Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Making Room and Choir Singing

Let every heart prepare Him room.

Don't you remember just belting that line out to the top of your lungs in the children's choir at church? Maybe dressed in some kind of biblical times costume or a red dress or cute button up shirt. Either way, you were singing for the audience, and you were singing that carol proudly. However, at that young age, we don't necessarily know the exactness of what we are singing. We're just singing because it's Jesus' birthday, and that's what we were taught to sing. Hopefully, as an adult, it takes on greater meaning.

I was thinking about this hymn as I was driving back from lunch. This year I have gone through the "No Other Gods" study by Kelly Minter twice. Both times have been refreshing and convicting. Do those things even go together? Here's what has stuck with me: The Holy Spirit leads us to recognize the idols in our hearts, so that we can clean up/smash/get rid of those idols in order for Christ to reign in our hearts. When idols are reigning, there is no room for Jesus to reign. It's just like cleaning out the closet. There's no room for the new purchases, when the shirts from 2003 are still hanging up. It involves some tossing aside!

I am thankful our God is gracious. It takes a lot sometimes to recognize that. With all the idols in our lives, there's never condemnation. There's not judgment or hatred. The Spirit gently comes alongside and reveals the idols and leads us in destroying those things that don't matter. I'm thinking of the rich young ruler and the woman at the well, even as I type this. This past year has been wrought with those little idol factories popping up in my heart. Ummm.. wrought?!.. am I 87?! Those little idols, some of which I have mentioned here are ugly and hard. They're hard to smash because of what I've sown to for years. But God is gracious and slow to anger and patient and steadfast in love.

In celebrating advent, I was reminded to not look at these idols in a sigh of sadness but to look to them with breathless expectation. Why? Because God is working in my life to show me these idols and make room for Him to reign. And that, sweet friends, is lovely.

Joy to the World.
The Lord is come.
Let earth receive her king.
Let every heart prepare Him room.....

Triumph has come to the world.

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