Nobody would ever consider the idea of swimming with anchors. It would be foolish. It would be a disaster! One would likely drown trying to do such an unreasonable thing. Yet that is exactly how we live our lives, holding onto so many things, so it is like we are swimming with anchors.
There are some things the Lord will only give you when you let go of other things that don’t belong. “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice” (Ephesians 4:30-31 NIV).
We are all naturally hoarders. We like to think that we are not, or at least not as bad as some people are. But all you have to do is move to a new home, and you will find just how much that you have accumulated. Things weigh us down and take our focus off what’s really important.
Nobody in heaven wishes they would have had more things on earth. Jesus “…said to them, ‘Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses’” (Luke 12:15 NKJV).
You don’t have to get rid of everything but only what you don’t really need. It is all the extra things that weigh us down so much. We think we must hold onto things in case we might ever need them. But how many years of not using things will it take for you to be set free from them?
The only things you can take to heaven are those that you can pack inside your heart. “Don’t keep hoarding for yourselves earthly treasures that can be stolen by thieves. Material wealth eventually rusts, decays, and loses its value. Instead, stockpile heavenly treasures for yourselves that cannot be stolen and will never rust, decay, or lose their value. For your heart will always pursue what you value as your treasure” (Matthew 6:19-21 TPT).
We are all naturally busybodies intent on doing more tasks than was ever intended. We spend hours doing the unnecessary and make claims we have little time to pray. We prioritize the things we don’t really need to do, and we neglect those areas of our life that will matter for all of eternity.
The “here and now” competes with the “always and forever.” “And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17 NKJV).
You don’t have to give up every fun and interesting thing you do, but only those things that are not really beneficial. God has given you all the time necessary to complete all that He would have you do. Beware those things that are getting in the way of God’s plans for your life.
There is a difference between being busy and being in God’s will. “Therefore, pay careful attention to how you conduct your life — live wisely, not unwisely. Use your time well, for these are evil days. So don’t be foolish, but try to understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17 CJB).
We are all pleasing our flesh more than we realize. We spend so much time around making ourselves more comfortable or filled with whatever it is our desires are taking us. Whether it be with our comfort or how full our belly may feel, it is our flesh that we listen to with an intent focus.
The way you know it’s from the flesh is that it feeds the flesh. “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Romans 13:14 ESV).
You don’t have to give up all pleasures but stop letting your desires be the master of your life. We are meant to live in the Spirit, where our desires are subject to us and not the other way around. Until we learn to walk in the Spirit, we will only wallow in our flesh.
Anybody can listen to their flesh, but it’s the blessed person who is led by the Spirit of God. “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Romans 8:13-14 ESV).
The thing that is most harmful to your spiritual life with God is whatever stands between you and Him. For some, it is an obvious sin problem that they know must be overcome. For others, it is far more dire, as it is seemingly something good until you consider the One in whom it keeps you from.
Trust the Lord more than your instincts. “Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, and He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way]” (Proverbs 3:5-6 AMP).
Consider in your life today what things are in the way of your life with God. What apps need to be deleted from your phone? What programs on TV must you stop watching? What material thing must you give away? What sin must you be willing to let God help you to overcome?
What do you need to give up so that you can gain so much more? “Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy” (Ephesians 4:22-24 NLT).
Stop swimming with anchors and let God help to set you free.
Blessings to you,