“You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also,” (Matthew 23:26 NASB).
It is easy for me to go on a cleaning spree, furiously decluttering my home, especially at certain times of the year—such as the end of a school year!
I have found that many times when I feel the urge to clean house in the physical, God is trying to deal with me about something. I begin to declutter physically when I should be doing it mentally or spiritually.
“God nowhere tells us to give up things for the sake of giving them up. He tells us to give them up for the sake of the only thing worth having...life with Himself.” ~Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
Mentally, I always have too much going on in my head. It is hard for me to remember things these days, and I sometimes joke that it is old age creeping up on me. I think, however, that my forgetting things I want to remember is caused by remembering things that I should forget!
I need to pause to let God take away all the mental clutter—all the thoughts about things to do, bills to pay, places to go, tasks to accomplish— because they often overwhelm any quiet time I attempt to have with the Lord. I have found that, in most cases, thoughts are larger than reality. To cope, I make a list. Writing everything down on a piece of paper helps me to get some control over the chaos in my head, and helps to calm the fear of forgetting something.
Spiritually, I suffered for a long time from clutter caused by guilt and unforgiveness--mostly toward myself. I have learned to let go of painful things that have happened to me, and the unforgiveness issue is gone. Praise God! But while it was front and center in my life, it truly cluttered my relationship with God. I felt that I could not get through to Him because I was buried in the idea of being unworthy.
One thing that helped me was doing something tangible to show my release of forgiveness. Again, I made a list! I wrote down all of things that had offended me, people who had hurt me, etc. I prayed over the list, speaking forgiveness over everything and everyone on the list. Then, I burned it. I know that forgiveness and freedom were mine without doing that, but I’m a visual person and this step helped me immensely.
What about you? Is there an area that God wants you to spiritually declutter? Pray and ask Him to show you, and then make a list. Nothing feels better than being clean before Him.