Have you ever visited someone who had a nice clean house? You sit on the couch and talk and laugh, and enjoy their company. Before you know it, it’s time to go.
Now have you ever visited someone who had a messy, or cluttered house? They move stuff from part of the couch so you can sit down. Do you find yourself enjoying their company? Do you laugh and joke? Does the time go by quickly? It’s hard to just enjoy your time with them because you’re busy looking at all the mess.
I’ve found through the years that most of my problems can be resolved by the first half of James 4:8 which says: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” NASB So because of that I strive to give God the first fruits of my day. Just like we give God our tithes and offerings, I tithe my time to God. And I would challenge you to do the same. Draw near to God, and just see what happens. I have to warn you though, it’s addictive.
One day I had had a particularly hard long day. I got home and I just wanted to relax. So I turned on the computer and started watching some silly YouTube videos. It wasn’t anything bad, just random funny videos. I was enjoying this, so I continued it for a few hours then went to bed. The next morning, I read scripture and prayed. But I wasn’t really feeling God’s presence. It was obvious to me why. Instead of thinking of God, I was rehashing in my mind what I saw on those videos.
The Holy Spirit lives within us. (1 Cor 6:19) And God makes it clear to us that He doesn’t like the clutter any more than we do. If we’re cluttering our spiritual house with sin, The Holy Spirit is not sticking around. The Almighty is NOT going to bless our mess.
Even if it’s not something sinful we can’t properly focus on God with so many stray thoughts. A proper prayer closet must have two attributes; silence to hear His still small voice, and privacy (alone with God). If stray thoughts are invading our quiet time we lose both, and will not be able to hear God speaking.
It doesn’t really matter what we’re cluttering up God’s house with. Clutter in our minds keeps us from experiencing God. It keeps us from that vital life-giving, restoring relationship with our Creator. The clutter makes it extremely difficult to hear His still small voice.
The answer can be found in the second half of James 4:8. “Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded” NASB. So what do we do? First, “Cleanse your hands” means to deal with our sin. (1 Peter 2:1, 1 John 1:9) Iniquity will clutter up our hearts and minds quicker than anything.
Secondly, we need to get rid of the clutter in our minds, so we can have a singleness of mind before almighty God. (Proverbs 8:17) We can’t diligently seek Him if we are double-minded. Philippians 4:8 tells us to fill our minds with worthwhile stuff.
Our goal should be a vibrant, growing relationship with the Creator of the Universe. Let’s deal with sin swiftly, and commit to turning off the useless electronics for a while. Clear our minds of the clutter so we can seek the mind of Christ. Now that we’ve properly prepared our hearts, let’s make an appointment with the King, and keep it.