"These things take time!" An old cliche that we have all heard, but it is so true! This emptying thing is not going to happen overnight. It took me 42 years to get these thoughts, beliefs, ideas, and actions down, so getting them out is "going to take time". Proverbs 4:23 says that we should "guard our hearts for from it everything springs". So when you decide to renovate a house and start to empty it, you need to guard it, lock it up, because especially in older houses, there are valuable things in there. The copper wire, the old tiles, and the cast iron tub are valuable items and if not protected, could be stolen. The devil will do the same thing to your heart. The Bible tells us that he comes to steal kill and destroy. He will steal the valuable truths that you already have in your heart, and along with it leave behind his filth and lies. And if your not careful, that filth can be ground in or boarded up in the rebuilding process and will corrode or begin to mold you from the inside out and the renovation will be in vain. So as I empty this heart and soul of mine and take things out that don't belong and shouldn't be there, I am going to have to stay on my knees and give the keys of my "house" and heart over to God for him to guard and protect the valuable truths that are already there. These are the studs and foundation that He laid many years ago, and are still good. They have just been through a horrible hurricane (and yes, we can call it Sandi). The house needs to be gutted and get the wet, molded dry wall, the damaged wiring, and the heating and cooling system all out and start from the foundation up. He will have to make sure that all the filth is swept out and nothing that will corrode is left behind so that this process is not in vain. He will have to put a hedge of protection around my heart and mind and keep the devil out.
I have half-way started this process before, and I've noticed that every time I begin to hand the keys over, the minute that my hand begins to rise from my side, that the devil comes running to get in between me and God to keep me from completing the process. He tries to distract me and get my focus off of the task at hand. It has worked before. He knows my weaknesses and my "Achilles heel". But this time, there is a completely different sense of determination, a sense of peace that cannot be destroyed. I know that in my own strength I cannot do it. I cannot resist the distraction. But when I lean on God and His strength, He can resist. He steps in so close that there is no space between us. He holds my chin in His hand, and lifts my face up to meet His eyes and He speaks to me with love and kindness and gentleness that I have never known before. He says I am life and your breath, I am your strength, I am all you need. And in that, I rely. I fall in His arms. He will carry me. He will see this process through. He is my reconstruction site supervisor. So today, I hand him the keys and fall in love with Him a little bit more. Trust and confidence grow deeper, and my eyes are fixed on Him!