Hello!  My name is Jessica, and I am a pack rat. In case you are unfamiliar, a pack rat is a colloquial term used to describe a person who saves unnecessary objects. I have so much stuff I know I don’t need. Things that no longer have value; items that have outlived their usefulness, but instead of getting rid of them, I hold onto them “just in case”, preparing for a “what if” moment that will likely never come.

Books that I’ll never read, but keep for that one rainy day I’ll want it.

Clothes that I haven’t worn in years, but I hold onto for that one special occasion.

Documents I’ll probably never need again, but then again, what if I do?

As the new year approached, I made a “good faith” effort to get rid of some of this junk. Sifting through old paperwork, shaking my head at myself, the Holy Spirit began to minister to me. He revealed that my need to hold onto the unnecessary speaks more about my idolatry of control than my disorganization.

What?

He showed me what was in my heart. See, I don’t hold onto things because they have some sentimental value or aesthetic appeal. I hold onto the old out of a lack of faith that God will supply all of my need. The desire to keep close that which is no longer good for me is rooted in my own fear of failing, rejection, and lack. It is my manifested need to be the god of my heart. Our need to be in control, or at least to know what’s coming next, competes with the One who should occupy the throne of our hearts.

When we are in control, God cannot be Lord.  

Eight years ago, I was working a dead-end job. There was no opportunity for growth, personal, professional, or otherwise. The pay wasn’t great, but it was decent and consistent. It was a job. Before I had gotten hired. I was unemployed for over a year, working odd jobs, “robbing Peter to pay Paul”; I was struggling. So, at the time, the job was a huge blessing. It paid me well enough for me to pay the bills, and the flexibility allowed me to finish school. It served a purpose. Four years later, I had graduated with my Bachelor’s degree, gotten back on my feet, and God told me it was time to move on.

“Move on where?”

“Why would I leave?”

“That doesn’t make sense.”

“What if the next job doesn’t work out?”

I knew I wasn’t growing. I knew I would never have the opportunity to advance. I knew I was not using my degree, but I was comfortable. And I wouldn’t move. I had picked up a part-time job that was great and offered me the opportunities my full-time job didn’t. When my boss offered me a full-time position under the condition that I leave my other position, I turned it down. I had dug in my heels and refused to let go of that which gave me security, even if it was no longer good for me.

God had proven Himself faithful over and over and was ready to take me to the next level, but instead of trusting Him, I ignored Him.

A few weeks later, my supervisor called me at home and asked me to come in for a meeting. I entered the small conference room and saw three Human Resource representatives whom I had never met before seated at a table with an envelope in front of them. My position was being eliminated and they were letting me go.

When you refuse to let go of that which God is telling you to release, it will find a way to release you.

God knew that job was dead. And nothing that is dead is able to produce. And God has no use for that which doesn’t produce.

What are you hoarding that is no longer producing good fruit in your life? What have you become too comfortable in? What “good thing” is God calling you to let go of in order to make room for the great thing He has waiting for you in this season?

Mark chapter 10 tells the story of a rich, young ruler who comes to Jesus attempting to secure a place for himself in heaven. He seemingly has all of his ducks in a row because he claimed to be doing everything right. He was a “good” person. He wondered what more he would have to do to receive the promise that God had offered: eternal life. Jesus tells him that there was one more thing he needed to do: sell all of his possessions and give the money to the poor. The rich, young ruler turned away sorrowful becauseHe was holding on tight to a lot of things, and not about to let go.” (Mark 10:22, Message Version)

In the young man’s mind, he already had the solution; he just wanted Jesus to approve it, to validate him where he was. But when you already have the answer, what do you need God for? Essentially, Jesus was telling him, “Go sell all of your stuff. Trade your earthly solution for a heavenly solution. Trust me to provide your needs. Depend on me for your ‘all in all.’” That would mean the rich, young ruler would have to stop being his own god. He would have to relinquish everything that he found comfort in, everything that made him feel safe, everything that made him feel secure. He would have to have the faith to believe that God had been the one sustaining him and not his own wealth or his own actions.

This story, however, is not about wealth; this is about an abundance that reduces your need for God to be God in your life. Jesus was not able to give him the answer that he was looking for because there was no room for it. He already had the solution, so there was no room for the answer, which was, is, and always will be Christ. Jesus wanted to bless the man. He wanted to take him to the next level. He wanted to take him deeper in his understanding, but the rich, young ruler had no room for God’s greatness because he was too full of his own “goodness.”

God is waiting to do something amazing for us, but there isn’t enough room in our hearts.

God’s next level for your life is too big for you to squeeze it into the space you’ve left for Him.

Your life is already too full.

Your schedule is already too full.

Your calendar is already too full.

Your mind and spirit are already too full.

God wants to know how much you believe that He is your answer. That you are depending on him to supply your every need according to His riches and glory. He wants to know if you really believe that He will do the exceeding abundantly in your life. If you want to go to the next level, you have to clear out the old and make room for what you really need: more of Him. You have to increase your capacity for Him. You have to let go of the solution you have created for yourself, so there’s enough room to receive God’s answer.

This year, I challenge you to make some room.

Clear out the “unnecessarys” of your life. Clear out the dead stuff you’re holding onto.  Get rid of the useless. Re-evaluate the way you spend your time. The way you spend your money. Let go of the friendships that are not serving the purpose God has created. Walk away from the toxic relationship that is keeping you from your spouse. Have the faith to let go of that dead-end job if God has called you to own your businesses. Write that book. Take that trip. Buy that home. Release the old. Receive the new. Make some room.

How will you be intentional in creating room for the new God wants to bring into your life? What is one “old” or “unnecessary” thing you commit to letting go of this year? Leave a comment below!