally. It only comes with deliberate cultivation.
Take time each year to specifically clear away the clutter. And get into the habit of doing this every single day of your life. Get rid of things that have been taking your time and energy away from your life objective. Say “no” to the distractions so you can keep the main thing the main thing. The main thing in life is to love and enjoy God above all else. Take this endeavor off the back burner and make it front and center. An increasing majority of people are not interested in this at all these days. You must be on your guard, listen to Jesus, and be among the minority.
WHAT ABOUT YOU? IS THERE CLUTTER YOU NEED TO CLEAN OUT SO THAT YOU CAN LOVE AND ENJOY GOD WITH INCREASING MOMENTUM? HAVE YOU SETTLED SOMETHING LESS THAN GOD’S VERY BEST, AND GIVING HIM YOURS?
ABOUT ME: Most of the lessons I’ve learned in life I’ve learned through failure. I typically publish my blogs Tuesday through Friday, here and on Facebook. We welcome and read comments from readers just like you because they help us (and others) think and grow. Don’t be shy. Chime in.
My first book, published by Thomas Nelson, is slated for release in March 13, 2018. For more about me, click here. If you’d like to request an interview, or to explore the potential of my speaking to your group, click here.