Monday, October 22, 2012

Clearing the Clutter

If you have ever experienced moving, then you are familiar with clutter. I am always amazed at the things I find when preparing to move. Trinkets that were once important to me are re-discovered after lying dormant for years. It’s impossible to live without accumulation symbols of your time and efforts. Whether it’s a collection of old magazines on the coffee table or an assortments of clothes ranging from 8-28 in your closet, we all live with unneeded baggage in our lives.

Clutter is the natural progression of living and unless it is managed it can lead to disorder. When clutter gets out of control it can lead to confusion and chaos. One definition of clutter is a clotted mass similar to what can be seen in patients with heart disease. In these patients, cholesterol and inflammatory cells cause confusion in the arteries leading to a clotted mass called a plaque. These plaques are unstable and can dislodge to block the arteries downstream leading to a heart attack. Have you ever experienced a spiritual heart attack?

Clutter in your spiritual life works in a similar way as in the blood stream. Bitterness, unforgiveness, anger, shame, guilt, pride, and fear can block the flow of God leading to death in the different areas of your life. Years of dealing with these issues cause a toxic buildup of emotions that can drain you of energy to the point you no longer have freedom to move, breath and live. Spiritual clutter causes confusion in your ability to hear God’s directions and plans for your life. We need to regularly detoxify from the toxic emotions that prevent inner peace.

The first step to freedom is to throw off everything that is hindering your ability to move and flow with God. You must identify those areas of your spirit that have become cluttered with past issues. We all have life events that have left a deeper impression on our psyche than we would care to admit, but as you expose these areas you will open the door to your healing. Studies have shown journaling to be an effective tool for spring-cleaning the soul.  It is an opportunity to let go of those areas that clog your mind and let God be God. As you settle down daily for a time of devotion, write down your thoughts as God reveals to you areas that need cleansing and renewing. Allow Him to perform a penetrating work in your life and reap the benefits of a fresh flow of His presence, peace, and power.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. ~Hebrews 12:1

Putting It Into Practice

1.      Purchase a special journal for your time with God. This can be a yellow legal pad, spiral notebook or a beautiful leather bound journal; the choice is yours. (Unless you are a die-hard computer fanatic avoid journaling electronically. I have found that journaling by keyboard is not as therapeutic as putting pen to paper.)

2.      Each day spend time in prayer about the things revealed to you during your time of solitude and communion.

3.      Allow time after the prayer to meditate on scripture and to be still before God. The time frame should be at least five minutes to allow yourself ample time to clear your mind.

4.      During the silence, practice focusing your thoughts on God and not the worries of the day. Your mind and thoughts should be empty to all except being in the moment with God.

5.      If you have difficulty doing this due to a specific thought/event that is cluttering your mind, you should write it down and write your emotions about that situation. Do not re-live the event, as this only intensifies the problem, but rather focus on what you feel.

6.      After you have transferred the emotions out of your mind onto paper, conclude by releasing them over to God. By faith let go of the desire to control the outcome and trust His heart towards you.

7.      You  may find that you need to spend additional time in silence to ensure that you leave today’s mind clutter behind, so that it does not accumulate to the point of dies-ease and disorder.

Spiritual Connection Points

Cleanse your heart that you may be saved. How long will you harbor your evil thoughts? - Jeremiah 4:14
It is God’s desire to see you saved from destructive thoughts and emotions. Thoughts of jealousy, pride, envy, anger, and bitterness can eat at the roots of your life and rob you of the spiritual nutrients you need to live in God’s abundance. Daily cleansing will allow you an opportunity to release those feelings that attempt to steal your joy and peace.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. – John 10:10
Our Heavenly Father seeks to lavish His best into your life. There is a supply of abundance awaiting an opportunity to pour into every area that affects your wellbeing, but first you must make room to receive it. Clear out those things that clog your flow of His presence and prepare to receive new springs of life.

Today's Prayer

God, thank you for giving me the power to change my destiny. Help me to release whatever I need to let go of, so that I can fully experience the flow of your Living Water in my life.  Help me to receive with joy the gift of the present as I live and move in your presence. Cleanse me of toxic emotions and bathe me in your healing streams of love daily. Prepare me to be a living testimony of your goodness. Amen. 

Bio: Saundra Dalton-Smith is a physician, teacher, wife, and mother who is passionate about helping women overcome the mental barriers that prevent them from living free in Christ. She combines the knowledge and compassion of her medical training with biblical principles to offer those bound by insecurity, anxiety, fear, and doubt her prescription for living free. She is the author of Set Free to Live Free: Breaking Through the 7 Lies Women Tell Themselves. To learn more about Saundra visit

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Healing From the Inside Out

It's not always easy determining God's direction for your life. At times I've thought I heard God's voice directing me one way, only to find myself rejected and cast aside due to a wrong choice or poor timing. OUCH! Rejection does not feel good, but it is part of the process God uses to refine our hearts to be more like Jesus. ~Saundra

So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. Then they prayed, "Lord, you know everyone's heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs. "Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles. ~Acts 1: 23-36

The three verses above finish off the first chapter of Acts. This is the chapter where Jesus ascends in to Heaven and the disciples have to decide who will replace Judas, the ex-disciple who chose to betray Jesus for a few coins.

Apparently, the remaining 11 disciples are deciding between two men: Joseph (called Barsabbas) and Matthias. We read in verse 26 that they made their decision and chose Matthias, not Joseph. He was left out. Put out to pasture, if you will. I can only assume this because the next chapter goes on to talk about a completely different subject: Pentecost. There is no “and the disciples comforted and encouraged Joseph to continue to pursue the things of Christ” speech after he wasn’t chosen. As I read that passage, I couldn't help but wonder how Joseph must have felt.
Rejection isn't fun. It doesn't matter if you know to the very core of your being that what you were rejected for isn't God's best for you. It still hurts. It can cause you to doubt who you are, what you're doing and even at times, how you look to others.
I have been in the place where you truly believe God is leading you, guiding you and even prompting you to say a certain thing or move in a certain direction and them BAM! The wall comes up and you are standing there dizzy from the proverbial slam against something you didn't see coming. Oftentimes our tendency is to run from the pain of the rejection. We become incredibly great stonemasons who construct walls of brick around our hearts to protect them from pain of further rejection.
The pain of rejection is intense. But as good as we think our plans are, His are always better, always filled with more peace and will always reap more rewards than we could ever fathom. We just have to surrender our feelings of rejection to Him.
Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world knows all too well how it feels to be rejected (1 Peter 2:4). Rest in His everlasting arms as you allow Him to heal you from the inside out.
Action Steps
Are there areas of your life where you are still holding onto rejection? What is causing you to harbor any feelings of resentment or bitterness about this situation? Speak the truth to yourself that Philippians 1:6 offers you.
(c) From Living the Surrendered life by Cindy Beall