The Soul’s Hope Chest

May 25, 2015

I have to do my morning prayer but overslept once again. For now, I have other important things ahead of me. I have to do my daily devotional, but can’t seem to find the time. I should go to prayer before service but spent too much time dolling up my vanity. I should have spent time studying my Sunday School lesson but instead wasted time on social media.

Have you ever felt like you have fallen into a rut such as this?  A rut that leads us to pile earthly things above heavenly investments?     

You see, as humans we tend to hoard things. For example, there are some material items that I have quite a hard time getting rid of. I tell myself, “I might need this someday.” But if I would stop and examine the item a bit longer, I might ponder: Do I really need this? or is this an ‘I can’t live without it’ kind of item? In reality, I highly doubt I need half the things I choose to keep.

Some people like to keep a hold on “stuff.”  Have you ever walked through a flea market and feel engulfed by the “stuff” just thrown and piled up everywhere? Other people hold to what they call treasures, which would also be categorized as keepsakes or sentimental items. My sister has this huge cedar bench that has a liftable seat with a hollow center.   Inside this bench she stores hand-me-down items like quilts, dishes, and home goods from our mother and grandmother. This bench has a much more significant meaning than just a bench; this bench is also known as a hope chest.  But keep in mind that she will not use these items until she crosses the threshold of being wed. Until she starts her own family and new life, her sentimental treasures will be stored away in her hope chest.

In comparison with the spirit vs. flesh, our mind, heart and soul have a hope chest. Some people contain different spiritual treasures than others.  When the lids of our spiritual hope chests, we often find that they hoard guilt, shame, anxiety and pain. But all these troubles that fill the soul’s hope chest are not treasures passed down from Grandma. Please recognize that none of these things come from anyone but the father of deceit.  There are times where I have caught myself hoarding these unprofitable habits or things that distract my day-to-day walk with God. We tend to hoard these destructive routines and troubles in our lives that become nailed into our every thought, some of which include hoarding emotions that fill our souls hope chest with fear, regret, depression and jealousy. Our minds, hearts, and souls become so hoarded with emotional “junk” to the point where we are desensitized to the Spirit of God.

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]”But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.” {Matthew 6:20}[/pullquote]

For most people, as we battle with our flesh, we hoard these daily habits that lessen our sensitivity to God and His Word.  These habits and emotions cause us to choose pleasure over prayer which only serves to lead us to a guilty conscience. It is the enemy of our souls who wants us to store all the past regrets inside of a chest of despair rather than a hope chest.  It is the adversary who wants to consume your life with meaningless things — unprofitable things only distract our minds from being instrumental in the work of God.  But sometimes, we first have to become a broken vessel to be a blessed vessel. Only during the season of brokenness will we remember that Gods hand has been reaching down to pull us up from the muddy mess of hoarding our sorrows. Then we can forget the things that are behind, and reach for the things that are before you.

But how does one do that?

First we must get rid of the chest of despair in exchange for the soul’s true hope chest. We must die to the flesh that causes us to hoard the items within the chest of despair. Then we can live in the Spirit of God that will fill the soul’s hope chest with spiritual fruits such as love, joy, peace and gentleness. When you die to the flesh, you are physically and spiritually separating yourself from the sinful deeds of this world.  It is a direct indication of submitting yourself daily to heavenly things pleasing to the Lord. For anything that will satisfy your flesh will starve your soul.  It’s plain and simple: how we die to our flesh will manifest the value of Christ that is in our hearts. We starve our flesh by prayer.  As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:31, “I die daily.”

Either you are a slave wasting away in earthly pleasures, or a servant investing away in heavenly treasures. To die daily is to live happily in Christ; investing time in Gods word, prayer and fasting will lead your heart to heavenly treasures.

Sometimes in this journey of life we must take time to look at what we are hoarding in our souls and decide if it needs cleaned out. Too often we do not realize that we have taken on a chest of despair from the father of deceit. It is time to take a deeper look into our hearts to check and see if we have a hope chest with spiritual fruit or a chest of despair that hoards earthly pleasures where moth or rust doth corrupt.

Image courtesy of Walk the Same