“For me,” Stan began, “it’s real important that I keep clutter out of my life.”
Continuing, he said, “It doesn’t matter whether I am talking about my desk or my workbench in the garage. If I am not diligent about keeping the space cleaned, the next thing I know it’s all cluttered again.”
“Been there, done that,” I replied. “Actually, am there, doing that!”
“A cluttered desk or workbench is one thing,” Stan responded. “A cluttered life is a whole different story.”
Continuing, he said, “Early in my life as a new Christian, I knew a fellow who was also a new Christian. I had baggage when I came to faith, but this fellow had a very heavy load of stuff he brought with him. He was upfront about the fact that all sorts of bad decisions had resulted in some really bad habits and addictions. He said he was so thankful that God had freed him of all of those things.”
“That’s great!” I responded. “Good for him.”
“But it didn’t last,” Stan said sadly.
“How so?” I asked.
“It’s just like what Luke’s gospel records of what Jesus said about getting rid of the bad stuff in my life. If I don’t put good stuff where the bad stuff had been, it’s likely that the bad stuff will come back and may very well be worse than before.”
“Is that what happened to the fellow you knew?”
“Sorry to have to say that it did,” Stan replied.
“He did not follow through the way he needed to in order to be filled with what God had for him to be filled with. In retrospect, it was clear that there had been no real surrender to being filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Continuing, he said, “When the bad stuff was removed from this fellow’s life, there was a void where those things had been. And, as I have seen too often in my own life, if I do not choose to fill a void with good stuff, it will be filled, most likely, with less-than-good stuff.”
“It is essential for me,” Stan concluded, “that I avoid a void in my life.”
“Avoid a void,” I repeated. “I can remember that!”
Concluding, Stan said, “If I don’t allow myself to be filled to overflowing with the presence of the Holy Spirt, any void that is left by getting rid of what I have removed, or what God has removed, from my life, will be filled. And what it’s filled with is pretty much guaranteed to be far less preferable than the Holy Spirit!”
When the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and not finding any, it says, “I will return to my house from which I came,” and when it comes, it finds it swept and put in order. Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. Luke 11:24 – 26.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you want to remove from me everything that can and does get in the way of an ever-deepening relationship with you. Thank you, too, for the presence of the Holy Spirit in me who is there to fill me to overflowing with His presence. I confess that too often I do not seek His full presence to fill any void that is left by removing what you want removed from my life. Please forgive that foolishness. Please, Father, help me in following every step of your lead in choosing to be filled, continually filled, to overflowing with the presence of the Holy Spirit exactly as you intend so that there are no voids in my life that can be filled with anything else. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Things to think (and journal) about:
1. What is your biggest take-away from this devotional?
2. What does this devotional say about God and about us as His people?
3. What is God saying to you to do personally?
4. Who can you share this with to make a difference?
Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.