“Moving On Up…”
On the old TV show, The Jeffersons, their theme song had a line in it that said, “Moving on up to the big time… finally got a piece of the pie”. Well, I just moved on “up” to Northern California – in the Redding, area where my husband and I have purchased our little piece of pie. We moved because we have the privilege of pastoring our TC church and directing one of our Teen Challenge centers in the area and needed to get closer. I took vacation time to move; did the best I could to prepare for the move; and then came the day of the move… The move left me with one question: “Why, please tell me why we hold onto soooo much junk!” I will never know how two people and three dogs can accumulate so much “junk”! Of course it is important “junk”. Junk, that though we haven’t used it in years, is vitally important. So important we could never live without it… NAUGHT!
I think it may be human nature to hold onto things. It could also be because we fear not having “enough” to get by. Or, we could just be comfortable with all this baggage and not want to let go of any of it. (If you don’t believe that people have a hard time letting go of things, try helping someone with a yard sale. You will be met with, “No… I can’t let go of that… I’ve had that since grade school. Or… You never know when that may come in handy…”) But, it isn’t just the physical junk we need to take to the dump. I also think that we have a hard time letting go of “junk” we know we need to let go of spiritually – things that need to go into the spiritual junk pile, never to be brought back again: junk like past offenses; guilt and shame from the past; sinful habits; grudges or attitudes that are fear based instead of faith based… and so on. Scripture is quite clear in Hebrews 12:1: “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us”. We are to lay aside these things that weigh us down! Anything that hinders our walk with God needs to be out of our lives. In order for this to happen, we need to allow God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to help us get rid of the junk we are hanging onto. We can never do it in our own strength. Trust me, I’ve tried. Every time I’ve tried to do it in the power of Joan, I have ultimately failed. I may be able to let go of it for a bit, but my natural will power eventually wanes and before I know it… the “junk” is back in!
Galatians 5:16 states that we are to walk by the Spirit and we will not gratify the desires of the flesh. The flesh being those not so healthy things we are hanging onto. Galatians 5: 19-21 gives us a list: 19Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like…. (Notice the term “such like”. In other words, this is not an inclusive list. So, if your “junk” isn’t specifically named, just tag it “such like”.) Great! But how do we walk by the Spirit? I am really good at walking by the flesh. Walking by the Spirit – I could use some help.
Not that I have all the answers, but here are some tools I found that might help:
- Know that walking in the Spirit is living out the Divine nature God has given us. Remember, the Holy Spirit abides in us as Christians.
- Know who you are in Christ. Start believing who God says you are. We are victorious – past tense. We need to learn to walk in the victory Christ has provided.
- Take a good look in the mirror! We need to prayerfully take a good look at ourselves. Accountability helps with this process. A good friend who will be painfully honest with us is a true asset.
- Know your weaknesses and avoid them like the plague. If a Twinkie is your downfall, don’t allow it in your house! If gossip is an issue – stay away from those who like to listen to that drivel.
- Deny the flesh. The more we deny the flesh, though not easy, the easier it will get if we are consistent. Also, realize we must battle the flesh through Christ’s power, not our own.
- Guard your thoughts! Stinkin thinkin will feed the flesh every time.
- Spend time in prayer – making sure we listen to God in our prayer times and not just talk, talk, talk.
- Allow God to fight our battles. He is our defender! We can back away from the drama because we know God has our backs!
- Depend on the Holy Spirit. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide; to comfort; and to teach us God’s way.
I don’t know about you, but I want to get rid of all the “junk in my trunk”. I want to lay aside anything that can hinder me from doing ALL God has called me to do. When it is time for me to make my final move on up, I want my piece of the pie to be hearing Jesus say, “Well done though good and faithful servant”. #lighteningtheload