As I was preparing a message on how to go deeper into The Secret Place, the word "barnacles" came to my mind. I looked it up and immediately knew what the Lord wanted me to share.
My hunger and passion for Jesus was ignited out of desperation. Years of abuse as a child left me hard, bitter and angry. As I began to grow in my relationship with Christ, there was a lot of healing that needed to take place and baggage to shed. Like the barnacles on a ship, there's pesky things that attach themselves to our lives. Barnacles can weigh down a vessel and cause it to move at a much slower speed. For me there was anger and unforgivness that weighed me down. It was manifested in the form of attitudes and rebellion. The pain of my past affected my present and it prevented me from moving forward with God. I had to make a conscious decision to put Christ first and allow Him to do a deep work in my heart and life. As He began to reveal the dark areas of my soul, I had to make the decision to crucify my flesh of the things that were not a reflection of His glory, beauty and love. Layer by layer, He would show me things that were ugly and with His help I would deal with them and purge myself of their effects on my life. It wasn't an easy process, He didn't just wipe my weaknesses away, but as I grew in my relationship with Him... the closer I got the more His glory revealed what needed to be removed.
Crucifying the flesh is dying to the things that come natural, but not His best for our lives. Pride must be eliminated, anger must be dealt with and intentional sin has to removed. When your desires go from pleasing your flesh to glorifying Jesus... change will follow. No, we'll never completely arrive, but holiness and purity should be our goal.
Ask Him to reveal the barnacles in your own life. What's slowing down your growth process? He desires to lead us into the paths of righteousness for His namesake. As you take time to seek Him, listen and obey, He'll lead you there. Though the process may seem difficult at first, the freedom from the bondage of sin, rebellion and mediocrity is life changing. You'll soon be moving forward... deep into the Secret Place at a much faster pace.. deeper and deeper into the Secret Place and His will for your life!
Psalm 23:3 (NKJV) He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Colossians 3:5-10 (NKJV) Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.
Colossians 3:23-25 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.