Some folks do spring cleaning. I seem to do mine at any given point in the year when I have a few days off at home.

I recently embarked on one of these organization fetes over Labor Day weekend. My attention turned toward not the visible surface areas that needed to be wiped down or dusted, but to my husband’s and my dresser drawers and clothes, storage and linen closets. I felt a need to make room, organize and purge our home of all the unused junk and outgrown clothes we’d never put on our bodies again. My mom used to say, “If you haven’t worn it in a year, it’s time to get rid of it.”

Among my achievements that day, to the delight of observers in passing cars, I lugged old housewares to our “magic curb” (now you see it, now you don’t!). I also filled a bag destined for Goodwill with old t-shirts, faded sweaters, clothes I never planned to wear again, and clothes I had never seen (or would never approve of) my husband wearing.

I later made mention to my husband that among the clothes I had given away were some shirts he had acquired through various former companies he’d worked for which he’d never worn.

His response, though forgiving and loving, was: “Babe, please don’t do that again without my permission, okay?”

“But you never wear those shirts, and you didn’t even like those companies you worked for!”

“I know, but you don’t see me getting rid of your stuff I don’t think you use or like anymore, okay?” (I’m guessing you’ve probably had similar conversations with your spouse, children, or parents.)

Even though Scott indeed would NEVER have worn those shirts again, I believe my husband felt a violation had occurred when I came in and made the executive decision they had to go.

Isn’t it funny that we react sometimes the same way to our Father when He tells us there’s something we need to get rid of in our heart closets?

Now, I don’t believe our God comes in dogmatically like me, the housecleaning wife, zealously pitching our junk to the curb or into the trashcan, insisting: “It’s good for you!”

But I do believe He will gently, though firmly, knock on the doors, ask us to unlock those hidden rooms, point to those corners and closets and ask us to willingly give up the dusty junk we’ve tucked away all these years.

Smile! All your life you’ve been on candid camera and He knows what old junk is filling up your dresser drawers or sits behind the hanging clothes.

Make no mistake: God doesn’t move in this way for the sake of a Heavenly Garage Sale to conform us to a sanitized, color-coded, Container Store-modeled life that fits perfectly in a churchy box. Rather, He wants to heal, free, transform, renew, equip and make us more like Jesus!

Think how God must mourn when we cannot receive those good and perfect gifts He wants us to give us from above because we have no place to store the good in those junk-filled spaces!

Jesus reminded us in Matthews 7:18: “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.”

When our spiritual walk is stagnant because we’re loaded down by the inertia of that junk, we’ll feel it by the distance separating us from the abundant life which abides in Christ.

Refusing to give up that huge, heavy box loaded down with bricks that says: “I am what people think of me”? Until you trade it with God, He can’t bestow to you the priceless oil painting to put over your mantle for all to see that says: “I am approved by God, and I am an heir with Christ.”

Fervently clinging to those bottles of bitterness from past wounds you won’t forgive others of? While they’re leaking and staining poison in your heart, God so desperately wants you to release those to Him in exchange for a beautiful tapestry He’s woven for you to illustrate your freedom in Christ.

Maybe there’s a closet marked “Shame” which you pass each day, telling you things will never change. You may keep trying to rush God by it so He won’t see it. But did you know, in His great love for you, He sent His one and only Son to die on a cross to free you from shame ever taking up residence in your heart? Oh, how He longs for you to let Him tear the shame closet down, and bestow upon you instead a double inheritance.

Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. (John 15:1-2 NKJV)

I challenge you to allow God to show you what junk you’ve stored up in your heart, and obediently lay those things at His cross. May you instead be firmly planted by His streams of living water, and that as the bride of Christ, He will wash you in His Word, opening the floodgates of all the abundant life He has in mind for you.

I hope this song by Shaun Groves blesses you in this journey.

Welcome Home
By Shaun Groves

Welcome to this heart of mine
I'm buried under prideful vines
Grown to hide the mess I've made
Inside of me - come decorate, Lord,
And open up the creaking door
And walk upon the dusty floor -
Scrape away the guilty stains
Until no sin or shame remains
Spread Your love upon the walls,
And occupy the empty halls
Until the man I am has faded -
No more doors are barricaded...

Come inside this heart of mine -
It's not my own -
Make it home...
Come and take this heart and make it
All Your own -
Welcome Home...

Take a seat - pull up a chair -
Forgive me for the disrepair
And the souvenirs from floor to ceiling
Gathered on my search for meaning,
And every closet's filled with clutter -
Messes yet to be discovered -
I'm overwhelmed - I understand
I can't make this place all that You can...

I took this space that You placed in me,
Redecorated in shades of greed,
And I made sure every door stayed locked -
Every window blocked -
And still, You knocked, well...

Come inside this heart of mine -
It's not my own -
Make it home...
Come and take this heart and make it
All Your own -
Welcome Home...

Erin is blessed and loved immeasurably by a kind and redeeming Father who masterfully knit her in her mother’s womb. He created her with a heart for worship, loving her husband Scott, cooking, feeding people, gardening, kitty-cats, and the occasional jog. She studied communications, government, and worship music at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. Scott and Erin have been members of Gateway Church in Southlake since 2003. Erin has worked since 2007 for a nonprofit think tank in effort to promote economic freedom and change hearts and minds across the nation and in Washington.


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