"Then Samuel addressed the house of Israel: "If you are truly serious about coming back to God, clean house. Get rid of the foreign gods and fertility goddesses, ground yourselves firmly in God, worship Him and Him alone, and He'll save you from Philistine oppression."(7:3)
There is a saying, "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your schedule". I had one for this past winter. To go through our home and shop and totally clean and organize it. Even though it was only a two month season - I did get our taxes done, and the office up to date - the home and shop are still in disorder. The things I completed were a top priority.
So is cleaning and organizing.
I have found over the years if I do this every winter, it is much easier to stay on top of things during our busy time. Many, many days we begin not much after dawn and are driving home in the dark. Even though I am so very thankful for the work He is providing - it robs me of my energy and motivation when I do get home.
The truth is - I love an organized and clean home. I hate the amount of time and energy that is wasted in looking for something or having to buy something because it is "lost" in the mess.
And that is exactly what it is - stuff. Stuff that can become my god. I begin to find comfort, security, worth, etc. in stuff. It gets in the way of my relationship with God. It affects my ability to be a good steward of what He has given me. It can wreck havoc on my life. Our house isn't filled floor to ceiling with paths in each room, but there are areas that are in need of attention. My closet. I began over two months ago to go through it. Right now, it looks like it threw up into the room. For some reason food and clothes are a weakness for me. It is even hard to part with clothes I really don't like - in case I will need them. And you can imagine the pain I have in getting rid of something someone gave me - even though I don't like it and don't even wear it!
"God answered Samuel, "Go ahead and do what they're asking. They are not rejecting you. They've rejected me as their King. From the day I brought them out of Egypt until this very day they've been behaving like this, leaving me for other gods. And now they're doing it to you. So let them have their own way. But warn them of what they're in for."(8:7-9)
I know in these verses they are referring to wanting an earthly king. Someone to take the place of God amongst them. Someone that they can physically see and hear. But, I also know that with these verses He is telling me, "yes, you can keep all this stuff - but there are consequences." I know that in some of the stuff I hang onto I am getting that false sense of security from keeping it. I see that I need to be holding onto Him - not the "stuff".
I am learning that "having my way" is really a burden. That living life with all this "stuff" - it really isn't living. Not the way He planned. He wants me to enjoy this life, to be prepared, to be a warrior for Him. To be secure In Him.