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Jesus and the Teddy Bear

Just trust Me

I know that most of you have probably seen this meme on social media over the past year or so. There is that saying that says “a picture is worth a thousand words,” but I think this photo meme is worth about ten thousand words lol. There is so much spiritual meat that can be pulled from this illustration, and I imagine that a ton of sermons can be preached off of it as well. However, in this post I just want to share some of my personal revelations that I take from what this meme is saying…

What God has in store for us is bigger than any IDOL that we try to hold on to. His plan is so much greater than the plan that we concoct for our lives. However, in order to ever see this reality manifest, we must be willing to let go. We must be willing to DIE to ourselves and allow His spirit to live through us. He has to become LORD over our lives.

Matthew 16:24-26 24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (NKJV)

The big teddy bear that Jesus is holding behind His back in the picture can represent your destiny. I believe it can also simply mean the “bigger picture” and represents something that is of eternal value. We have our own ideals, interests and infatuations with whatever moves us, or gives us instant gratification. This is represented by the small teddy bear to which the little girl clings. The small teddy bear represents the temporal and the rewards that will eventually gather up dust and rust, just like Jesus said.

I also believe that the small teddy bear represents selfishness and ultimately the desires of the flesh, while the larger teddy bear represents something that is much greater than ourselves. The little bear also reminds me of when Esau sold his birthright to his brother Jacob for some soup. He gave up the bigger teddy bear for something temporary, something that would give him instant gratification. In his case, it was the very course of his destiny that he forsook. We all have a marvelous journey He has planned out that will end with eternal rewards being reaped due to the spiritual fruit that will be bared, but only if we find that narrow path and stay the course.
The big teddy bear can even represent rewards in the natural, however, we have to be willing to embrace the process that the Lord desires to put us through because He is shaping our character so we can properly handle the enlarged territory that He desires for us to claim. However, this process can only began when we are willing to forsake our way for His way; just like in the photo meme.

John 12:24 24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. (NKJV)

The choice is ours. Either we trust Him or we don’t. People like me have held on to disappointments and have harbored some resentment towards the Lord because He shut some doors that we desperately wanted open. We need to be reminded that He is lord and is constantly protecting us from ourselves and dangers seen and unseen. We also have to realize that He already knows the beginning and the end. It would be in our best interest to get back to reverencing Him and understanding that His plan will always be far greater than our plans, despite what we appear to experience in the natural. The world says to live in the moment and we should. However, we who are followers of Christ Jesus are peculiar people who are supposed to be living from an eternal perspective. Do we have enough faith to believe that the teddy bear Jesus is holding behind his back is in fact bigger and greater than the one we want to cling to? Are we willing to embrace transformation so that our hearts are moved more by spiritual things (big teddy bear) and not the things of this world (little teddy bear)? I wonder if we truly realize that by clinging on to the smaller teddy bear, we are in fact settling for less. I declare that it is time for many of us to truly die to ourselves so that we can live the abundant life; hence, the giant teddy bear. Blessings to you all.

Nathan Allen Copyright ©2015

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Spiritual Hoarding

Have you all ever watched an episode or two of that show “Hoarders?” If you have then you already know that what you see on this show is quite unbelievable. Professional psychiatrists and organizers work together on each of the cases to attempt to bring back some kind of order to the chaotic lives of the individuals being profiled. The “hoarders” on this show have homes that are comparable to that of a landfill! The first season that I watched this show, I was dumbfounded as I saw homes covered in animal and even human feces! Refrigerators full of food more than a year old, clothing and other artifacts piled up all the way to the ceiling, and roach and rodent infestations are extremely common in these hoarding situations. The different rooms that are typical to a home lose their function altogether. From bathrooms no longer functioning and become storage rooms to kitchens becoming virtual cat litter boxes, these situations are common with compulsive hoarding. I’ve seen situations where dining room tables and even couches were literally hidden beneath piles of junk and hadn’t been seen with the naked eye in years!

