I love the word Reroot. It explains the process I have been a part of for the past few years as God has tenderly pulled me out of the toxic soil I created for myself and started the process of becoming more and more settled into the beliefs, patterns, and behaviors that He thought would work a whole lot better for both of us.
Of course, it has served me well and I am healthier and happier for it, although it hasn't been easy. Actually, that's an understatement because its been pretty hard. I assumed I would go through this rerooting season and then things would settle down and I would live a comfortable and productive life serving God from here on out.
What I didn't realize, was that the process is never really over. It requires constant pruning, weeding and fertilizing to keep it going. That means, there is a constant level of necessary change, reorganization, and worst of all, introspection and confession.
So, I'm settling into that fact and actually I'm learning to kind of like it. It suits me because I like change and I like the idea that there's always hope for improvement in whatever seem to be stagnate or at least not working as well as it could. But, it's often uncomfortable.
Sometimes I think I seem discontent to those around me, which maybe I am, but I like to think of myself as being someone who is not afraid to discard the mediocre in search for something better. Ok, and I'm easily bored. But lately, as I have been working on decluttering and organizing some key areas of my life, I am discovering that its actually making room for the things that really matter and will have eternal benefit.
One thing you will be seeing considerable change in is my website, and even my life coaching focus to date. But stick with me because I'm convinced the change will be good, even though I think it will always be evolving.
What I am thinking about most today is in decluttering the important space of my heart, which leads to my head, which unfortunately leads to both my mouth and my behavior.
I recently attended a Desiring God Conference in Minneapolis. I wasn't even sure why I had signed up and why I was going at all, until I got there. I then discovered I was there because God knew how much I needed it. As each speaker shared about the ability to have joy in difficult circumstances, the words satisfied a deep hunger that I hadn't even acknowledged was there. I was hungry to have a better understanding of why God allows pain.
We were challenged to be realistic about the broken world that we live in and to accept that we will have pain, heartache and difficult circumstances. They all shared how struggle is actually a good thing, which we all know but have a hard time accepting What matters is how we handle the painful things that God allows or even sometimes creates.
Christ died in order to defeat the ultimate enemy of death so we can get that off the table. But He also died so we would have His power to deal with the stuff that comes along with the sin in the world, not to mention in ourselves. Not only can we have the strength to get through the hard stuff, but we can have the joy that comes from both understanding that He helps us out of His deep love for us, and that someday everything will be as He intended it to be in the first place. That's where we get the hope we need to get us to the other side. That's where we get the joy we can experience as we get there.
So, we have a choice in what we do now. Do we choose to live life the joy-filled way or the hard way? As believers, do we want to live within the fruits that come from the Holy Spirit placed inside of those of us who have accepted Christ's gift of death for our sins, or do we live according to the fruits of satan that bring us more pain and more suffering.
I find that if I clutter my heart and head with the things that satan creates, it naturally pushes out the things that come from God's nature. When I look at the two lists, I can't believe I would ever think to choose one over the other, although we do all the time. I'm sure you will feel the same. So lets take a look at the lists
The nature of God The nature of satan
- love *rejection
- joy *hatred
- peace *violence
- longsuffering *jealousy and envy
- gentleness *condemnation
- goodness *shame
- faith *pride
- virtue *guilt
- purity *lying
- wisdom *lust
- justice *greed
- honesty *covetousness
- fairness *revenge
- sincerity *retaliation
- knowledge *slander
- understanding *critical spirit
- grace *fear
- mercy *terror
- excellence *unforgiveness
- forgiveness *self-pity
- compassion *gossip
- devotion *unmerciful
- truth *self-centered
The comparison is staggering. As we think about clearing out the things that are taking up space and not serving us well, what can we take away from this challenge?
- The transformation of becoming more like the nature of God is a process and will never be fully accomplished this side of heaven, although we obviously benefit from it nonetheless.
- Through Christ's death, we have the power available to choose from one list over another.
- Since we have received forgiveness of our sins, we should by our new nature choose to work towards replacing the characteristics of the enemy with the attributes of God.
- God's blessings of peace and joy will comes as we declutter our hearts and minds and replace them with His ways.
- The joy that someday we will be changed in an instant, gives us hope that the struggle we now feel will end. But in the meantime, we can live our lives with joy, enjoy the blessings we are given, but always worship Who is worth worshiping because He will never disappoint.
I don't know about you, but I have some clearing out to do. Blessings until next time...