“Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” Matthew 9:17 NIV
So I’ve started my process of spring cleaning that I spoke of last week. What seemed so easy in theory is soooo not! I keep coming across things that I can’t bring myself to throw away. I can truly understand how people become hoarders because EVERYTHING has sentimental value–that movie ticket stub, the Valentine’s Day card, my first driver’s license. If it doesn’t have sentimental value, it’s something that I’m going to need at some point or it’s something I am going to use eventually. Needless to say, thinking like this is slowing down my cleaning process. I am frustrated with myself and really thinking about throwing EVERYTHING out and starting over. As I take a break and sit in silence, God reveals to me the lesson in this experience: “This is why YOUR process is taking so long!!”
At first I did not understand but as I reflected on it more, I realized that the same things I was doing with my external “stuff,” I was doing with my internal “stuff”. I am getting in my own way! Just as my friend was trying to throw stuff away and I said, “NO! Not that,” God has been trying to throw some stuff away and I keep saying, “NO! Not That!” My reasons have been:
1) It has sentimental value! — It’s a reminder of something in the past but while I’m trying to hold on to it, God is saying, “…Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing! (Isaiah 43:18-19a NIV)
2) I need this! – I can’t live without this! What kind of life will I have without this?? God is saying, “…Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not lean to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge [me] and [I] will direct your paths…” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)
3) I’m going to use this at some point! – I have to keep this around just in case! God is saying, “…lay aside EVERY weight, and sin which clings so closely…” (Hebrews 12:1 NIV) “…For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you…” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)
The more I continue to keep the stuff that God is trying to remove from my life, the longer it will take for this “room” or area in my life to get clean. This means that it will take longer for me to reach the destiny God has for me. With renewed purpose and tears in my eyes, I’m about to get up and recommit to this process both externally and internally. I don’t know what the outcome of all this will be and this is truly a struggle for me, but God has already said, “…my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness…” (II Corinthians 12:8 ESV) Alright Lord, I have the garbage bags ready; let’s go!
Thank You for Your patience and persistence. Thanks for not letting me go forward until I get rid of the junk that is holding me back. Lord, please give me the strength and the wisdom to listen to You. Help me to understand that no matter how hard it is to give things up or let things and people go, that it’s necessary in order for me to be everything that I am to be in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to do some REAL spring cleaning! Are there things in your house that you need to get rid of? Don’t delay, throw it out or give it to Goodwill TODAY! God can’t give you the new until you get rid of the old! That same principle applies internally as well. We must let go of old soul ties, old grudges, old bitterness, old hurts, etc. God can’t implant something new with all that other stuff in there because those old things will abort the newness God is trying to give you. Ask God to purge and cleanse you TODAY, and whatever He tells you to let go, LET IT GO and DON’T go back and retrieve it again! There is a blessing in the cleansing!!
Read a related EmpowerMoment: Bag Lady…Let it Flow
Ms. Katrina Richard is an up and coming professional residing in Chicago, Illinois. She strives to incorporate knowledge and life-skills to teenagers in her profession as a high school history teacher. Katrina is very active in her church community where she serves in the prayer ministry as well as in the nursery. She has a passion for serving in the lesser known areas of ministry because she believes every facet of ministry is important to kingdom building and spiritual development of the believers. Her favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”