Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Take My Life And Let It Be"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 51:10 – Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. (KJV)
Joshua 6:20b – The people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. (KJV)
After living in 34 different rental accommodations, my husband and I finally managed to buy a house. Since 1840, it had been zoned commercial, with the business on the ground floor, and living space on the top floor. The upstairs had been divided into small rooms to house as many tenants as possible. The tiny kitchen, reached by a long hallway, was a dark, claustrophobic space where food went to die. After we had my bookshop set up downstairs and the bedrooms sorted out, my husband went back to work. I was left with the responsibility of setting up everything else. For the first time, there was no landlord to stop me from renovating.
I borrowed a sledgehammer and began getting rid of that hallway. Light flooded in immediately. Suddenly, more than two people could be in the kitchen at the same time. After each blow with the hammer, I swept the plaster rubble into a small bag, tied the top, and threw it out the window. Then, I went down and distributed all the bags along the sidewalk for city pickup. Squat and bulgy, the bags were reminiscent of small creatures patiently waiting for a bus. Several years later, the city manager was still angry. "I had to send an entire transport truck to pick up your debris!" he yelled. My husband was even more vocal. "How did you know that it wasn't a bearing wall?" he hollered. I could only say that I'd hoped and prayed and whacked away at the wall. What a relief never to spend another mealtime groping around in that ghastly kitchen!
We've all got our walls, those dark places inside our hearts, that prevent God's Holy Spirit from working. The walls of negative emotions — such as resentment, anger, hatred, envy, jealousy, selfish pride, doubt, despair, shame, fear, anxiety, and grief — destroy our souls and keep us from hearing God's voice. They leave us in darkness, unable to walk in the sunlight of the Spirit, our consciousness stuffed with the rubble of disobedience. We need God's gentle spiritual sledgehammer of times of communion with Him, a daily deal of prayer and action. Someone once said, If we keep doing what we're doing, we'll keep on getting what we're getting.
Which will it be: darkness behind the walls that we have put up, or light and freedom in our souls? Today, we have a choice. Will we keep on filling our hungry souls with rubble, or will we regularly come to repentance and grow in grace and understanding? Let us each join Frances Ridley Havergal in praying:
Prayer: Dear patient and loving Father, "Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee. Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose. Take my will, and make it Thine; It shall be no longer mine. Take my heart, it is Thine own; It shall be Thy royal throne." Amen.