The Good Dishes: Becoming a Minimalist and Hearing God
Sometimes, I have a hard time hearing God. I’m very faithful in my prayer time, reading my Bible and devotional daily, and I even journal occasionally. I felt like I was doing everything I was supposed to be doing. Yet, I still wondered, how can I hear God’s voice clearer? For me, my bedroom is my safe place. Behind closed doors, I talk to God, read, sleep, write, play music and sometimes snack. My room was cluttered with things: clothes, shoes, bags I never used, and electronics that were out-of-date or useless to me. As I prayed, I found it hard to focus on His voice. There were too many distractions. Literally.
We live in a society of consumerism. The more we buy, the happier we will be. Right? Recently, I heard about this trend called minimalism: getting rid of all the things in your life that did not have a purpose, create happiness, or you just haven’t used in the past year.
What Minimalism is really all about is reassessment of your priorities so that you can strip away the distractions. -Colin Wright, co-founder of Asymmetrical Press
After watching hours of movies, YouTube videos, and reading many articles about minimalism, I decided to give it a shot. Rapidly donating clothes, items and really anything I couldn’t find a purpose for, I found myself in a space that was empty and simplified. Now, everything I owned was useful and purposeful. When I lessened the distractions, I could focus and ultimately hear His voice clearer.
Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you. -Hosea 10:12
Now, I’m not saying that in order to hear God clearly you need to become a minimalist. However, you may be distracted by something or even someone in your life that is impeding your ability to hear His voice clearly.
If there is something or someone in your life that is hindering your ability to hear God, get rid of it.
We carry around “stuff.” We savor things that don’t matter in the long run, tangible and intangible. For example, hiding our emotions from God, hiding the past, hiding events or habits. In reality, the only thing we should be focused on is pursuing the kingdom of heaven and helping others do the same.
We can clutter our life with tangible things like money, documents, books, or decorations. There are things I find in my house often that I have yet to understand the purpose of, like the set of “good dishes.” What’s the point of having expensive dishes that we only use on Christmas? It must be to impress our loved ones that come for dinner that won’t love us if we one year decide to use paper plates instead of the “good dishes”. . . .I kid. Sorta.
We need to learn to remain our focus on things that are eternal.
Do your best to present yourself to God as approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. -2 Timothy 2:15
Why are we keeping these tangible and intangible things from God? If we offer our baggage to God, give Him our worries, He’ll set us free. Because of Christ, we are given the opportunity to live in freedom. When we don’t let go of these things, we hinder our ability to worship and glorify His name. If we give God all of our doubts, He willingly will break our chains, set us free, make us whole. By not offering ourselves and all our struggles to God we choose to live our lives as broken people.
So, how are we supposed to offer these things to God? Daily, we can accomplish this goal by reading His word, praying and building our individual relationships with God, listening to His way and truth, and having faith He will, in His time, keep His promises. And, if need be, purge and get rid of the physical clutter surrounding you in your home, at work, and in other areas of your life.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will. -Romans 12:2
Rid of your distractions, offer them to God and invite Him in, making room to accept His perfect will. Make margin and watch God work.