Cleaning out the clutter challenged me.
Clutter was my childhood friend. Spring cleaning was a time I did not look forward to growing up. I felt anxious, knowing that my parents would inventory our possessions, and they’d throw out some of the clutter. My sister and I were anxious for weeks prior to this day.
We would methodically go through our belongings, ridding ourselves of useless things long forgotten–that is, until inventory day. We tossed old toys that we no longer used, clothes that we outgrew, and anything that seemed not to have a place anymore. Dad would say,” If it has been unused for a year, get rid of it.”
There was only one problem–I felt all the clutter had value and saw no purpose in this purge. I rationalized why I wanted to keep all my belongings. But my parents overruled my feeble attempts to rationalize keeping the clutter. Their end goal was to reduce junk and gain space. They won every time. As much as this hurt, I knew my father was right. Clutter really did need to go.
And to those who were selling the doves, He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.”~John 2:16 NASB
JESUS CREATES A CLUTTER-FREE TEMPLE ZONE
The temple clearing Jesus conducted is a familiar Bible passage. It not only expresses His power and boldness, but also His anger. However, His love and respect for His Father fueled this perspective.
Jesus cared about Jerusalem especially because it was the religious and political seat of Palestine. During Passover, thousands of visitors came to the Temple and its surrounding areas. Just outside the temple, money changers and merchants set up shop in the Court of the Gentiles. They rationalized that their lucrative businesses provided a convenient way for worshipers to purchase sacrificial animals. However, the religious leaders who allowed this used the services of the holy temple as a cover for their sins. They were not concerned that the merchants in the Court of Gentiles made it difficult for visitors to worship because of these distractions.
When you come to appear before Me, who requires of you this trampling of My courts?~Isaiah 1:12 NASB
Jesus, viewing this scenario, got angry. He wanted worshippers to have a clutter-free zone.
The Court of Gentiles was the only place the Gentiles could worship. There, the Jews witnessed to their pagan neighbors, telling them about their true and living God. However, the mercantile activities caused confusion, and this prevented them from witnessing. Due to the neglect of a few religious leaders, the Gentiles missed out on a true encounter with God.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me And lead me in the everlasting way.~Psalm 139:23-24 NASB
DE-CLUTTERING OUR WORSHIP ZONE
Friend, let’s look at our own lives. Have we, too, missed encounters with the Savior because we’ve allowed clutter to come in? Has Jesus been in the vicinity, but because of our unwillingness to relinquish clutter, we’ve missed noticing He wants to fellowship with us? What unhealthy clutter do we need to let go of? Do these include marriage wreckers such as unhealthy relationships, stressful careers, pornographic addiction, or selfishness?
What about our worship? Have we made this a clutter-free zone? Or, are we participating in “religious” worship simply to appear as if we are godly while we have selfish, secretive motives for coming to church? Are we there to be the best husband or wife that we can become? Or do we sing in the choir to get the solo part? Do we go to the early service just so we will not miss the afternoon football kickoff? Are we truly desiring a relationship with the King of kings? Or do we want clutter? We need to make a choice.
Just like the spring cleaning I endured as a child had a benefit, I encourage you to get rid of the junk that clutters your relationship with Jesus Christ. Become the best person you can be for your family by making space for Him to dwell in your heart. Allow Jesus to see your entire spirit, so He can help you change for the better. Let Him take out the clutter in your spirit and welcome Him as Savior and Lord.
How can you let go of spiritual clutter?
Father God, thank You for helping me to have a clutter-free relationship with Jesus Christ. Help me to do a motive-check for the things I do for the Kingdom and help me to welcome the King. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Copyright 222: Cleaning Out the Clutter: Charles E Maldon, Jr.: All Rights Reserved