Have a Clear Out

Christmas and a New Year are great opportunities for a clear out. A chance to get rid of some of the clutter from around the house, to make room for the new clutter we are expecting to receive.

Maybe take the time for a clear out in life too.

I do say this with caution though. We often clear out things that are easy when it comes to life. Perhaps we find it easier to ignore it, brush it under the carpet, rationalise it, put the problem on to someone else. The nagging concern I have is this – if we don’t clear out the right stuff, if we can’t be honest with ourselves and with God then in reality aren’t we just moving stuff around but that ‘thing’ we think has been cleaned up is actually still there.

God sent Jesus to help with the clean up. The clean up of our sin, hurt, offence, jealousy, bitterness, unforgiveness, issues – anything I guess that stops us from living life in the freedom that Jesus won for us.

Having a proper clean up can be an uncomfortable process though. We like to feel in control of our own lives, even the painful aspects. If we have control then we know what people see or don’t see. As a result, we learn to cover stuff up, put on a good face and convince others that all is well.

To have a clean out with God involves giving control away and that kind of freaks us out. What if people see? What if the mess becomes too visible? Bit like having to empty the garage out and everyone seeing the rubbish we actually have.

Well, here is the good news. God is more than capable of handling our mess. He is all about the clean up business. That is very much His speciality. Andy Stanley in his book Grace of God puts it something like this, ‘God waded in knee-deep to begin the clean up process’. We think it’s too big, but our God is bigger.

It’s what Christmas is all about. The plan of redemption heading to its climax. The clean up process for all of humanity was reaching its final play. The birth of Jesus was the beginning of the end. This Christmas take courage. Allow the Saviour to do what He does best and give Him permission to clean up some stuff. Put it out there. See what He can do and start 2015 totally free, ready for whatever God has for you, with full confidence that you are able because of His power living in you.

Go For a Full Court Press

Get your full-court press on. Don’t give your opponent time to gain any forward motion.

I used to love a game of basketball. I was actually school captain. I remember that no team we faced would ever play full-court press all the time. It would be far too exhausting, although it has been proved that it is a worthwhile tactic for teams of lesser skill and ability in overcoming those who are the better basketball team. [*Malcom Gladwell ‘David & Goliath]

In life, we need to get our full-court press on. Don’t let our guard down.

Jesus tells us that the pure in heart are blessed, they will see God [Matthew 5:8]. We have been made perfect through Christ, for which I am thankful. Not of my own efforts, it is the incredible gift from God. Now comes my response – don’t allow the enemy [the opposition] in. Get my guard up. Full court-press. Don’t give him any space, no way through.

To be pure hearted means to remain unpolluted and undefiled. It is about staying ‘unmuddied’. What a great word. Unmuddied means to keep clear of sediment. The small stuff, the rubbish, the sand and grit that gathers under the surface which, for instance, eventually causes a river to break its bank when it becomes overwhelmed. I think that’s a great picture of our heart. All those little bits that get in there, those impurities, things that eventually have an influence on what comes out of our heart.

Simple response then. Guard your heart.

A full-court press demands greater fitness, greater energy levels, a greater sense of awareness. It’s a team play that requires each person on the team to fulfil that role to the best of their ability, then the opposition cannot break down the defence. The same is true for you and me. When we become stronger, fitter, more aware, then we are better able to keep our guard up. When we have the right people around us, like-minded individuals with the same sense of determination, then we are better able to keep our guard up.

The enemy is on the prowl, looking for who he can devour. He wants to kill, steal and destroy. Don’t give him any space and he can’t do that in your life. Too many times we here about the failing of someone. Staying pure in heart is not easy. There’s a lot of stuff clamouring for our hearts attention. Maybe it’s time for a dredge, a clean up, a bit of purification to be done. If you recognise some ‘muddiness’ in your heart then get it sorted. Be determined to not allow anything in that shouldn’t be there. Go for a full-court press. Set the boundary lines. Get the guard in place and don’t let it drop. With the help of the Holy Spirit – we can do this!

Thankful for Gods Mercy

Ever taking time to think about what God has done for you. How amazing his love is. How much we don’t deserve it but still receive it. Ever thrown yourself at the feet of God when you know you have messed up.

Thankful that his mercies are new every morning and never run out.
Thankful that God is able to keep me clean.
Thankful that you never give up on me.
Thankful that my life does not escape your notice.

‘Generous in love – God, give grace. Huge in mercy – wipe out my bad record’. [Psalm 51:1]
‘Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean, scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life’. [Psalm 51:7]
‘I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered. Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.’

Thank you God for loving me.
Thank you God for loving me, despite my best attempts at time to test that love.
Thank you God for your unfailing love.
This is my prayer….everyday. How about you?