Encouragement for Today - September 26, 2005



Encouragement for Today


“No More Stuff”

Marybeth Whalen, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member


Key Verse: 


Ezekiel 36:26, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” (NIV)




A friend of mine called me a few weeks ago after she had spent several days purging her house of the junk that had accumulated.  “I have discovered something I am allergic to,” she announced dramatically.  “I am allergic to STUFF.”  We spent a few minutes lamenting the accumulation of stuff that can take up residence in an average American home.  From broken toys to mismatched socks, the stuff just seems to pile up and take over.  Organization attempts and routine cleaning might keep the stuff at bay for awhile, but eventually, drastic measures are necessary. 


Our homes are not the only places where we allow stuff to take over.  Many of us are guilty of letting stuff pile up in our hearts as well.  This stuff creeps in seemingly unnoticed, growing bigger and more cumbersome by the day.  Some stuff has been with us for years, moving with us from place to place throughout our lives.  Some stuff is added because we just couldn’t say no when we should have.  Some stuff we keep locked out of sight and some is piled up in plain sight.  We have a litany of excuses as to why we have not purged the stuff from our lives.  Yet still we live as prisoners — held captive by stuff. 


We all have different stuff that we have allowed to accumulate in our hearts.  Even as you read this, I am sure your specific stuff is coming to mind.  Bad attitudes, unforgiveness, old wounds from the past, sin struggles, health issues, low self image, unsavory habits, hurtful words, gossip and unhealthy thoughts are all likely possibilities.  We know we should do what my friend did in her home and purge it.  But our old enemy Satan does everything he can to prevent us from doing so.  He loves for us to hang onto the stuff so that we will be less effective for God.  He even goes and gets stuff out of the recesses that we have forgotten about, just to make sure we don’t forget and find freedom.  He loves to paralyze us and keep us overwhelmed. 


We forget we have access to the ultimate moving company.  “God and Son Master Movers” will haul all of that stuff away whenever we call on them.  The process may take a long time but, ultimately, through our obedience and faith, God will remove all of the baggage we have been toting around for years. 


When my friend finished de-junking her house, she pronounced it ready for re-decorating.  She took time to pick new furnishings and the perfect accessories for her new and improved home, making it a beautiful, welcoming place to be.  God shows us through His Word that that is exactly what He wants to do for our hearts.  He wants to take out all the stuff that clutters up our lives and replace it with beautiful new things only He can give us — things like His Word, a close walk with Him, love and encouragement. 


Are you allowing stuff to take over your heart?  Perhaps today is the day for you to proclaim that you are allergic to stuff and begin the de-junking process.  Your heart will feel so much cleaner and your life so much freer when you do!


My Prayer for Today: 


Lord, come into my life and clean out the junk I have let pile up in my heart. Only You can create a new heart for me and replace all the bad stuff with beauty.  Help me to find freedom in You.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Application Steps: 


Honestly list the things that God has brought to mind that you need to de-junk from your life.  Write down these things and spend time in prayer, asking God to remove this bondage.  Determine to replace the bad stuff in your heart with the good stuff only God can give us through His Holy Spirit.  (See power verses.)


Reflection Points: 


What stuff do you need to remove from your life? 


Has God been urging you to do this for a long time? 


If so, what has prevented you from doing so? 


Power Verses: 


Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.” (NIV)


Philippians 4:8, “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.” (NIV)


Psalm 103:10-12, “He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.  For as high as the Heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (NIV)


Additional Resources:


Shaped with Purpose (workbook), by Renee Swope



Secrets of the Vine, by Bruce Wilkinson



Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed (3-tape set), by Lysa TerKeurst



Originally published Monday, 26 September 2005.