Oh How God Loves Us, Even in the Midst of Our Junk

By Austin Roscoe Published on May 9, 2017

What would you say if I told you that you’re a hoarder?

No, I’m not calling you names — and I’m not speaking in a material sense either. You may be the cleanest, most minimalist person in the world. But in reality, we are all prone to hoard our spiritual junk.

Filth Inside Our Souls

When we first come to know Jesus and submit to His Lordship over our lives, there is a change that takes place. Jesus referred to it as being “born again.” (John 3:3). In that moment, by His grace, we begin walking in His presence, and He begins to sanctify us. (Eph. 2:8, John 15:5). We find ourselves starting to desire His ways, and not our own. (Phil. 2:13).

To the world, and the wisdom of the flesh, this phenomenon is foolishness. (1 Cor. 1:18). “I am who I am,” they say. “A loving God would accept me this way.” But would love, Love Himself, leave you sitting in the midst of that which is detrimental to your well-being?

God does not reject us. Rather, He calls us out of the darkness and into the light.

Jesus said that it is what comes out of a man that defiles him. “For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” (Mark 7:20-23, ESV).

That means our sin is as filth inside of our souls — and our fleshly instinct is to hoard it, and to hide it.

Lay Aside the Old Self

When we are saved, the Lord sends His Spirit to live within our hearts. (1 Cor. 3:16). Can you imagine the look on the Holy Spirit’s face when He walks in? I know I wouldn’t choose to live with a hoarder. But He does. Then, He begins to shine His light within us, revealing our junk for what it is. (1 Cor. 4:5).

This isn’t pleasant. We have believed lies about ourselves for as long as we can remember. We’ve tried to hide our shortcomings. We’ve become comfortable with our “stuff” — and we’ve even convinced ourselves that it’s good.

But when you are saved, you become a new creation. The old things pass away. (2 Cor. 5:17). Then, we are to put aside those things which we once placed our identity in — the desires of the flesh. (Gal. 5:16-24, Col. 3:1-10).

Paul told the people of Ephesus that “with respect to your former lifestyle, you are to lay aside the old self corrupted by its deceitful desires, be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self — created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Eph. 4:22-24, TLV).

God does not reject us. Rather, He calls us out of the darkness and into the light. (1 John 1:5-7).

What Does Your Fruit Say About the Condition of Your Heart?

“Now the deeds of the flesh are clear: sexual immorality, impurity, indecency, idolatry, witchcraft, hostility, strife, jealousy, rage, selfish ambition, dissension, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, just as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit God’s kingdom. But the fruit of the Ruach [the Spirit] is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control — against such things there is no law.” (Gal. 5:19-23, TLV, emphasis mine).

When the Lord says something has to go, it’s best that we trust in His goodness, and align our minds with His.

When was the last time you honestly measured the fruit of your life against these benchmarks? I’m not saying to interrogate yourself — or that you should try and obtain salvation through your deeds (read the rest of Galatians 5 for more on that). But fruit reveal the health of the branch.

Notice that Paul calls the deeds of the flesh “clear.” When the Holy Spirit, who “searches all things,” lives in you, He “will guide you into all truth.” (1 Cor. 2:10, John 16:13). If that means setting down a bottle, I recommend you do it. His peace surpasses all understanding. If that means letting go of unforgiveness, just remember that you yourself have been forgiven much.

Similarly, the Spirit will call out anything that does not glorify Him. Addiction, fear, worry, bitterness, unrest, timidity, shame, condemnation, defensiveness, pride, lust, perfectionism, loneliness, and things like these.

Where’s your heart at? God desires that we live in love. (Gal. 5:14, 1 Cor. 13, 1 John 4:7-16).

Finding Our Identity in Him

It is important for us as Christians to be mindful of what we place our identity in — and where we find our hope. When the Lord says something has to go, it’s best that we trust in His goodness, align our minds with His (Rom. 12:1-2, Rom. 8:5-6), and lean not on our own understanding (Prov. 3:5-6).

I leave you with this prayer, penned centuries ago by the apostle Paul.

I pray “that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with might through his Spirit in the inner man, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Eph. 3:16-19, RSV).

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