The truth is that most of these individuals have a real psychological problem. They can find sentimental value in something like a nasty pair of underwear from a loved one who died years ago! Yes, that is how crazy and insane compulsive hoarding can get! In some of the most extreme cases, homes could not be salvaged and had to be torn down.

One thing I noticed about these individuals who compulsively hoard is that their problems run very deep. It is the outward expression and the visible “fruit” that makes their issues seem strange, and even hopeless. These individuals are often grieving over losses that have occurred in their lives and many have basically given up on people and life in general. I also believe that fear is also a root cause of this issue as well. Compulsive hoarders will care more about an unsalvageable coffee table covered in rat feces than a loved one. They can attach their affections to things that have no value or that are even unsanitary. It looks absolutely insane to us “normal” folks, but they have adjusted their entire lives around their distorted thinking. Chaos and dysfunction have become their normal.

So I have watched this show on and off over the past couple of years, and marveled at this hoarding phenomenon. But as of lately, I believe the Holy Spirit has been speaking to me about spiritual hoarding. In other words, many of our spiritual houses look just like the homes on this show. The various sinful habits that have gone unchecked could be like the feces and various infestations in the home. The lack of proper cleaning and physical damage done to the home is like the erosion of our spiritual houses due to lack of a prayer life and time spent in the Word of God. In many of the cases when they found skeletons of pets they thought had run away and just general stuff from years ago; this is like the many hidden sins and issues that we failed to address over the years. The saying that “Time heals things” is worldly and an outright lie! The issues simply become buried, whether it is under facades or just other issues that may be manifesting at the present time. They don’t go away. We in essence are engaging in spiritual hoarding.

Recently, I had a buddy of mine come visit for a few days. As a result, I had to take on the task of getting my other bedroom in order. It serves as my office and I had allowed it to get cluttered. However, I didn’t realize how much stuff I had stashed away until I began to dig deeper. (I hope you see where I’m going with this)  I had so much junk mail, work papers and just junk in the closet that I was even surprised. Well to make a long story short, I gradually cleaned the room over the course of a couple of weeks and ended up taking out four large loads of junk on different days. I found stuff from ten years ago and things that I had formally held onto that no longer served a purpose for being in my home. I even found a reminder or two from my sinful past… As I purposed to get this room ready for my guest, I had to be willing to dig deeper and go through all of the stuff that needed to be thrown away. I actually felt like on of those hoarders from the show. As a matter of fact, the music that plays at the end of an episode when they usually get someone’s home cleared was playing in my head once I finished the room! LOL!!! But on a serious note, I realized that in so many ways we are no different from those who compulsively hoard. I know that there are many people in the body of Christ, who are still holding on to past hurts, sinful habits and unforgiveness. Their spiritual houses look just like the ones in the natural that have been subject to physical hoarding. Their spiritual houses are chaotic and don’t function properly due to lack of prayer, lack of faith and a lack of consistent reading of the Bible. Their sinful habits continue to increase the level of filth.

So… It sounds like we must get our houses in order. If the Lord is supposed to dwell in our temples, it must be spotless. Otherwise, He will not dwell there because He is holy. As for me, I’m trying to get my “spiritual hoarding” under control. I’ve decided to no longer watch that show with the same JUDGMENT as before. Those who compulsively hoard, have their problems manifest in an extreme way for everyone to see. However, we all know that God looks at the heart and sees EVERYTHING. When I finished cleaning the guest bedroom, the entire atmosphere had changed and there was so much space that opened up. It was a breath of fresh air and almost like a new found freedom. We can have this freedom in our spiritual lives if we are willing to dig into the clutter and began to clear it away. Jesus paid it all so that we can have this freedom in Him. So for now, I’m journeying to find the secret place where I can ascend to a new glory and keep my spiritual house clean.

Nathan Allen Copyright© 2012

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2012 in Spirituality

 

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