Saturday, September 19, 2015
The Hidden Places
One prayer that I prayed to the Lord a while back was that no matter where He took me to never let me be in a place where I think I don't need Him. I asked the Lord to make it where I will always need Him because I truly understand that a lot of people get the wealth and stability they think they need to live their lives, and from there, they stop serving God. Some of them begin to worship God in their flesh, meaning, they become religious. They begin to speak scriptures and a bunch of Christian idioms, but their hearts are far from God. Some are even charismatic in their delivery of the Word, but they don't practice the same Word they preach. I don't want to become that person... ever.
I was sitting on my couch and staring at what appeared to be a baby moth flying around my floor lamp. I was frustrated with my dog because he wasn't adapting well to me taking him for his potty breaks on a leash, so each time I'd taken him outside, he'd refused to use the bathroom. He'd even sat down a few times and looked at me as if to protest the new leash rule. Each time he'd staged a "sit-out", I'd brought him back in the house and placed him in his kennel. After placing him in his kennel the last time, I went into my living room and sat down on the couch, and that's when I saw the baby moth... or whatever that thing was. I watched the insect fly around the lamp, often landing in the lamp, and that's when it dawned on me. That lamp likely has many dead insects in it because I never clean it.
What's amazing is... I like to fashion myself as a tidy woman. Every since I've been an adult, I've been somewhat tidy, but in the last couple of years, I've gotten even more organized and even more clean. I'd written a book about marriage once, and the Lord spoke to me while writing that book about the importance of having a clean home. Now, at that time, I was married and I thought my house was well kept, but I found out how wrong I was while writing the book, so I made up my mind to do better. I started becoming more organized and tidying up more frequently, and I thought I'd finally gotten it all right, but I was wrong again. After my divorce, I'd cleaned (purged) my house of a lot of old things and began to reorganize my home. I thought I'd done well, but I was wrong yet again. The Lord opened my eyes and showed me how so many things I had were stacked up neatly and put away, but they were not in the right places. For example, I noticed that I had brand new boxes of toothpaste in my bedroom on the computer stand. They were neatly stacked, but toothpaste does not belong in a bedroom, let alone on a computer stand. I began to reorganize my home again, and of course, learning to be even more organized was and is exciting to me because I love the flow of an open and clean home. Nevertheless, there I was sitting on my couch, pouting and trying to think of some new masterplan to get Milo (my pupster) to stop rebelling against the new leash rule, and that's when I saw the insect. I thought I'd finally gotten the whole being super-organized thing down, but I found out that I was wrong again. The truth is... it doesn't matter how tidy and organized you are, you will always find something that could have been done better. Don't get me wrong... I'm not a person who obsessively cleans, nor do I have panic attacks when I spot dirt, but I'm simply in love with the flow of a clean and organized home. I'm not even obsessed with cleanliness; I just love it, so I seek to maintain a clean and organized home.
After seeing the insect, God began to deal with my spirit. I said in my heart that I wasn't as clean as I thought I was. I looked at the lamp and asked myself, "How many hidden places have I overlooked because they are unseen?" After all, I'd cleaned up the outside of my place; I'd even cleaned the nooks and crannies of my home, but there are still places that I've unintentionally overlooked. As a matter of fact, it's next to impossible to find every grain of dirt in any home or building. The same goes for our hearts.
Oftentimes, we are hard on ourselves because we want to be perfect before the Lord, but we see our own flaws. For example, if I discover that I'm operating in a wrong mindset, I'll take it before the Lord and repent of it. Nevertheless, every time I lay an old mindset at the altar of God, I always find another mindset that needs to be renounced. I don't care how much I strive to be perfect before the Lord, I keep finding out that I'm made of dirt. The same goes for you. We have to seek peace and pursue it. We have to be led by the Spirit and not by our flesh, nevertheless, as long as our flesh is alive, we are going to struggle with it. Most of us wish we could be perfect in our own efforts before the Lord, but we aren't and that's why we need Jesus the Christ. But does this mean that we should just stop trying to be perfect and just accept our flaws? Of course not! Every time you see sin operating in your members, you ought to repent of it and renounce it. Every time you are freed from the bondage of a stronghold (destructive mindset), you will see a lot of other mindsets that will come tumbling down because the mindset you were delivered from served as a foundation for so many other wrongful beliefs. For example, I saw one moth, but I know that once I take off the cup-like covering of my floor lamp, I'm going to find many other winged corpses. Getting rid of one wrong belief, lie or stronghold starts a domino effect where other lies, wrong beliefs and strongholds will begin to fall! That's why Satan works overtime to get us to accept at least one lie. He knows that the lie we've believed will become the foundation of so many other lies.
Sometimes, it's the hidden places that get overlooked. Sometimes, we clean up what's obvious, but we tend to be ignorant of the things lurking in the hidden places of our hearts and minds. That's why we have to conduct daily self evaluations to ensure that today's strongholds don't follow us into tomorrow. That's what it looks like to take a step forward in the realm of the spirit. You renounce one wrongful mindset after another, refusing to get comfortable in whatever mindsets you are operating in. One of the worst things a believer can do is get so comfortable in a mindset that they become unmovable, self righteous, prideful and incurably religious. If you get too comfortable in a mindset, you are basically saying that you want to retire in that mindset, which, of course, means you won't be elevated in the things of God. People who stop moving in Christ almost always become religious chanters of scriptures with no power and no forward movement. They get stuck in a way of thinking, oftentimes, staying at the same religious church that's been feeding them just enough Word to keep them alive for the last 47 years. The women wear the best (synthetic) wigs on the market and the guys dust off their ole' alligator shoes and step into the church (building), ready to shout and practice their religious rituals, all the while, bound by the same strongholds that they've been coming in and leaving with for the last 47 years. If you point out the uncleanliness of their hidden places, many of them will fire off their favorite cliche, "God knows my heart" or "Only God can judge me." That's why it's NEVER a good idea to get into a mindset and settle down there. Life is growing up, growing old and dying, but a renewed life in Christ Jesus is growing up in the things of God, growing wiser, and then, going off to live with the Lord... but not before leaving a legacy for your children and your children's children to enjoy.
Are you moving forward or are you still operating in yesterday's mindset? It is very important that you ask yourself questions, and answer yourself truthfully so you'll know what to take before the Lord. Sure, none of us is perfect, but that doesn't mean that we should settle down in our flesh and make excuses. We should continue forward in the Lord, seeking to please Him with every thought, choice and word that proceeds from our lives. Life is worth living... most of us know this, but do you know that a better life is waiting on the other side of what you think of as the perfect life? We're so used to settling in "good enough" that many of us miss out on some mind-blowing and almost unbelievable blessings. The mind hates learning new things when it's bound by the flesh, but once you persistently push forward in the things of God, you will find yourself wanting to learn more about God. Nevertheless, you will always find mindsets that you don't like... just as long as you're alive in the flesh, but God will deliver you from any wrongful thinking that you renounce and repent of. Wrongful thinking is a struggle that we don't have to struggle with. Please understand that your life will never change until your mind changes, and where you are right now is a direct reflection of how you think. If you want to change your life, you have to change your mind. Some people are going to get organized enough with their thinking and they won't seek to be better than what they are or do better than they're doing because it's human nature to find a comfort zone and try to make it your home. You don't have to be like that. It doesn't matter how wise, wealthy or disciplined you are, there is always room for improvement.
Ask the Lord to look at the hidden places of your heart and reveal and remove everything that's unlike Him.
Note: You ask Him to reveal it so you can repent of it. You ask Him to remove it so you can be free from it. Know this... if you stay bound, it's because you're comfortable in bondage.