SIMPLIFY YOUR SOUL
Our soul can get weighed down and overwhelmed, just like our messy and disorganized rooms in our home. Simplifying our souls involves clearing the clutter. Proverbs 4:23 says, "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life." In the bible, the words "heart" and "soul" often go together. Here I am referring to "soul" and "heart" as the innermost part of a person.
Soul clutter consists of mental, emotional and spiritual clutter. Let's explore these three types of clutter.
Mental clutter consists of things we worry about, things that weigh us down. Maybe we have a lot of decisions to make or issues to consider. It's very hard to rest when we have mental clutter. It feels like our minds are spinning and won't stop. We might even wake in the middle of the night and feel like our thoughts have never even slowed down. Jesus wants to give us peace. How does He do this? Philippians 4:6-7 tell us that we are not to worry about anything. Instead, we are to pray about everything, always thanking God for his goodness to us. The result? God's peace, which far surpasses any peace we can find in our circumstances, will keep our hearts and minds calm and at rest. We may have to turn to God over and over again until we build the habit of laying our mental clutter at His feet and trusting Him with it.
Emotional clutter can give us a sense of being on the edge and/or out of control. It may consist of unprocessed, unresolved, and possibly even unrecognized feelings. We may feel afraid, insecure, angry, or anxious. The important thing to know here is that God knows us better than we know ourselves and He wants to give us freedom. We aren't able to free ourselves by working harder or gritting our teeth. We need the power of God to work in us and through us. In Romans 15:13, Paul prays that the "God of hope" will fill us with joy and peace as we trust Him; that we may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Overflowing with hope is much better than feeling like we are going to overflow with out-of-control emotions. But we start where we are and that is where Jesus meets us.
Spiritual clutter includes unrecognized and unconfessed sin in our lives. This may be the result of actions, words, thoughts or attitudes. Pride, greed, jealousy, envy, bitterness, and lust are examples of heart issues that can affect our actions, words and thoughts. Usually as spiritual clutter builds, we begin distancing ourselves from God, when what we really need to do is run to Him and rely on His mercy and forgiveness. 1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
Looking to Jesus
Jesus wants to help us get rid of soul clutter. His word says that He came to give us abundant life, to set us free. We can go to Him, confidently, and ask Him to help us, to show us what to do. Sometimes we know what we're dealing with, but sometimes we have no clue and we need wisdom. We want to be regularly renewing our minds with the truth so that we are trusting His promises more than we are trusting our emotions or our circumstances.
As the old hymn, "Just As I Am," says,
"Just as I am though tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt
Fightings within and fears without
O, Lamb of God, I come, I come."
I encourage you to take some time to come before God and pour out your heart to Him. His word says that when we call to Him, He will answer.