Last week, I shared about how I retooled my “junk/project” room into a creativity space. Purging stuff from our homes can become addictive. The physical work of being intentional and clearing things out is freeing. It got me thinking . . . what about when our heart clings to things? What kind of stuff has cluttered up that internal space?
It’s one thing to purge in our homes. It’s another to purge within ourselves. How do we clean out the crowded spaces inside?
I’m going to get a little nosy today. I’ll ask for forgiveness in advance. And, if I hit a nerve, stop and ask God to show you what He wants you to see inside you.
Please believe that I am asking myself these same questions. I’m the last one to point fingers at these tender issues we each deal with.
3 Things Our Hearts Cling To:
How many of us run around all day long, doing things, making appointments, shuttling kids from one activity to the next, and filling every spare moment of our time?
If this is a tendency you have, ask God to show you what drives you to do this. If you’re really brave, ask Him to strip away any excuses you’re using to justify this pattern in your life. What need are you trying to fill by staying so busy?
Not that having a full schedule is a bad thing. It’s just that if we stay overly busy for too long, we burn out and become worn down.
When we don’t have white space in our days, the noise of too much activity makes us deaf to the Lord’s promptings and to hearing the words and directions He is trying to share with us.
When we’re too busy to engage with Him, we run on our own strength and we will wear out. It’s not an “If”, but a “When.” It will happen.
Psalm 90:12—“So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
When we are intentional about how we spend our days, we gain wisdom.
FORGIVENESS (or not)
What stuff in our hearts have we held onto that we no longer need?
Are we clinging to unforgiveness like some sort of lifeline? Do we justify certain words and actions because we’ve held onto a past offense?
Let’s get honest. Unforgiveness only leads to bitterness. And bitterness leads to all kinds of destruction . . . physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
What about wounds that have been pricked, scratched and bruised over the years? I’m working my way through some of my own wounds.
Maybe it’s time to hand these to God and let His healing begin within us.
It takes humility to admit to God we haven’t trusted Him with these wounds. Either we’ve doubted He could heal, or we’ve been afraid that He would do so in a way we didn’t want.
How many of us have been hindered from doing something because we were afraid? Do you see me raising my hand? Fear has held me captive for too long.
Fear of rejection.
Fear that I wasn’t good enough.
Fear that I wouldn’t be able to do that thing I desperately wanted to do.
Someone defined fear as:
When we filter our decisions through fear, it clutters our minds with lies and half-truths. It films our eyes in a way that whispers we can’t do it. Fear deceives us into thinking doing “that thing” is all on our shoulders.
We forget that God gives us dreams, callings, responsibilities. But, He also enables us to fulfill them, when we walk with Him.
And just like when waves crash on rocks and dissipate, our fear will evaporate when we think on God’s truth.
Cling to this truth. God has given us power. He has given us love. And He has given us a sound mind. A sound mind is not clouded by fear. It is solid in its beliefs and about Who empowers us.
We need to trade in fear for trusting God.
There may be more things occupying the shelves of our internal closets, so let’s consider those next week.
What about you? What questions about purging physical spaces do you have? What Bible verses help you keep fear in check?
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“When we’re too busy to engage with Him, we run on our own strength and we will wear out. It’s not an “If”, but a “When.” It will happen”. Yup. I’ve been there and now working on not clinging too much to my schedules – still a work in progress. There’s so much truth in this post Jeanne. I’ve shared it! Blessings x
Wemi, I’ve been there too. I’ve had to learn to say no to things and to open up flexibility in my days so that I can be more attuned to His promptings and His words. I’m glad you found some good in this post!
I have undergone two major downsizings in 2+ years — I believe, in that process, my heart decluttered a lot of old stuff. A good exercise!
You’re right, Susan! Heart-decluttering is a great exercise! Thanks so much for visiting!
In different seasons of life, I’ve had heart clutter, purged, then filled the space again! Maybe with different stuff but for the same reason–looking for validation and meaning outside of God. I think the driving inaccurate message is ‘not enough.’ A thought provoking post today!
Lynn, as in our homes, our hearts seem to gather stuff to fill the spaces, don’t they? I have had to bring my craving for validation to the Lord too (this week, in fact). It’s a humbling thing. But when we lean into His truth, that inaccurate message is erased. Now to keep leaning hard into Jesus . . .
