Read Time: 4 Minutes 26 Seconds
I tend to keep things fairly organized, but one of my methods of organization is to use stacks and piles; that way everything’s not strewn about, and I can look at a pile and know what it is.
That stack over there is outlines for livestreams and shows. That one is notes for Sunday messages. That one is bits and pieces for the next book. That stack is paid bills that need to be filed for end-of-year tax reporting. That one is books publishers have sent me to consider interviewing their authors, etc.
One day recently, I looked around my office and suddenly had the sense that the stacks and piles were getting to be a bit much. It wasn’t like I was at hoarder-level heaps that were narrowing me out of my workspace, but I knew it was time to deal with them.
Once I got done with the stacks in my office, I started to notice how things had piled up on some of the bookshelves and end tables as well. All of a sudden, I felt a strong desire to go through the entire house and sort out all the places where things had piled up.
What began as a quick project to organize my office a bit, ended up being an entire afternoon and evening of clearing and cleaning.
I filled the back of my Jeep with sacks for our local donation center. There was half a dozen large bags of books to take to church and give away to our members. Plus, I was well on my way to filling both our large recycle and trash bins.
It was on the third or fourth trip out to the bins that I asked the Lord why I had felt such a sudden desire to deal with all of this. Immediately, He spoke to me and said, “It is time to clear out all the clutter and the clatter.”
What Is the “Clutter” and the “Clatter?”
When He spoke, my whole body started to tingle and vibrate. So, when I came back in from the bins I grabbed a notepad and pen, sat down on the couch, and waited for Him to unpack that a bit more—specifically asking what the “clutter” and the “clatter” was.
He let me know that “clutter” was anything that has been getting in our way. I could feel that this was not even necessarily just sin issues, but anything that has been distracting us or taking up space in our minds and hearts: habits, practices, relationships, false comforts or anything else that has gotten out of order to the point of distraction.
And just like the clutter I was dealing with in the natural, the “clutter” that the Lord was referring to is the stuff that has “piled up” over the years to the point that we barely even notice how it has gotten in the way and, at times, kept us from Him. It could be something as simple as having gotten into the habit of checking emails or headlines first thing in the morning, which can often turn into an hour of dealing with correspondence or scrolling screens, instead of making Him our first focus in our day. Or clutter could be some long-term issue we’ve been dealing with for so long that it has us more focused on the facts of the situation than His truth that is the solution.
He said that “clatter” was the thoughts, words and emotions we allow that don’t sound like Jesus, or that violate the standards of love.
He has made us in His image and after His likeness, and we are here to be His representatives and re-presenters (see Gen. 1:26-28). Offense, bitterness, anger, discouragement, despair, murmuring, complaining and cursing don’t do that. They are clatter—like the noisy gong or clanging cymbal in 1 Corinthians 13:1, where the apostle Paul talks about what we sound like when we speak without love.
The loveless clatter that we are being invited to clear out is not only our thoughts and words, however. He let me know that it also refers to other sources, like the murmuring, complaining and haranguing of media, which often gets us stirred up in negative emotions to the point that we are releasing more darkness into the darkness, as opposed to shattering that darkness with His light!
Making Room for the New
How exciting is that?
We are on the cusp of something so new, so big, so God … we really have no idea what is coming. And the way we get there is to respond to His invitation to clear out the clutter and the clatter. This is not a stern rebuke from a disappointed deity. This is a tender invitation from an expectant Father who knows what is coming and longs for you (and me) to be a part of it.
It is time to clear out the clutter and the clatter to make room for the new that we have no idea is coming.
Robert Hotchkin is the founder of Men on the Frontlines and Robert Hotchkin Ministries. He also serves as one of the core leaders of Patricia King Ministries. Robert hosts the weekly Heroes Arise broadcast, co-hosts the show Propel with Patricia King, and is a regular guest and co-host of Supernatural Life on GodTV. Robert fervently believes every Christian is a miracle-working explosion of the kingdom waiting to happen. His preaching, teaching, and ministry inspire believers to grab hold of their restored relationship with the Father through the finished work of the cross, and walk in the fullness of their authority as dominion agents of impact in the earth.