20 Dec A Makeover For Your Spirit’s Home
Recently, me and my husband bought a robot vacuum cleaner that maps the entire house and ensures every spot of the floor is cleaned up with its multifunctional brushes. The whole process of the set up was kind of a hassle at first, but once it was done, we really saw the difference it made to keeping the house floorings spotless and ease my burdens of having to do a whole pile of housework. You know, it is one thing to get off the checklist. Now, through all these, I see how having our living space clean, neat and clutter-free really has an effect on our hearts and minds. I used to be someone who really is not that particular about high cleanliness standards, or meticulous about every nook and cranny being dusted. But over the years, as I transit from living in my own room, to moving into my own house. And from living alone to living with my family of four, my benchmark has changed and the level of initiative and motivation for keeping the house clean has shifted too. Why? Because firstly, I realised a personal need for it and secondly, there was a need to serve others through it. And as I just thought through, this came to my mind: It is so much like our spirits, the home of our spirits. And the only way we can clean up our spirits is through God. As it is said in Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”
The Home Of Our Spirits: Pre-Makeover
At the initial phase of our faith living, our spirit’s home are probably still loaded with sealed boxes of burdens and shame and bad past mistakes or regrets. And to be honest, even after we try to pack up, there could still be boxes we end up “sealing back” and still storing up in the hidden parts of our “home”, unsure of how to unpack it or not willing to part with it yet. It could be like a sort of addiction we cannot kick or a desire we cannot let go. This is also what is known as compartmentalising our sins or carnal inclinations. However, leaving a box untouched does not mean it will disappear on its own. It is always there in the deep parts of your spirits and will always have a foothold from Satan for us to not come to God entirely free and blameless. As So these boxes, though hard to part or deal with, we have to bring them out of the closet and face the Lord.
The Home Of Our Spirits: During Makeover
No matter how hard it can be, we must remember that there’s no stronghold the Lord cannot break, if only we are willing to let Him. With the gospel, brethren and personal growth through the Word, we can start unboxing these issues, trying to struggle through and deal with them. We will start to see how we can overcome the burdens gradually. Like our perspectives of people change, how we see and find our self worth change, how we view our work change. And when these changes happen, we start to see burdens and problems we have in a new light. Our spirits become more stable and assured because we are more reliant on the steadfast and unchanging word of God. As we continue to clear up these “boxes” of untruths in our spirits, doubts we have or subtle sins, when we declutter things like that, it is easier to experience the joy of a house for what it is. To give us comfort, rest. To make it conducive for us to be able to do the work we are called to do. To have an inviting space to serve and love people around us. And that is what our spirit’s home is ultimately for, to experience all that God has prepared for us and use our home as a safe space for others to share their woes, intercede for them and help them meet God. If it is so filled up with the distractions of the world, sweeping our unresolved sins under the carpet or just letting it be covered with the dust of regrets, self pity and blame, more often than not, that is why we would rather idle outside with our flesh than draw near to the uninviting condition of our spirit’s home.
A Makeover For Your Spirit’s Home
So here it goes down to the question: How then should we do a makeover for the current condition of our spirit’s home? How should we declutter all the packages of burdens, distractions and issues surrounding our hearts and minds so that we can fully enjoy the deep satisfaction and connection with God? Here, I will talk about a few points we can look into as we spring-clean our spirit’s home this year end.
Unpacking The Neglected
Firstly, we need to look into the things that have been neglected due to the daily hustle and bustle of life, but needs our attention. Like that old dusty box of things under the bed or at the corner of that storeroom shelf. This is especially so for things within our hearts. Are there neglected emotions, insecurities, old assumptions or misunderstandings we have about a person or situation? Are there things we need to communicate to our spouse to work towards a more blessed family culture? Are there recurring weaknesses that we have ignored dealing with and should bring up to the Lord to gain wisdom on how to practically resolve it? Are there hurts that are not treated and deepening over the years? Are there people in our lives that need shepherding that we have ignored? We must know that some things, when left unattended, can have a stronger potential for Satan to dampen relationships and our faith. Like when I feel stressed about work and I neglect casting my burdens to the Lord in prayers or testing and affirming God’s will through it, it will flow into other areas of my life. Growing into unhappiness towards my husband and overreaction of frustration to my kids. So it becomes a vicious cycle that causes tension within ourselves and others. Therefore, we need to look into these neglected areas and seek God’s help in facing or working on them. We need to introspect and evaluate our current spiritual routines and make adjustments if required. Be it to go back to God’s standpoint regarding the situation, talking to someone who is spiritually sound for advice or finding an accountability partner to follow up with the issue. Do not allow Satan to let this develop into an infestation of our spirits.
