Confused and Cluttered


“Confused and Cluttered”

“If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory throughout the day.”

Martin Luther

            There have been times in my own life, and I am sure yours too, where you have felt confused, anxious, worried, fearful, and misdirected. What brings these “evil beasts” into our lives? What series of life events, mishaps, distractions have strayed into our paths to lead us down these darkened hallways?  Most importantly, how do we clear our minds, our lives, our spirit to get us back on track?

            The disciple’s state of mind, following the death of Jesus, can help us relate. Just days prior to His death, Jesus was healing the sick, making the blind see the lame walk, and putting the demons on the run. Just days prior they were ready to follow their new King, Jesus, into battle to change the world armed with the good news of the gospel. Then suddenly it all changed.  In a flash their world was turned upside down. The chosen one, the Lord of Lord, the King of Kings, the Son of God, their Messiah was dead. We can only imagine the confusion they each felt. We can only paint a picture in our minds of the anxiety, worry and fear they had for their own future, their own lives, their own destiny. We can only imagine the crazed thoughts that lingered in their hearts and minds.

           For three days they were confused. For three days their minds were adrift and cluttered with the future of their ministry.  For three days they were a ship without a sail in turbulent waters. Then once again, it all changed. Jesus returned to fulfill Prophesy. To prove to the world that He was, is and will be the Lamb of God. His return set the record straight

            The Bible is clear that God demands time alone with Him. To study the scriptures, to memorize His Word, to spend time in prayer and fasting as we seek His will and His direction for our life, our family, our work, our marriages, our social life, our church life, our spiritual life and our ministry. I truly believe that our time allocated with Him is to give Him our “first fruits”. Not the leftover time at the end of the day (If any exists). Not the tired worn mind and body before we drift off to sleep. God wants our best. He wants us alert. He wants us ready. He wants to give us Wisdom to face the day. He wants to shower us with His Favor. He wants to overly and exceedingly bless us. Too often however, we do not give God our best we give Him “the rest of what’s left”.

            It’s so easy to justify our actions. If we don’t work, how will we earn an income that allows us to feed our family?  With my income I can be a good tither, cant I? Look at all the charities I support, isn’t that important? I am spending my extra time volunteering isn’t that a good and noble thing?  The lists go on and on, and the reasons to allow us to put God second becomes so easily justified.;

·      Work

·      Kids events/Sports

·      Social time

·      Sports teams

·      Traffic

·      Music/radio/TV

·      Social Media(Twitter/Facebook/etc…)

·      Emails

·      Technology

·      Procrastination

·      Mental and Physical Fatigue

·      Volunteering

·      Church events/volunteering

What is it that is getting in the way of spending time alone with God?  What is your excuse for putting God second in your life? What is it that has you living “confused and cluttered”?

I do want to point out, friends that time is of the essence. There is no time to waste, so don’t complicate your lives unnecessarily. Keep it simple—in marriage, grief, joy, whatever. Even in ordinary things—your daily routines of shopping, and so on. Deal as sparingly as possible with the things the world thrusts on you. This world as you see it, is on its way out. (1 Corinthians 7:29-31 MSG)

"Sharpen the axe"

January 01, 2015

I vividly remember the image of “The Devil” that I grew up with as a child. He was bright red wearing a long red cape, He had horns, a pointed nose, glaring eyes, and of course was carrying a bright red three-pronged pitchfork. That illustration is most likely how the majority saw him or envisioned him as a child. The critical issue for today’s Christ followers, is many of us believe that he has no relevance or existence in our lives, because we haven’t seen that character waltz into our home, work, or in any public venue.

Satan, the evil one, the devil is much more cunning and conniving to appear where he could be easily recognized and avoided. Today he takes on many forms, but the most common is his ability to keep us “busy.” I love the coined phrase. “If the devil can’t make you bad, he will make you busy.” How true that is in our lives?  Electronics, iPads, iPhones, TV, emails, work, finances, kids sports and specialty lessons, kids school events, volunteering, committees, social events, and the ever growing “To Do List.” We wake up, we get our day rolling, we return home with a tired and weary soul ready to “rest up” for another day.

Hairdressers keep sharp scissors, the butcher keeps his knives sharp, and a lumberjack keeps a sharp axe. The Bible is replete with examples of rest. God knew it  to be so important that he carved out a full day of the week for the celebration of the Sabbath and for rest.  Without rest, without a sharp axe, the devil is seeking to kill and destroy. As it says in I Peter 5:8, “he is on the prowl, like a roaring lion for anyone he can devour” I don’t know about you, but I prefer to face a roaring, attacking, fierce lion (Satan) with a sharp axe!

How can we keep our axes sharp?   We start with regular reading of God’s word (The Bible) to keep us sharp and ready for any spiritual attack. This clears our mind, focuses our direction, and “unclutters” our lives.

If today you find yourself tired, weary, confused, fearful, worry-some, undirected, cluttered, or wondering why am I here? Spend regular time in the Word, spend the best part of your day in prayer, and set aside regular time of fasting. (Matthew 17:21)

As we embark on the start of a new year, set a goal to “Keep your axe sharp!”