Make sure your heart has room for God’s joy

Published 2:09 pm Tuesday, May 29, 2012

By DARRYL WOOD / Guest Columnist

An architect met with a church building team to find out what they wanted in the building design. One member asked for lots of storage space. The architect replied, “Are you sure?” He continued, “The more storage space a church builds, the more junk they accumulate. So I try to include only enough storage areas for critical ministry items that you use regularly. That way you maximize your available space for other ministry.”

The Bible speaks of a space in all humans open to your design. It is the heart. No, not the physical muscle that pumps life-sustaining blood. The heart is the center of your spiritual and moral life. Either you choose to fill that space with what amounts to junk or you put in it things critical to your relationship with God.

The Wisdom writer advised, “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments.” (Proverbs 3:1) Accumulating God’s instruction gives your life meaningful direction. Junk obscures it.

All persons accumulate junk that needs to be displaced from the heart. Doubt? Junk! Uncertainty about God’s faithfulness convinces you that God does not care. Replace doubt with a certain confidence in God’s presence.

Bitterness? Junk! A sour spirit leads to grudge-holding and anger. Replace bitterness with a Christ-like attitude that results in a loving outlook.

Apathy? Junk! A “don’t care” attitude distances you from God. Replace apathy with a desire to jump in where God is at work.

Worry? More junk! Preoccupation with things that cannot be changed by thinking about them hinders you from thinking about God. Replace worry with the joy of the Lord.

Your heart contains plenty of space for God’s instruction. When you push that out of the way to make room for junk, however, you lose something of great value.

So get to work maximizing your heart space in a way that allows plenty of room for God and no room for junk.

The Rev. Dr. Darryl Wood is pastor of First Baptist Church of Vincent. You can reach him at