My trash can was stinky. I know perfect people cant relate, but Gods given me a voice for a reason. I could paint a beautiful façade, but I am transparent. So, my trash was up to the rim where I forgot to take it out the night before. I pulled the bag and as I pulled it out I noticed something I didn’t see before. There was actual trash in the bottom that was thrown in under the bag. As I gaged a little from the half eaten mini pepper, to the papers; I realized this was exposed. I had two options; pull existing bag out and add fresh bag over the disgust I just found, or deal with it.
As I began dumping it out the lord spoke so clearly to me. This is commonly what happens in the believers life. Sin is exposed and we have two choices, hide it and act like it doesn’t exist, or confront it. Naturally it would be easier to not deal with this, but that isn’t how I am. Perhaps I would have a few years ago. I pray for God to shine a light and expose me frequently. This so happened to just be my garbage this time.
When our eyes are closed off to a situation its like the old saying, “out of sight, out of mind”. But at what point do we allow God to expose those things we’ve hidden? At what point do we see what’s been decaying us for years?.Why would we not allow it? Honestly, we don’t care. Change is uncomfortable and it requires something of us. We can justify what we are covering. I could have easily said,
“it doesn’t bother me.”
“I don’t smell anything.”
“I see papers mainly, no big deal.”
“I’m a clean person, and this is one small area I missed”
“Not everyone can be perfect.”
Justification can be used in any situation to make us NOT do something that God IS leading us to clean out for a reason.. he wants us to live freely, not in bondage. Now let me add this, like with justification people will seek for a confirmation to have it swayed their direction so they don’t have to change. Examples
“I didn’t even do this.”
“my daughter said it didn’t smell too bad either.”
“I saw glad keeps odors down, and that’s what I use, so”
We can all day long justify why we aren’t moving forward in something Gods leading, by allowing our flesh to stay comfortable. I say all this with love, truly I do. So many believers aren’t walking in the glorified life Gods leading you to, because you refuse to endure the discomfort you will encounter, while getting rid of things God never intended you to have.
Now here is the dirty details of my trash bin. I have to share because I promise it will come full circle. The easy things came out almost immediately. Things such as papers, wrappers, some peppers on top. They all just immediately fell out and into the new bag. They were borderline effortless. This was like the first things the lord brought me through. I had to be willing, and I asked him to take my sins away, but also my desires. He rid my life of alcohol, people that brought me down, and the lying spirit spirit that practically ruled me. Those things fell off relatively effortlessly.
The next shake was heavier and more of a fight. I had to hit the bottom. I kicked the can a bit then a banana peel hit the ground; I gaged and a tear formed because of disgust. It’s like when God was teaching me to be modest. I had closets full of really expensive designer jeans, bags, shoes, dresses. You name it, I had it. God asked me if I loved it more than I loved him. Crying I realized my wardrobe had become an idol in my life. I just knew he was going to have me give it away, but I hit a place where I was prepared for that. It wasn’t easy. As I pulled each piece off the hanger the lord spoke to me of what I could keep. It was about 80% of my wardrobe. In that moment I realized what a true merciful God he was. It made me appreciate my clothes, but I was always willing to give any of it away. He only took my revealing clothes out, but left me with things that glorified him. It didn’t take someone screaming at me for what I was wearing, or nagging. It took a loving God who exposed my sin, guided me to repentance, and then allowed me to keep most of my clothes. That’s beautiful.
Now here’s where it truly gets gross (if it weren’t already). I had a layer of just absolute filth on the bottom. I was borderline ashamed. I hose it every few months anyway, but this was just uncalled for on my part. Life got so busy that those things just blended with the can. These are those things you don’t even notice. This was like when God started shining a light on the serious problems I had. This is when the weeping, scrubbing, absolutely dying to the flesh started taking place. Submission and rebellion ruled me. Anyone who didn’t agree with me, I would feel a roar within coming out. At first I could justify it with things like saying it is “righteous indignation” but it was all flesh. The sin that absolutely pierced into my flesh and hung like a tribal piercing was rebellion. I would borderline froth at the mouth when I was made to act a certain way I didn’t agree with, or submit. Whether it be in the ministry, my husband, family, the word of God, you name it. I finally overcame quite a bit of it, then came a place of humility but instead of staying in a place of God with it, it took a dark turn to feeling worthless and the spirit of heaviness. Which I have learned to praise and sing your heart out. Pour your heart out in worship and he takes that boulder on your chest and raises your arms, and brings you to such a peace. Depression and anxiety used to be a crutch for me, but once I started taking authority over them, I overcame. As for the bins, the water hit the gunk and washed them out. It was my choice as to whether I was going to leave them out, or bag it up and throw it away in the large trash bins. The clean up was gross, but I did it.
The last piece was an old frozen fruit cup wrapper. I literally could not begin to peel it off. It was adhered and practically bonded and made one with the trash can. Outside the sunshine was bright on it, but no matter how much I hit it with the gardenhose and cleaner it absolutely would not come off. I heard the lord whisper “just as Paul, my grace is sufficient for thee.” I started to tear up. What a merciful God we serve. We are taught and preached to that he’s just this harsh judge. He is so much more. Like a good father, you cant understand his love without understanding his wrath also.
A good father corrects, holds, provides, speaks life, and exposes the things we need to work on, but we may not be aware of. He shines a light on the darkness and he makes us whole. He takes us, washes us, and gets the gunk off of us that we ourselves could never clean up alone. He wants us to talk to him, he wants us to be clean and pure. He wants us to love the lost, and bring them to a place where he can set them free. We as believers have to seek Gods heart. He doesn’t want to condemn us, but to set us free. He wants his glory to inhabit his people, but there’s such a lack of sanctification. We all say the same four scriptures, (which are true) but never apply them. We justify our actions and look for the world to confirm our filth and never change.
Friend are you seeking the loving almighty God’s face? Or are you painting a beautiful picture, and pretending your trash doesn’t stink when its overfilled with rotting garbage? You can change a bag, but until you clean out the hidden things, there will always be a stench. Cast your cares on him and allow him to change the mess in the bottom of your heart. Let him reveal the past and heal you. Let go of the bitterness, the resentment, and the unforgiveness and allow God to shine that beautiful light in the darkest corners of your heart and reveal what he has for you, for his glory. Now isn’t the time to dip your feet in the shallow end, but to dive in head first. He uses us. We are the church. How can we minister and give hope to the hopeless when our trash is spilling out? Empty your can and allow God to show you what he wants to heal In you.