Sunday Sermon 8.1.20
Early this morning, this phrase came crashing into my heart and upon my mind, “Close the door”.
I hadn’t heard a door slam, nor had there been creatures invading us; the weather wasn’t threatening, neither were the circumstances. So why the imprint of this phrase on my psyche?
While pursuing its import, two main points developed before me.
We, adult humans are faced with 35,000 decisions each day with 226.7 of them alone, having to do with the food we eat (or don’t). That means, if we spend 7 hours sleeping each night, (and we assume no choices are made in our sleep, a BIG assumption) then, that means we make 2,000 decisions per hour or 1 decision every 2 seconds!
That’s alot of choosing, options, brain stress and distractions!
Many of those decisions are unconscious, but they are still decisions that the brain encodes 10 seconds before we even consciously, and with awareness make the actual decision. The brain has decided and then the conscious thoughts justify the decision. The decision is made in the neurocircuitry of our brain by predicting outcomes ahead of time. Then we actually make the choice in real time.
All of that research was published long before Covid and still remains true. But with Covid, those decisions have been confined to a smaller setting – our home, or the area we spend most our life in.
There are so many influences, voices, reports, demands, people, speaking or often yelling at us with directives. And what is spoken as truth this week, often morphs into something entirely different next week.
Our heads, hearts, and emotions are bombarded, battered and bruised with the onslaught information, (or misinformation) and in my view, these all are distractions, that must be cut off.
Close the Door point 1 – CLOSE THE DOOR on distractions that bring you anything but life, faith, hope, peace, and joy.
Turn off, stop listening daily, ignore notifications, stop feeding fear, don’t read it, refuse to own it. Don’t give place in your life to the endless, fearful distractions.
It is one of those 35,000 decisions you can make now, ahead of time and get your brain in the encoding process. Close the door to distractions.
In Matthew 6:6, Jesus told his disciples, to go into their room and CLOSE THE DOOR (and pray). He instructed them to close out distractions, shut themselves in with who really mattered, and focus on what was more important.
I am not saying to close yourself off from the world and only pray, that’s just weird and ineffective. I am saying, in order to be strong and effective in your mission on earth, you must learn to close the door on distractions while focusing on what is important.
Another place we see “close the door” in the Bible is in 2 Kings 4.
A widow, with two sons was facing creditor problems involving the seizing of her sons for repayment. She was desperate, so she sought out the prophet Elisha. She confessed to him she had nothing of value in her home (to sell) “except a small jar of olive oil.” 2 Kings 4:2
He told her to gather from her neighbors as many empty jars as she could and not just a few. Then she was to go inside her house and “shut the door” behind her and her sons, where they would then pour her oil into each empty jar that they had gathered.
She did as she was told – gathered, shut the door and poured into each jar. When there were no more jars to fill, her oil stopped flowing. Every jar had been filled and were now filling her home. She had plenty to sell, paid off the creditors, and lived off of what was left.
Close the door point 2 – You have all you need at home (your little bit of oil), you need to pour it out into empty vessels.
Your family and those who enter your home need what you have. You can fill them with your words, actions, kindness, encouragement, prayer, help, correction, insight, love. What you do behind the closed doors of your home is where the “anointing” starts. The outpouring of God’s spirit of love and favor – His anointing oil of the Spirit, starts at home, behind closed doors. Pour out your “little” oil there and see how you little becomes much.
It is my determination to ask the Lord to help me close the doors of distraction in my life, and work within me behind the closed doors of my home to fill up empty vessels.
I want His help in recoding my neurocircuitry and decision making prowess. I want to equip my brain with the positive and faith building data to allow it to predict the most favorable outcomes. This is a decision I have made!
Won’t you join me?
Close those doors, keep pouring out.
Go with God.