When I was younger, I compartmentalized many things, and there were areas of my life and myself that never “touched”. As a pastor’s kid, there was my public life where I was polite and smiled and played my role. Privately,I was a whole other person.
As a Christian, I treated God the same way. I didn’t realize it until looking back, but clearly my attitude was “Come into my heart…oh, not that corridor!” or “Yes, Holy Spirit please sanctify me…but let’s not go there”. I clearly wanted a religion and relationship that was on my own terms, and a transformation that was based on my own comfort.
One of the scriptures that come to my mind with this is Revelation 3:20:
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
As I stated before, in my post on the wilderness, Christ here is speaking to believers as this letter is written to the church at Laodicea. It’s important to point this out because this scripture is often used for evangelistic purposes. Here, Jesus (whom the recipients have) is at the door asking to be let in. He was confronting a people who clearly had not allowed Christ to permeate their whole being!
I bring this up on this website, because many times our finances are one of those compartmentalized topics. I’ve known many believers who are comfortable as long as they’re tithing, but refuse to invite God to the finances that the church can’t see. They are ashamed of their debt and bad decisions. Many are too proud to ask the church for help when emergencies happen. Others know that the consequences of some of their financial decision-making was wrought in sin, but it becomes easier to justify those actions, than repent.
Finances are a great example of this, but the breadth of this behavior goes so much deeper. Many of us have it in our minds that God doesn’t have anything to do with the mundane occurrences in our daily lives. The truth is, not only does He have a part to play in every detail, but we should also invite God into every detail.
There is nothing we put our hands to that shouldn’t be prayed about. There isn’t a conversation we enter that doesn’t need the Lord’s leading so we guard our hearts from slander, gossip, or the selfishness of our own opinions. There isn’t one decision that should not be taken to God in prayer where we surrender to His will above all else.
Having a recognition of God in everything we do allows us to be open to the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying work in our lives and sensitive to His leading. It also allows us to recognize God’s magnificence and the wisdom to be humbled by it.
Many of us have places in us where we need to let the Light in. For some, it may be areas of hurt that are tender to the touch. For others it could be ignorance that every area of our life should be a reflection of the life of Christ in us. There are so many scenarios where Jesus is standing at the door.
My brother or sister who is reading this, please be encouraged that Jesus sees, He cares, and He understands those undisclosed areas of your heart and life.
Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
My prayer for us, as believers, is that we would yield every area of our lives to the Lord. I pray that we allow the Holy Spirit to do His perfect work in us, so that we will continuously grow into the image of Christ.
“Christ says ‘Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. . . . Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked — the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours.'”
-C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Have you noticed this tendency to compartmentalize things in your own life?
Have you realized there were situations and circumstances you were dealing with while leaving God out of the picture?
What are some steps you have taken to ensure God is at the forefront of the various aspects of your life?