Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Come Out Of The Clutter" by Garris Elkins

A very strong and clear word came to me recently,

“During this season stay away from over-scripted, over-studied and over-choreographed personal lives and corporate church gatherings. God is up to something new and our planning can be the very clutter that dulls our ability to hear the voice of God.”

We are living in cluttered times that have produced distracted lives. Family activities and careers ask for their fair share of our day. Ministry commitments ask us for more of our time. The needs of others stand in line at the door of our lives and want to come in. Each of these demands are good by themselves, but together they can become overwhelming in their ability to fill every spare moment of our lives. At some point we must push life back and create a place to listen to what the Spirit would say.

John the Baptist stood in the wilderness and cried out for people to prepare for the coming of the Lord.

Prepare the way for the Lord's coming! Clear the road for him!” Mark 1:3

All the people in Jerusalem, and all the people in the surrounding country-side, left their known civilization and walked out into the uncluttered wilderness in response to John's voice. A friend recently told me at that time there were over a million people in Jerusalem and the surrounding region. Imagine a group of people that large walking away from the city and out into the wilderness to hear about Jesus. They left the clutter of their everyday lives and walked out into the simplicity of the wilderness to hear the message of God.

Paul addressed cluttered lives when he wrote to the Church in Corinth,

“The time that remains is very short. So from now on, those with wives should not focus only on their marriage. Those who weep or who rejoice or who buy things should not be absorbed by their weeping or their joy or their possessions. Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them. For this world as we know it will soon pass away. I want you to be free from the concerns of this life.” I Corinthians 7: 29-32

Later in verse 35 Paul wrote,

“I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible.”

Paul was listing, among those things that can distract us, our relationships, our failures, our successes and our possessions. When all of the stuff of life begins to fill our lives we become absorbed into them and take on their shape – our image changes. Like wet clay we are crafted into an image of the distractions in our lives instead of being absorbed and molded into the image of Christ.

Profound and epic change is taking place upon the earth. Promises spoken by God are hanging above the Church seeking places to fall. God is looking for target audiences, not target audiences that come from opinion polls or logical conclusions, but target audiences that have prepared themselves for His coming. These target audiences are those personal lives and public ministries that have cleared away landing zones for heaven to touch down, much like an “LZ” (Landing Zone) that would be provided in a military operation for an incoming aircraft. Now is the time to push back the clutter and distractions of life that are occupying your time and space and draining away your energy. Heaven wants to land, but the clutter is in the way.

For the last year I have felt that much of what Heaven wants to do upon the earth is now hovering over the Church ready to fall into our midst. Words of promise spoken in the past are now in orbit over our lives waiting for God's signal to land. Heaven is prepared for this landing. God is asking His people to prepare for His coming by providing uncluttered landing zones where His Spirit can set down and do extraordinary things. Remove the clutter and distractions and welcome the coming of the Lord.