Chuck Away The Unnecessary
Then, we need to chuck away the unnecessary things that is clouding our hearts and minds. In 2 Corinthians 10:5 says “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” We need to intentionally capture our every worldly and negative thoughts that may have been a stumbling block to our faith. These could be thoughts that make us feel inadequate, prideful, doubtful, jealous or have greedy intentions. So we have to ask ourselves today, are there any resentments, grudges, insinuations or inclinations that is taking up space in our hearts and minds, leaving less room for us to take in God’s truth and grow a deeper relationship with Him daily. Of course, it is only human nature to have such negative thinking from time to time as we are exposed to the world, but what God calls us to do is to realise and break out from these rhythms of feelings or thoughts. This comes from constantly identifying the usual channel or patterns that cause us to be attacked or overwhelmed by the unnecessary thoughts. And then, consciously replacing it with spiritual truths and scriptures that edifies us with the right direction instead. Now what I am saying here is not that we should escape or run away from our problems by just ignoring or shaking off some thoughts by our own will. But what is essential here is for us to feed our spirit with the Word, to desire what the Lord desires, so that we can have a more sound judgment or decision to handle whatever it is that we need to handle.
2 Timothy 3:16 says “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” God guides us through His word, so we can always go back to that as we challenge our thoughts and feelings.
One way I find helpful is journalling. I do not do it often but when I do, I reflect on the roadblocks that I have in my faith, like certain doubts about my calling, or the way I should serve. Then I make an intentional move to make a list of spiritual truths I get from my Daily Devotion, verse of the day or sermon pointers and pin them up on my phone wallpaper, post-its on my laptop or on my workspace bulletin board. I also make sure I find time to have a brethren or co-worker I can openly express my thoughts or weaknesses with so there is another person to help me chuck away the worldly or negative thoughts I could be entangled with. So we really need to find blessed ways that drives us back to God instead.
Giving away to others
Finally, as with all packing and cleaning, we will find that there are possessions that we hold onto but have not been using for a long while and might not really utilise. However, we just cannot seem to bear parting with it or donating it to the Salvation Army. Like just last week, we were clearing out some of Liora’s plush toys and there were a couple of them that she does not even play with at all, but she refused to let us donate it away. However, after talking it out with her, she ended up giving it out to other people who were so happy to receive it and she felt good to let them go to better owners or kids who really lack toys. Now, that is very much the same with our spirit and faith living. Matthew 5:14-15 says “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Now here, we affirm again what precious vessels we are, for God, for His people and His kingdom. And as much as sometimes it sounds so abstract, it just really means how we receive from the Lord and how we want to give to others that same goodness as well. So once we have declutter, dusted and cleared up spirits rightly with God, it is good to start looking outwards and around to those that God has empowered us to edify. That is ultimately the Great Commission we all have as His children. Not to keep this goodness to ourselves, but to share this awesome “Spring Cleaning Service” for the spirit with the ones He placed among us. So think about your “neighbours”. It could be a family member, a colleague, a friend, a church brother or sister, that lady you always bump into near your house. Think of someone you can intercede for, share testimonies with, get a prayer partner, start a family devotion, chat with that newcomer at church. For me, I think my greatest takeaway at the end of the year is to feel the vibrance of my faith living by leading a small youth group after English Service on Saturdays. Why? Because it challenged me not only to listen to a sermon, discuss deeper topics, go into a more personal connection, but also share how God met me through my week and organised a lot of my own perspective to see God’s grace. As I do so, I also unpack my heart and mind to share what I witness to the youths, relating to them or making faith real for them to see. So in that sense, “giving away” to the people I serve constantly helps me make-over my spirit as well.
Brothers and sisters, I hope that this message may find you well. As we are ending this year, let us go back to the Lord and rely on His leading as we go through a “home makeover” for our spirits to welcome the new year. Let us be honest with what requires unpacking and start packing up with the most blessed spring cleaning system, that is the gospel. God bless.