“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives.  Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.  The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants.  And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires.  These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.  But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.  When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties and other sins like these.  Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.  But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  There is no law against these things!” (Galatians 5:16-23)

“I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.  But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.  (Mark 11:24-25)

Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!  When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long.  Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.  My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.  Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt.  I said to myself, ‘I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.’ And you forgave me!  All my guilt is gone. (Psalm 32:1-5)

For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation.  There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow.  But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10)

And this is the message I proclaim — that the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone’s secret life.” (Romans 2:16)

We all come to the end of our lives as naked and empty-handed as on the day we were born.  We can’t take our riches with us.” (Ecclesiastes 5:15)

Look! I stand at the door and knock.  If you hear my voice and 0pen the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” (Revelation 3:20)

Clutter tends to build up over time and can turn an otherwise nice room into a place of discomfort and embarrassment, where objects lack their proper, rightful place.  A cluttered room mixes valuable, worthy pieces with garbage and the overall theme and experience is disorder. No one likes to be in a place like this.  Those who live in places like this are generally overwhelmed and suffer from anxiety and other debilitating issues.  They want to hold on to the garbage “just in case”, but the more clutter that builds up, the more debilitated they feel.

They can barely function in the mess.  They are embarrassed by it and wouldn’t dare invite any company over to see what they are living in. In extreme cases, the place cannot even be dusted and cleaned because of the piles of clutter everywhere, so filth is added to the disorder, resulting in overall socially unacceptable living conditions.

Most people put forth the effort to keep their living space socially acceptable and even orderly and nice.  It is important to most of us to keep our things nice, organized and clean. If keeping our material belongings orderly and acceptable is important, how much more important is the condition of our spiritual life, our spiritual house?  As the days pass, our interactions with others, our thoughts, temptations and actions build up. They clutter and hamper what should always be an orderly and peaceful relationship with our Father in heaven.

Many of us would be mortified if the door to the room of our soul and thoughts was suddenly sprung upon, revealing all our secrets, all our filthy garbage to our neighbors and people whose opinion of us we deeply care about.  It should make our heart race to realize that God Almighty stands at our door right now, knocking, wishing to come in. Is our house in order? How long do we need to get it in order? How long would it take us to put things in their proper place, to scrub, to freshen up, to make our room acceptable to God so that we would not be ashamed to open our door to Him? Some examples of spiritual garbage/clutter are fear, bitterness, worry, resentment, hatred, pride, selfishness, envy, regret, grudges, covetousness, greed, laziness, hostility to others, outbursts of anger, sexual immorality, shame, and guilt.

This clutter and garbage has no rightful place in our lives, but we live with it, often collecting it, nurturing it and fostering it.  We provoke it in ourselves and in others, and of our own free will, hold tightly to it and justify it. What an embarrassing and shameful mess.

Fortunately for us, God has given us the tools we need to clean our spiritual house and keep it clean and orderly. He has given us His Word so we know with clarity what the worthy, valuable pieces are in our house, and what the garbage and clutter is.  He has taught us in His Word about the fruit of the our sinful nature so we can differentiate between what our flesh is doing and what the Holy Spirit is doing in our lives.

When we see clearly where the fruit of our sinful nature is growing and ripening, He has taught us how to cut it from the corrupt vine of our sinful nature through confession and repentance.  When we confess and repent, we show that we have identified garbage in our life and that we agree with God that it’s time to throw it away and rid our house of it.

He has taught us in His Word about forgiveness, both in asking him for it and in granting it to others.  When we confess our sins and repent of them, we are invited to ask God for His forgiveness of them and we are assured that he grants the forgiveness that we’ve asked for, with one condition: we must first grant forgiveness to anyone we are holding a grudge against. If we want a clean and orderly spiritual house, then we must use the tools we’ve been given by our loving Father in Heaven, Who wants us to thrive in our lives and experience true joy and peace.

The wise confess, repent and forgive daily as part of their routine, understanding that these things are as critical to their spiritual lives as nutrition, exercise and rest is to their physical bodies.  Those who understand spiritual warfare have a very real, sober clarity on how these tools keep us safe from our enemy Satan’s attacks and in right standing with God. It is up to each of us to take an honest look at the condition of our spiritual house (our actual house/room too if needed!).  What are the conditions we are living in? Do we have years of clutter that we need to sift through and make decisions about?  We have all we need to keep our house clean and the Holy Spirit will help us.

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