Letting junk accumulate in our hearts keeps us from living in the freedom Christ has secured.
Rummaging through my clothes pile, I frantically searched for the mate to the shoes I wanted to wear. It had disappeared into the black hole of my closet. Out of time, I grabbed another pair and rushed out the door, vowing to get organized!
Nearly a week later my shoe is still missing, and the closet mess still awaits my touch. Clutter accumulates at a surprising rate in my house, because I don’t regularly take the time to clean out and straighten up.
Accumulation of Internal Junk
Externally, my life reflects my tendency to collect stuff. I’ve found the same to be true internally.
Junk accumulates in my heart when I don’t take the time to regularly clean it out. Bitterness, resentment, envy, anger, sadness…. It all-too-easily builds up.
I stumble across a person who has something or achieved something I’d like. My husband says something that hurts. My children make poor choices. The weather exacerbates my aches and pains. The news reports only tragedies and ugliness.
Dwelling on what’s wrong or what we don’t have causes piles of crude to build up, informing our feelings and the resulting behaviors.
But “Christ has liberated us to be free” (Galatians 5:1). He came to earth, living and dying, so we could be saved from our sins forever and for now.
The build up of internal junk prevents us from living fully, living free, as heirs with Christ. For this reason God cautions us to think about things that are “excellent or praiseworthy” (Philippians 4:8).
And for this reason, the He counsels us to live by the Spirit and follow the Spirit (Galatians 5). Then we’ll be filled with the desired fruit of the Spirit instead of the unwanted fruit of the flesh.
Live By the Spirit; Live Free
Because I know I can’t bear the desirable fruit of the Spirit if I’m filled with the rotten fruit of the flesh, I now start my morning prayer time asking God for help. I ask Him to examine my heart and clean out all the yucky stuff.
Then I pray He fills me with His fruit.
Instead of envy, I want His love to pour out of me.
Instead of sadness, I want joy in His presence.
Instead of frustration, I want to be filled with His peace.
Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-Control. These round out the spiritual fruits we should desire to grow if we want to live free.
In the same way I have to address the clutter issue in my house to find my shoe, we need to address—more importantly, let God address—the clutter in our hearts to find abundance in life.
If we continue to let the brokenness of our flesh occupy our hearts, we’ll continue to live in bitter bondage. But when we ask God to empty us of the ugly and fill us with His beauty, we begin to live by the Spirit.
And that’s living a true life of freedom.
“walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh…. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law…. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” Galatians 5:16, 22-23, 25
Reflections: Do you find junk accumulating in your heart? Have you asked for God’s help in replacing that fruit of the flesh with His fruits of the Spirit?
I am always thrilled to link up with Suzie Eller for #livefreeThursday and this week’s prompt, “live fully by being real about your junk.” Click on the image to check out the wonderful encouragement.
I'm so glad you're here to walk with me through this messy but glorious journey called life! Please consider sharing this post with your family and friends. And don't miss a single piece of encouragement! Sign up to get every post in your inbox. It's free, and you'll receive free gifts just for signing up. Oh, you can unsubscribe at any time. Yours in grace ≈ Julie
I'm so glad you're here to walk with me through this messy but glorious journey called life! Please consider sharing this post with your family and friends. And don't miss a single piece of encouragement! Sign up to get every post in your inbox. It's free, and you'll receive free gifts just for signing up. Oh, you can unsubscribe at any time.
Yours in grace ≈