Psalm ‭119:11‬a “I have hidden your word in my heart”

My handbag is so filled with ‘stuff’ that whenever we go out, and my husband hands me the car keys as we leave the car, it’s with a look of slight trepidation in his eye, knowing that I’ll probably spend five minutes rummaging through my bag trying to find them when we get back to the car.
Why do I carry so much in my handbag? Maybe somewhere in the back of my mind I think I’ll have use for my portable charger, or a mini oxford dictionary. Or who knows when a screwdriver will come in handy?
Actually, once, when our pastor was in the middle of a sermon illustration, he said “you know those measuring tapes that automatically wind back in on themselves at the push of a button? I know it’s a long-shot but I don’t suppose anyone has one with them?”  Well, guess who had one!
Then there was that day when someone came up to me, also at church, and said ‘I was told to ask you, because you always have stuff in your bag, do you happen to have a pair of wire cutters with you?’ And I kid you not, I had that very thing! (Who carries wire cutters to church in their handbag?)

So if you were ever to ask me for something, there’s a good chance I may have it my handbag. The only problem is you’d need to be prepared for a bit of a wait because it could take a while for me to find it in there among all the clutter.

So yesterday I did a good declutter. It wasn’t easy to let some things go that I’d convinced myself I needed and I’m resisting the temptation to put things back in again, but I’m enjoying the lightness of my bag so much that I don’t think I will.
While I was clearing out my bag, I had this thought:

Our hearts are like my handbag, in that we choose what to fill them with and what to carry around in them.
Our hearts can become cluttered with ‘stuff’ that weighs us down and stops us hearing God’s voice clearly.
In Psalm ‭119:11‬ the Psalmist says “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” I like the way the Amplified version translates it:
Your word I have treasured and stored in my heart, That I may not sin against You.”
‘Hidden’ here means – to store, or to to treasure. Why? ‘That I may not sin against you’. We store and carry God’s Truths in our hearts, to keep for when we’ll need them. And we will need them.  There will be days when we need to encourage our hearts. There will be days when we will want to encourage and build up someone else with God’s Truths. How can we draw on those beautiful Truths if we can’t find them in our hearts because they’re obscured  by clutter? 

Clutter obscures God’s Truths

Do you find at times that you study God’s Word, store up His Great Truths and then begin piling a whole load of other junk in on top of and all around those Truths? I do.
Then, when the time comes when we want to find those Truths we have to rake through all the junk and clutter to find them.

After I decluttered my handbag, I noticed that my shoulders weren’t aching last night. Lugging around that heavy bag of unnecessary stuff was hurting me.
God doesn’t want that for us. Jesus said “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew‬ ‭11:28-30‬ )

Let’s Do a Clear-out

Let’s make a point of eliminating the clutter today. Let’s throw out clutter such as offence, distractions, old wounds, fear and  doubt. Let’s make room for The Truth. Let’s carry just the necessities in our hearts; The Truths of The Word of God: What he says about you and others. His opinions, His thoughts.

So that when we need them, or someone we meet needs to hear God’s Truth, we can access it easily, unlike me trying to find my car keys in my pre-decluttered bag 😀

Jill McIlreavy 💜


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