Heart decluttering is the real deal. It’s one thing to work on ridding ourselves of physical clutter but when you talk about the heart, that takes it to another level. Your thoughts about fear hit home. That is the area that I need to work on letting go so God can take care of it. Thanks for a great post.
Mary, fear seems to be a “biggie” with a lot of us. This is an area I have to keep coming back to the Lord with, I have to keep asking for His truth to replace fear’s lies, and I have to keep trusting God in the middle of the purging and dealing with it. I’m so thankful our Father is bigger than anything that can cause us to fear, and that He can (and will) take care of it.
Oh Jeanne … I drag my feet when it comes to starting on a home-purging project, but nowhere near as much as when I sense it’s time to do some internal purging. God’s working with me (and within me) regarding the fear issue this year … and as usual, His timing is perfect. Hugs, friend.
Lois, that internal purging can be scary and humbling. But I’ve gotta say, when God’s done the work, feel so much better. Fear has definitely been a recurring issue for me too. I have to keep coming back to the Lord with it. Hugs right back!
I’ve definitely had to deal with all of these at times, but fear is the one that is the biggest ongoing struggle. One of my favourite verses is Isaiah 41:10.
Lesley, I think fear is the biggest of these three areas of “heart clutter” for me too. I love Isaiah 41:10! Thanks for sharing it!
Wonderful questions, Jeanne! Thank you for helping each of us to take a look inside. The schedule, I’ve learned to let go of since I retired. I was used to every part of my day filled with business – first with 3 boys to raise plus teaching full time, then by accepting additional responsibilities at school.
Forgiveness, I’ve always been pretty good at. I was never one to hold a grudge.
But the fear…Oh, how I have learned during this pandemic that I hold on to fear with a grip so tight, God has to pry my fingers away. I use the same verse you have featured here from 2 Timothy to remind myself that a fearful life is not the one God has chosen for us.
My heart has clung to so many things, feelings, and events that I lose track of them all. I clung to guilt for way to long and fear was also a constant companion of mine. The scripture you quoted about the source of fear has really helped me. If God doesn’t give us a spirit of fear, then who does? Clearly it’s the enemy and he is the master of all lies. One of the red flags I would get along with fear is a huge dose of anxiety. I had a series of questions that I’d ask myself (and still do) when anxious/fearful thoughts arise: 1. Is this thought making me anxious? 2. Is this thought condemning or making me fearful? 3. Does this thought line up with what I know to be true from scripture? If the answers were: Yes, Yes, and No, then I knew it was a lie from the enemy and that was my sign that I needed to toss the enemy and his lie to the curb and embrace what I knew to be true. This took years to be able to really break my struggle with anxiety, fear, and guilt or condemnation. It truly is a battle to let go of the things we are apt to cling to. Great reminders here!
Bev, I so appreciate the wisdom you’ve shared and the questions you ask when you feel fearful or anxious. What a great way to redirect our thoughts and hearts back to the truth of God’s word. And you’re right. It’s a battle, an intentional choosing time and again, to let go of things we tend to cling to. Thanks for stopping by!
Amen to this. I remember once being so afraid to let go of a grudge because I thought “it” might happen again, but letting go freed ME.
Yes and amen, Jessica. It’s when we let go of grudges or unforgiveness that we find freedom. I’ve foun this same thing in my own life.
I always tried to keep real busy
so I would not have to think,
but this hamster-wheeling tizzy
simply brought me to the brink
of heart’s final scary precipice
where I faced the awful sight
of the long-held grudge abyss,
and fear’s self-given might.
As I stood there, knees a-shaking,
I felt Arms encircle me,
and in this forced contemplation
I knew that I had to be
trustful of the One behind,
who held me close, and healed my mind.
Andrew, this poem . . . thank you for “penning” your words. I so appreciate the reminder that our Father loves us, even when we’ve held onto things in our hearts, that His grace is always available to us. and thank goodness He heals our mind.
I’m praying for you and Barb, my friend.
I’ve pretty much got the forgiveness one, most of the people that hurt me are no longer alive, and I think I’ve got the busy-ness one, or will soon have it as my body slows down with age and I can’t Do Stuff. Fear is a constant battle right now, so I need to constantly ask God to take that. Thanks Jeanne. good post.
Good call to risk being “nosy” for the good of our hearts. I know for sure that I have work to do.
Thanks, Michele. Sometimes being nosy IS risky. I have work to do too . . . thanks for stopping by.
Fear is one I keep coming back to also, Kathy. I’m saying prayers for you today!