With the warmer weather moving in and spring announcing her arrival, I do a clean out of my closet. Out goes warm winter jackets and boots and clothing that does not fit me and in comes what is more appropriate for the season I am in and the person I am at the moment. It is a very cleansing process, as I examine each item and consider how it works with me and get rid of what should not have been in there in the first place. I always find that at the end of it I feel like a different person, ready to take on the summer.
While we are at it, can I suggest for you, as it is for me, a clean out of our “spiritual closet” at the same time. OUT should go: that which is not part of who we are now, the old person with its attitudes and behavior that our simply out of date and don’t fit in with the new person we are in Christ. Into our lives comes new attitudes and behavior that is more in line with what Christ has revealed to us in the word and who I am in Christ. It is exactly what Paul describes in Eph 4:22-24:
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. “
That phrase highlighted above “put off your old self” is equivalent to taking something old from your closet, giving it away and never being able to put it on again. It is forever gone out of the closet of your soul. It does not matter where the source of that old thing comes from, but it no longer fits who you are, or the person you are becoming. These are the wrong thought patterns and attitudes, the wrong beliefs and behavior that more appropriately fits with the person who did not know Christ in a personal relationship.
Cleaning out means identifying what really needs to go. Here the Holy Spirit is our assistant, Who as we put on that item of “clothing” one last time, convicts our heart and says: “That really has to go!” He says no to attitudes like selfishness, bitterness, un-forgiveness, anger, gossip, fear, feeling insecure and regret about the past. He says these have to go, because they do not fit with the new life that you are going to live. There is no place for them in your spiritual closet.
There is also no hiding them in the bottom drawer. So many of us when we are just on the verge of victory, will draw back from becoming the new person Christ has called us to be, because it costs too much. We never really experience the new transformation that our new life is going to bring us, because we do not finally get rid of those thinking and attitudes that belong to the previous life. We happily slip into that old piece of clothing and continue to comfortably live in our old way of life, because change is too difficult and costs too much.
Or else, we put on our new clothing in Christ, then someone (devil) from the old life, uses a mirror to shout out something that is contrary to the Word of God, and it will cause us to question our understanding of this new life in Christ. We immediately doubt this new life we have started and before we know it, we have changed into our old clothes. Never thinking that the enemy of our soul purposefully attacks us to prevent us from achieving victory in our lives and living out this new life in Christ. Sometimes, his ugly attack will cause us to totally give up the momentum we have and stay as we once were.
If we are going to clean out our spiritual closet, we need to make a decision to change regardless of the cost, the pain, or whatever else may come this way. We have to choose to get rid of the old stuff, our hang-ups, wrong thinking, bad habits and fleshly tendencies. These things block the true expression of our new identity in Christ, we bag it in a black bag and get rid of it.
So far away, must we get rid of it, that to try to get it back must be near impossible and the process we have undergone to be a new person, cannot be undone in any way. Col 3:8-11 in the Message bible tells us more:
“It wasn’t long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now, so make sure it’s all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk. Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete.
Deliberately decide to change, lay aside or put away all attitudes, behavior and thinking that don’t please God or adversely affect your walk of faith. Choose to embrace “new spiritual clothing” which is more in line with what God is presently doing in your life. He has designed it for your new life, with His label on that says: “My Child.”
Father, as I look at the spiritual wardrobe of my heart, I realise that I have not always walked around in the clothing You have given me. Instead I have worn wrong attitudes, garments of self-righteousness and pride which are filthy rags to You. Your Spirit reveals thinking and attitudes that are out of date because You have opened my mind to a new understanding in your Word and now, I know better. Help me examine my life and get rid of anything that I am still holding onto, or that does not fit with who I am in Christ and does not serve the purpose of God in my life. I will no longer hold onto old ways, patterns or attitudes that keep me on the edge of experiencing victory and not moving on to experience real change in my life. I strip these off and lay in the fire anything that is a hindrance to walking in all that God has planned for my life.