I am the type of person who does not like a mess. Actually that is putting it mildly. I function best when things are orderly and when I am not surrounded by clutter. Disarray can bring on dismay if I let it. But in the past several days since the holidays were over, I have found myself surrounded by (for lack of a better word) one big mess!
In preparation of an upcoming move later this year, I am being forced to begin the purging process. And what a process it is! My husband and I have moved multiple times to various states over the past four decades of our marriage. Each move required that painful messy purging process. It never seems to get easier but it is always necessary. More on this in a minute.
Each year I try to focus on a “word” that I feel should be foundational for me. Going into 2019, I felt like the word that I was to cling to was PURPOSE. Not so much what I wanted my purpose to be but rather what God’s purpose for me would be for the upcoming year.
Romans 8:28 New International Version (NIV)
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Philippians 2:13 New International Version (NIV)
13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
Both of these scriptures remind me that God still has a plan and purpose that continues to unfold in my life. However in order for me to fully embrace that purpose I must be willing to trust him, even when his plan does not make sense to me.
Proverbs 3:5-6 New International Version (NIV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Over the many years as a follower of the Lord, I have learned that faith in God has two parts. Faith will first require belief on my part. But then there is a second step I must take. Faith will always require action on my part through trust. I must choose to trust God’s plan even if I do not fully understand the purpose because I do not see the big picture as he does.
So now back to the purging part I first mentioned. In order for our upcoming move to be as smooth as possible, I must prepare. There are some things that cannot go with us as we move. Some of the things we have in our current location will no longer serve a purpose in our new home.
In order to know what we will take and what we will leave behind, the purging process has to start. Purging is messy but necessary. Closets must be cleaned out. Boxes and bins must be sorted. Decisions must be made on what goes and what is discarded. It takes time, energy and patience!
Moving forward effectively requires the messiness of making unpleasant but necessary decisions. To have order, first, there has to be a measure of disorder which in my book, is no fun at all!
As I have been going through this purging of my home, a thought came to mind. Purging has a spiritual side to it as well.
If we are serious about wanting to move forward in our faith walk and grow spiritually, we must make up our minds to purge what is not beneficial or necessary. We must be willing and ready to let go of some things that we have been keeping boxed up in our spiritual closets.
Look at Paul’s exhortation in the book of Hebrews.
Hebrews 12:1 New International Version (NIV)
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
We must understand that even though God does not change, he is always changing us. Change requires faith to allow God to do what is necessary to help us move forward into the next great thing he has for our lives. But he will not force that change. The choice is ours.
So now I ask you to ponder a few questions.
What ‘stuff’ is God asking you to let go of in order to move forward in his purpose?
What things have you boxed up and carried with you for far too long?
Are you willing to clean out those spiritual closets and get rid of things which hinder your faith walk?
Fear, anger, unforgiveness, anxiety, doubt, regret, shame, disappointment, rejection, bitterness…the list can be quite endless.
Here is another one to think on. What about those unhealthy relationships? Whoa! Now there’s a whole new message on that topic but we won’t go there today! I did write a blog post awhile back on letting go of those crippling relationships if you would like to read it.
I will say this. There are some people in your life that are not willing to walk with you. There are some people in your life that God does not intend for you to journey with. There are some people in your life that present a hindrance rather than a help in your faith walk. Words to ponder over for now.
Jeremiah 29:11 Living Bible (TLB)
11 For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Yes my friends, God always has a beautiful plan of hope for our lives. But it is up to each of us to allow him to work in us in order for him to fulfill that purpose.
I am ready to move forward into all that God has planned for me this year. Are you ready to do the same? Are you ready for God to fulfill his purpose for your life in a fresh new way? If so then it is time to take inventory. Start the purging process. Let go of the things that are holding you back. You cannot undo the past but you can walk with confidence into the future. God is always ready to do a new thing in our lives.
Yes I know it will be messy for awhile but in the end it will be worth it!
Isaiah 43:19 New International Version (NIV)
19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
PS: If you are ready to move forward would you leave a comment below? Simply say, “moving forward!” I am here to encourage you through prayer!
You are invited to see more sister sharing from this series (if you missed it) by going here >>Happy New Year, 2019, from Telling Hearts; introducing the January Series