Clearance Sale   1 comment

Everything must go!  Our family recently participated in a yard sale as we continue to make preparations for moving.  Just like everybody else who has such events, we had zero desires to take any of these “treasures” back into our house.  Our words to passersby and potential customers were something like this, “If you see something you like but don’t like the price, speak up!  We can take care of that for you.  This is a clearance sale and everything must go.”  To our delight and surprise, all but two medium-sized boxes remained.  God is good!

I doubt that the apostle Paul had any yard sales, but I do believe that one point he was making to the church in Philippi had some similar principles.

In Philippians chapter 3, Paul talks about his lack of confidence in ‘the flesh.’  Things that help us formulate an earthly worldview are simply not good enough for the person of God.    To me, this means that my trusting in my own abilities to support my family are really not adequate.  I cannot trust in my own intuition, my own strengths, my own talents, or even my own self-esteem to be able to properly see the world through the eyes of God.  My ways and yours are simply not God’s ways.

Does this mean that because I am aware of this issue that I have conquered my worldview and have fully captured a Biblical worldview?  No.  That isn’t the most comfortable answer that I have ever given, but it is an exercise in honesty.

Paul then goes on to tell us that we must find a way to leave the past behind us, learn whatever lessons need to be learned, but to then forge ahead toward a Biblical worldview and strive to find ourselves in the center of God’s will.  “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13c-14, NIV.

This is certainly not always an easy task to achieve.  We hurt.  We suffer.  We are wronged.  Scars replace scabs but remain tender.  Striving to move forward is not an easy thought, let alone an easy activity.  So when Paul says that we forget that which is behind us, does that mean we are to write it off as the past?  No. 

Something that has helped me in my trials and struggles in life to this point is that I approach all events in my life as experiences of growth.  What have I learned from my experiences, good and bad?  Where did I see God leading and where did I see Satan attacking?  What were my reactions at the time and my responses since then?  What did I learn and how can I take this lesson and apply it to my life as I move forward from here?

It helps!

This also applies to sinfulness.  We all sin and then regret and repent.  Many folks struggle to then forgive themselves and dwell in the sea of guilt for an eternity.  The clearance sale that is required in these cases involves learning the lessons, but then allowing the Lord to help you understand how you can use that lesson to advance to the next level in your faith – one more step closer to the prize that lies heavenward in your life.

So let’s have a spiritual clearance sale today.  Instead of dwelling on sins and scars of the past, let us learn from them.  Then let us take those lessons and make forward steps toward the Lord and toward the Lord’s will for our lives.  Each new step, though sometimes painful, leads us nearer to the One who will one day take us home.  I want to walk in that direction every day!

One response to “Clearance Sale

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  1. Great stuff here, my friend. I believe true spiritual health is characterized by the genuine “clearance sales” we hold periodically. Spiriual “dis”ease is usually seen where people can’t let go of the bad stuff. I am proud of you, and honored to walk with you.

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