WHAT'S IN YOUR CLOSET?
"When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, 'Do you want to get well?'"
John 5:6 NIV
The catchy tag line for Capital One asks this question, “What’s in your wallet?” The subtle inference is you better get a Capital One card if you want to be somebody!
The Lord is not really too concerned with “what’s in your wallet?” He is concerned with “what’s in your closet?” He is concerned with the closet of your heart. You see, we all have a tendency to hide our hurts, our failures, our disappointments, and our fears in the closet. We often pretend all is well, even though we know the closet tells a different story.
One day, Jesus asked a paralyzed man at the Pool of Bethesda, "Do you want to get well?" That is a great question for many of us today who are plagued emotionally and spiritually because of the junk in our closet. If we really want to get well, this is what we have to do:
1. OPEN THE CLOSET DOOR. Honestly assess your life. Do you have hurts from the past that you have never truly dealt with and properly addressed? Does anger often rear its ugly head in your life? Do you have trouble forgiving others and submitting to authority? Do you tend to see yourself negatively, as someone who can never do anything right? The things in the closet may be out of sight, but they are not out of mind. They must be faced in order to be fixed.
2. START CLEANING THINGS OUT. To be sure, this is a painful process, but it is essential in getting well. It is not enough to just acknowledge the junk in the closet, you and I must also deal with it God's way. Many of us need to confess the sin of bitterness toward God and others. We need to thank God for the things that have happened to us, knowing that He “works all things together for good to those who love Him.” We need to forgive those who hurt us so deeply (whether it was a parent... or a spouse... or a teacher/coach... or a sibling... or a co-worker… or a best friend... or someone at church). We need to seek forgiveness from those we have hurt. We need to accept forgiveness from God.
Forgiveness is so critical. One London psychiatrist told Billy Graham that 70% of the people in mental hospitals could be set free if they would simply choose to receive forgiveness and grant forgiveness. Both are available to you today by the grace of God.
3. START FOCUSING ON YOUR SPIRITUAL HEALTH AND GROWTH. So many people go to church Sunday after Sunday but do not really focus on their own spiritual growth. They lose sight of the goal. The purpose of prayer, Bible study, fellowship, and corporate worship is not to just check the box. The purpose is to grow and become more like Jesus each and every day. You see, the Bible was not given for our information, but for our transformation. Are you being transformed? John the Baptist said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). Is Jesus really increasing in you? Are you becoming more like Him in the way you act and react?
If you and I truly want to get well, we are going to have to get real and get things right. We must quit pretending and come to the Lord in humility and honesty. When you open your closet, you allow Him to do a deep work in you. The process may be unpleasant, but the results will be so worth it!
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 182 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.
Growth and change are part of the Christian life. Are you moving forward with the Lord or have you become complacent and stagnant? In the Christian life you either grow and glow or dry and die. What is the next step for you? Maybe it’s baptism, spending more time in the Word, strengthening your prayer life, or seeking a spiritual mentor to guide you in your growth. Discover the next step for you with this series from Pastor Jeff Schreve.