Union with Christ and his practices
Scripture: Romans 12:1-2
The Lament: “The Great Tragedy of Speed” by David Whyte
Take It Further: “The Spiritual Discipline of Decluttering” By Terre Lucas
Oh God, I don’t love you. I don’t even want to love you, but I want to want to love you. I cringed as I heard Pastor Ron read St. Teresa of Avila’s prayer. Blasphemy! I thought—and was one step away from thinking, Satan, get thee behind me!—when I realized the prayer of my own heart evolving: Oh God, I didn’t trust you. I didn’t even want to trust you, but I wanted to want to trust you.
Not long ago, the Lord taught me an invaluable lesson about grieving a loved one and the time I had wasted by leaning on my own understanding. Holding on emotionally—and materially to my loved one’s possessions—resulted in one thing: spiritual clutter. Admittedly, clutter isn’t a word in my concordance. Still, when I considered my thoughts, words, deeds, and perspectives on the past and the future, the word summed things up nicely.
I have been guilty of placing my hope in the change I believe I can influence rather than in the God who has predestined the outcome. Because I will likely make this mistake again, I need to remind myself often of his truths. Double-talk is not his way. As I continue the practice of decluttering aspects of my life—by focusing on prayer, fasting, silence, and solitude—I find that my heart cries out, Oh God, how I trust in you and you alone!
If you have ever struggled with prayers such as mine or St. Teresa’s, the chart below can help you start the practice of disposing of spiritual clutter and replacing it with the truth of God’s Word.
|PRESENCE OF CLUTTER
|RECALL GOD’S TRUTH
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy
|I came that they may have life and have it abundantly
1 Cor. 1:18
|For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing
|but to us who are being saved it is the power of God
1 John 3:18
|Beloved children, our love can’t be an abstract theory we only talk about
|but a way of life demonstrated through our loving deeds
|Many are the plans in the mind of a man
|but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand
|Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?”
For it is not from wisdom that you ask this
We’d love to hear from you. Please share with us below your thoughts and insight. We would love to see Take it Further be a place where as a community we dialog, and together we all take the conversation further.
*Note: If you wish, you can look up this and other Bible passages online at youversion.com
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