How does one begin the process of clearing our inner wardrobes? I’ve separated them into four areas to help you understand the importance of each, but the work must be done in all categories in order to see the full benefits. They operate together, but you may notice that you feel stronger in some areas, while weaker in others. Daily evaluations of these four areas is crucial for our overall growth, so take a close look and make a plan of how you will proceed. Don’t be hard on yourself. Instead, be assured that this is a lifelong process in which we all strive for growth.
Due to the material, I am going to divide this into two parts. I really want you to think about the first two and meditate what that means for you. Then, I will present the other two areas that need cleaning.
FIRST ESSENTIAL AREA:Cleanse your HEART – “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” P salm 51:10 (NIV)
Before you begin any process, you need to pray for God’s help and guidance. This means admitting that you need God’s help! You can’t do it alone. Next, acknowledge there’s an inner problem; this is crucial to the healing process. This means that you understand that change is needed and that you are willing to take the necessary steps for growth. It’s not enough to be aware that there’s a problem. You have to take it further – commit to making the necessary changes. Leave the rest to God.
Confessthe state of your heart. Humble yourself before the Lord and share you inner thoughts. This means admitting the inward and outward offenses against yourself and others. Bring them to light. Bring them to the Lord. He’ll understand… Literally make a list your offenses and present them to the Lord. There’s something powerful when we take the time to put things into print, when our eyes see our rubbish and we share them with God. Granted, God already knows ALL, but it’s about being honest with yourself and the Lord – this is genuine relationship.
Share your plans with someone you trust. This allows for some accountability and also a sense of community. Partner with someone for prayer, Bible study and wise counsel. Remember that we are the body of Christ – let other’s be there for you. You will bless someone else when they see your growth. When we share our battles with others, I believe it keeps us honest. This means, you will be challenged to examine your true intentions. Are you ready for that?
SECOND ESSENTIAL AREA:Discipline your MIND – “So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.” 1 Peter 1:13 (NLT)
What we contemplate in our minds will impact our heart attitude and results in outward behaviors. Matthew 15:18 –“But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you.” (NLT)
It’s unfortunate, but the statistics from a 2010 survey found that Americans watch more television than any other leisure activity. Here’s what they found:
*from: United States Department of Labor – http://www.bls.gov/tus/charts/LEISURE.HTM
As we can see, our society places more value on television, phone apps, movies, etc. than on their personal and spiritual wellbeing. That is a problem! Here is where you need to be honest and ask yourself, “Where am I spending most of my time?” Are you cultivating your relationship with God on a daily basis or is your value on watching movies or connecting with your friends on Facebook? Sorry, but I have to be honest here. We put too much effort in other things and neglect our spiritual life. Where are your thoughts? Are they in the things of God or the world?
Now, let’s identify the current state of your inner wardrobe. Name the pieces that are damaging your wardrobe. In other words, identify those things that are getting in the way of having a clear and focused mind on what’s important. Be specific. For example: too much television, addictions, chronic worrying, past traumas/emotional injuries, unforgiveness and insecurities.
Now, name the lies you have believed since childhood. This is a tough one for many of us. Part of us just wants to move on and never look back. That’s part of the problem. Let’s acknowledge the pain, identify what we can do about it and hold on to God’s truth for us. What are some examples of those lies? Here they are a few:
BE TRANSFORMED by replacing the lies with God’s Truth! Now that you’ve identified the lies, search for what God says about you – His Truth! Below are a couple of examples of how you can use God’s word to replace those lies:
Identifying God’s truths is an important part of taking those thoughts captive. God’s word calls us to be different than the world. This means we have to take certain measures to protect ourselves. So, protect your mind by changing the way you think! Practice daily. It may help to use index cards to write down these truths and memorize them. When the insecurities or lies creep up, crush them with God’s word!
Are you ready to begin the process of cleaning your inner wardrobe? If anyone has ever told you that it doesn’t have to be hard let me tell you that they are setting you up for failure. Yes, this is difficult work. You are not just cleaning your closet – you are cleaning your spiritual closet. But remember, you “can do all this through him who gives” you strength – Philippians 4:13 – God believes in you!
Stay tuned for part 2 – Cleaning our Body and Spirit!
Rest in His Word:Psalm 119:105
“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.”