21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. James 1:21
It is just amazing and spot on how God can be in His timing. I am blown away by being able to get to this part of the journey and God is still striking at the heart of the matter. In order for anything to be put in, something has to be taken out. There is only a certain amount of space that we have to work with and God is trying to do the best thing possible by helping us to spring clean. I really believe that is why Easter is set in the Spring. I believe that it gives us an opportunity to understand what it means being dead to life and alive with Christ. I know that I am a hoarder. I really don't know why but I am. And I realize that I carry a lot of physical baggage with me every time God moves us. I know that there are boxes that we thought were so valuable and now it has been three years and we have not opened them at all. I know that I carry all of my student ministry books and binders every where I go because they are a part of my story and journey in ministry with God. But one thing I fail to realize is that God was using that for that season of my life and even though the baggage is valuable, some times we still have to make space for God to be able to truly grow us even more.
So that is where I want to start our discussion today. Are there good things in our lives that we may need to let go of for God to do even more? I know that sounds funny, but that is
something I have been really fighting with for over a year. Are there things in our lives that really have been great things that produced fruit, but God is showing us that it is ok to let them go in order for God to do even more. We all hold on to the good things of the past and present, but maybe there are greater things in store for us if we truly let God expand our minds again. Maybe we can still stay where we are and be happy, but God has something prepared for us to do immeasurably more. I know that is a crazy type concept, but the truth is that God really is trying to do the best for us but we have to be willing to let go and let God take the lead. This really is a difficult concept for anyone to truly grasp. But I know that there is always a reason for God to direct our paths to a point where we have to do some spiritual spring cleaning if we truly want to grow in the fullness of God.
So today we are stepping into the life lessons of James. Reading today's scripture, it should not be so crazy of a thought of letting go of the things of this world, moral filth, in order that God may bless our lives. If you have read James, you will see that he was just finishing his lesson on trials, tribulation and perseverance and challenging us to not just listen to God's Word, but to apply it in our lives. James is saying that you cannot really think that you can grow out of these trials if you are not willing to take the time needed to get rid of the things that are stunting our growth. As I think about this, I continue to imagine Jesus as one who is ready to take this broken down home, gut it out and restore it to its fullest potential. There really are days that I can see Jesus just walking through my life and saying, "We need to tear down this wall. We need to give more support here, and when we are finished, what an amazing view it will be." I just continue to be blown away by the reality of God pushing us to be restored to our fullness in Christ. We are going to face trials and tribulations, but the main goal is to continue to restore our walls with the foundations of God's Word. In humility we have to admit that we have a sin hoarding problem and let loose of our grip so God can take control.
So our challenge today is to continue to seek and search for the things that we need to get out of our lives. Today, we need to really start that washing out so that we can really experience the fullness of God's restoration power. And please understand that this could be for children, it can be for youth, adults, and seniors. This can be for Christians and non-Christians. This is a test to our hearts humility to realize the goodness that we are missing out on because we won't get rid of the things in our lives that are causing us to stumble and fall. There is no limit to what God wants to do in and through us except for the ability we have to
give God the space He needs in our lives. James understood this and directly calls all of us out on the actions that few take to make room for change. I remember growing up singing an old hymn entitled "There's Room at the Cross for You." I really didn't think too much about that song until recently. That even as strong as we are in our faith, God still continues to clean out things so that there will always be room at the cross for anyone. It just made me think that we need to reciprocate those actions. In taking our place by the cross, we need to recognize the things that Christ died for so that we could live in freedom, and from this freedom we receive, we are called to give our lives back to God to stretch us to be more for Him. I hope and pray as we take time just to stop and think, we realize that we all have more spring cleaning that needs to be done if we are truly going to be our best for God. Father, here I am. What can I do for You today? Amen.