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Cutting Spiritual Clutter

Sometimes when the hectic pace of life kicks up a notch, it's the most fundamental things that get abandoned first.

Take cleaning for example. Your bedroom may be a pristine sanctuary of cleanliness, or a jungle of clutter balanced precariously on the line between order and chaos. Either way, there are times (and we've all experienced it) that something so basic as cleaning gets pushed to the bottom of the proverbial priority list.

Depending on what type of person you are, this specific example may or may not be true for you. But the point I'm endeavouring to make has nothing to do with your discipline in the realm of chores—it's simply a greater analogy for the spiritual clutter that can arise in our minds and lives even without our notice.

I know for myself, I often don't recognize the buildup of stress, distractions and complaints that can accumulate in my mind over the course of a busy week. In fact, it was only when I settled in for a focused time of prayer and Bible study nights ago that I realized how much I truly needed that cleansing—both mentally and spiritually.

See, like cleaning my bedroom, I can slip into a rhythm of doing just enough daily to keep the clutter at bay. I might find time every morning to do my chronological Bible reading, but sometimes that exercise becomes a checkmark on a to-do list, rather than a time of deliberate communication with the Lord. And while I may think that I'm on top of the clutter that threatens to invade my thoughts, the longer I go without a deep-cleanse, the more distractions build up without my notice.

Life is abrim with cluttering distractions, both pleasant and unsavoury, amusing and discouraging. While many of those distractions may be innocent enough, like dust or a drawer full of sweaters you never wear, the problems arise when those thoughts fill the space that would otherwise be filled with God. Spending time with God, communing with Him, and delving into His perfect Word for daily strength and guidance are all ways in which God purifies us, de-cluttering our hearts and minds. He uses those disciplines to fill our minds with Him, to purge us of the empty, useless thought patterns we follow that may entertain us, for a time, but ultimately lead us nowhere.

The amazing thing is, after every deep cleanse—every rigorous study of the Word, every focused prayer, every hour spent in God's presence—you will find more space in your heart for those things that are truly worth keeping: God's commandments.

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