By B.R.i.C.K. (Born Rebuilt in Christ the King)
Spring Break - “spr-ee-ng br-ay-k” (n): known to college students as a week of fun which can include, but is not limited to: sleeping, eating, drinking, drinking, smoking, sex, and a lot of self-gratification.
My spring break definitely did not include the last four items, and it surely didn’t include much of the first three. IMPACT, an organization aiming to evangelize and disciple African Americans on college campuses provided an opportunity for college students to go down to New Orleans, LA. (As we all know, this area was devastated by Hurricane Katrina and the process of cleaning and rebuilding the city will be a long and expensive one.)
With hope that God would show me something while I spent time there, I took advantage of the chance to help out in anyway possible. The trip was strictly volunteer, meaning that I wouldn’t be making the money I anticipated earning over the break. We stayed in (sarcastically) wonderfully built, amazingly stable, and impeccably insulated tents instead of hotels. Oh yeah, the showers? Super cold! This amazing commodity was afforded to us thanks to the 300-plus people trying to take advantage of a whopping EIGHT showers.
OK! Enough about the struggle. Let’s get to the good stuff. The point of the trip was for us college students to give up all the luxuries we had been looking forward to during our breaks while focusing on the goal of helping people who suffered tragic loss during the storm. I honestly did not expect to learn the lesson that God ended up teaching me while we were there.
Here we go! We split into teams of roughly ten people and went out into the hardest hit areas: the 9th Ward and the Lower 9th Ward. The group of ten that I led willingly became servants to Mrs. Alexander, a resident of the 9th Ward community. What was our task? To take EVERYTHING out of the house (we threw away 99 percent of what was in there) and to knock down walls, ceilings, and doors molded and decomposed due to the water damage caused by extreme flooding and six months of rotting.
Here’s where we split and get a little spiritual. How many times have you asked God to take something out of your heart? How many times have you asked Him to come into your heart and make it His home? Keep that question in mind, as we’ll be revisiting this thought.
So...while we were taking out every single thing that Mrs. Alexander owned in her “house,” she made one statement that stood out in my mind. She said, “Yeah, get all of that stuff out of there. Throw it all away. I gotta get some better furniture, new walls, treat these doors and buy new decorations for this house so it can be better than it was before.”
I don’t think you’re realizing how profound this really is so let me get deep real quick. When we ask God to come into our hearts, He does. What’s the hold up? Well, we have soooo much trash, so many thoughts and desires that are rotten, so many things that have been damaged, that He has to do what? Take aaallll of that stuff out. After all, that’s the only way He’ll be able to replace the bad stuff with good stuff that pleases HIM and blesses US, right?
Here’s the dilemma. When God starts to take stuff out we grab hold of it and say, “Wait God, you can’t take that out! That’s my favorite chair.” (Even though the chair is ripped, torn, smelly, and has a spring popping out into your back.) OR we do this number: when He throws something out, we wait until the middle of the night, sneak outside, and bring it back in.
God removes us from that relationship with that boyfriend or girlfriend that we constantly give into sexual temptation with, and with our brilliant minds…we go running right back to them. God moves us away from those “friends” that constantly push weed and alcohol into our faces, and with our superior intellect…we pick up a whole new bunch of “friends” that push the same temptations on us.
In other words, the same things God FAITHFULLY delivers us from, we run right back to them. We ask God to clean our houses, our temples. He does it, and then we dirty them right back up. We have to realize that God delivers us from “trash” for a reason. He takes our sinful desires away from us so that what’s left is a desire for Him.
I know. It’s tough for any of us to let someone come into OUR house and tell us how to live. However, God isn’t just anyone. Proverbs 20:24 (Amplified) says, “Man’s steps are ordered by the Lord. How then can a man understand His way?” How can we understand our ways, if God is the one who fixed them? God understands His plan for our lives because HE MAPPED IT OUT! The only way to truly understand the blueprint is to talk to the Planner.
He knows how we need to live, but He also knows that we can’t live His way when we continually hold on to the things in our lives that He wishes to remove. Simply put, we gotta let Him clean us out ya’ll. If we truly desire to give up our hearts to be His home, we gotta let Him live within us in an environment that’s comfortable and pleasing to Him.
Live it homies,
B.R.i.C.K. ~Isaiah 40:31~
To find out more about IMPACT go to http://www.impactmovement.com.
Learn more about inviting Christ to live in your heart.
Ben Brickhouse (B.R.i.C.K.) is a member of the Christian Hip-Hop group, P.R.O.O.F. (http://www.myspace.com/proofanatics) and a Junior at Old Dominion University. For more info, contact him @ email@example.com.
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