Clean out Clutter to Commune with God
I’m late posting my blog today because I had another priority. The burn pile needed to be dealt with in the cool of the day. Consequently, I spent my morning picking up sticks and burning a big pile that’s accumulated for months.
A spring of frequent high winds has repeatedly littered the yard with limbs, leading to a growing burn pile that couldn’t be burned because of strong winds and frequent rains. The pile is toward the back of the yard and not easily visible from the road, but I knew it was there, cluttering the yard.
This morning, the ground and grass were wet from recent rains, the wind weren’t blowing, and the morning temperature was comfortable. It was the perfect time to build a big bonfire without fear of starting a forest fire.
I’m grateful to clean up the yard and get rid of the trash. I’m also blessed with how the task fits in with and are altering my blog.
Last week, I wrote about the nature of the relationship the Lord desires to have with us, one of intimacy and communion, of sharing time and life on a daily basis. He promised His all to us* and gave His life to make such intimacy possible. (*Learn more about that promise/covenant and the nature of the relationship in The Great Exchange: Bound by Blood.)
Many people desire that kind of relationship, but don’t know how to make it happen. As I cleared the yard of any remaining sticks and burned them all, I was aware that limbs and sticks don’t belong on the lawn.
Knowing the pile from the last few months was hidden in the corner of the yard blocked my full enjoyment of the rest of the yard. I was affected by it even though I knew others didn’t see it.
As I picked up the more recent limbs from the grass, I saw an anology of our relationship with the Lord.
We may know the Lord, love Him, and desire an intimate relationship with the Lord, but just can’t seem to get there, as if something it blocking it—just as limbs cluttered on the ground or the pile in the back block my full enjoyment of the yard.
Indeed, it’s no surprise that sin blocks communion with the Lord. It doesn’t matter whether the sin is big and lying by the road for all to see, or if it’s small and part of a pile back in a corner where nobody will know it’s there, sin blocks clear relationships.
The problem is that we become comfortable with some sins and are blind to it. We can embrace sin without realizing it. I’d like to mention just a few basic sins that can keep us from having an intimate relationship with the Lord.
Pride, such as thinking, “I’m the greatest” and “look what I can do,” focuses on self and blocks any relationship. It harms our fellowship with God because it fails to acknowledge God and show gratefulness for His part in making us who we are
It’s also prideful to say, “I’m no good,” or “I can’t do anything right.” That attitude, just like the one above, sees Self as the focus and the source, with no acknowledgment of God.
Likewise,it is prideful to consistently want things “my” way or to refuse to listen to those “I” don’t agree with. Jesus said to deny ourselves (Luke 9:23). When we elevate ourselves or focus on our Self, rather than denying ourselves, it creates a block in our fellowship with the Lord.
Jesus is Lord, The concept of lord becomes almost a cliché in church circles today because we don’t have kings and lords. We hear it so much that we don’t often stop to think about what it means. If He is Lord, that means He is boss. Furthermore, it means that everybody is supposed to obey. Not only is He Lord, He is King of kings and Lord of lords. He is the Lord over all.(Rev. 19:16)
When we don’t obey, we deny His power and authority in our lives. Is it any wonder disobedience creates a block in fellowship? If you are frustrated in your desire to be closer to God, ask Him to show you any area where you have disobeyed Him.
Idolatry includes much more than bowing down to a carved statue. It is choosing something else above God. It could be a person or persons, material things, pleasure, power, success, or more. Anything we place more importance on than God could become an idol without us realizing it.
History, as recorded in the Bible and in secular records, confirms that when God’s people choose to serve idols, there are always negative consequences, ranging from plagues, to being conquered, to death by calamity. When Moses was on the mountain and Israel made the golden calf, God would have destroyed the people and raised a nation through Moses if Moses had not intervened.
In a culture where it is not popular to honor God, it’s easy to follow the crowd into any of various forms of idolatry. We need to guard ourselves, because Jesus said we cannot follow God and mammon, for we will love the one and hate the other (Mt. 6:24).
If we are divided in our loyalty, not only will we find fellowship with God impossible, but we are on a slippery slope that could lead to destruction.
(This is beside the point of the blog, but I am concerned for our nation and the world because of the prevalence of rejecting God and choosing instead to worship at the idol of “moral freedom”. The Lord is not mocked. There will be consequences if we do not repent.)
Unbelief can range from lack of saving faith in Jesus Christ, to not truly believing the Lords wants intimate fellowship with us, to not believing He can use us for His glory. When we don’t believe Jesus is God’s Son, don’t believe what He says, or that He has the power and authority to work through us, it is denial of Him
How can we have true fellowship when we don’t receive for who He is? If you find yourself in this category, be like the father whose son need healing, cry out to God, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).
God’s love is perfect. While we were in the pit of sin, He gave His life so that we could enjoy rich fellowship. I don’t believe it blocks Him unless we are set in our sin, but it hinders us even when we have stray limbs littering our heart. We can’t fully enjoy Him while holding things that deny Him or place other things as a higher priority in our lives.
Do you want to commune with the Lord, but it’s not happening?
If that’s you, seek the Lord. Ask Him to shine the spotlight on the lawn of your heart, to show you any clutter that needs to be cleaned up.
I’m grateful for the perfect weather to clean up the yard and get rid of the mess. It is freeing to have a lawn freed of accumulated clutter..
But it’s nothing compared to the freedom of having a clean heart and the joy of having rich fellowship with the Lord.
“Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, nd He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isa. 55:6-7).