Theme: Be Empty
We have been meaning to have a garage sale for awhile now. Why? Because we have stuff! Can you relate? You may have clothes your kids outgrew, shoes you got tired of, tools you rarely use, records from the 70's, cassettes from the 80's, VHS movies, old dishes, coats you don't wear anymore, toys your kids stopped playing with years ago, and golf clubs that never helped you play better! Over time, we accumulate. It is our nature. And soon there is a decision to make; rent a storage unit or get rid of some things. I hear storage rental is big business!
We talked Sunday about empty vessels. One of the takeaways was God can't fill you if you are already full. Like our home, our lives tend to collect stuff as well. We can be full of anger, discouragement, fear, bad habits, busyness, anxiety, stress, and sin to name a few. There are times when we need to have a spiritual garage sale. We need to empty the closets of our lives to make room for what God has for us.
But how? Maybe seeing you have clothes to get rid of is more clear cut than dealing with stress and anxiety. I would agree. I think a great staring point is to identify the source. Let's talk about stress and anxiety as an example. Start by asking yourself, "What is triggering stress and anxiety in me?" Maybe it is when you get on Facebook and read posts from friends or acquaintances. Maybe it is when you watch the news. Maybe it is being around a certain person. Maybe it is your schedule or routines. If you are going to empty out stress and anxiety, then you have to identify and empty the source. Let me say it this way, stress and anxiety are not the focus, what creates these feelings should be the focus.
One of the Scriptures shared this morning asks God to help us identify the source of things that are harmful to us. I think this first week of 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting would be well spent on identifying the things we need to empty out of our lives. This takes time. Don't rush it. If we are sincere, God will show us more than the anger, discouragement, fear, bad habits, busyness, anxiety, stress, and sin, but the source behind it.
Scripture: Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV)
"Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting."
Prayer: Be Empty
"Father, my life has become cluttered (take some time and name the things in your life that you wish were gone). There are probably things I don't even see so I am asking you to make me aware of those as well (just be quiet and see of there are things that come to mind). My desire is to empty these harmful things out of my life so You can fill me with good things. But I need help. I need you God to show me the source of the ________ (name it...anger, frustration, hurt, stress, anxiety, addiction, fear, bad habit). So I ask you to search me and know my heart. I pray you would put me to the test on this. Make me study, reflect, think, and ponder. My desire is to repent and turn from the ways that are causing me harm to following your ways. So lead me God because I know following your lead is the way to everlasting life here and forevermore. Help me in this season of prayer to choose to empty my life of the sources you are revealing to me as harmful and fill my life with the sources of prayer and Your Word. In Jesus' Name, Amen."