Well, ready or not, 2014 is officially on us. The question I have for you is “are you ready??” I don’t mean with long lists of resolutions that may or may not change how we live.

I’m talking about getting rid of some things that may have taken up residence in our hearts that need to be evicted; then replacing them with things that help shape us more into the image of Christ.

Jesus described it like spirits that come and go in our life…

When a defiling evil spirit is expelled from someone, it drifts along through the desert looking for an oasis, some unsuspecting soul it can bedevil. When it doesn’t find anyone, it says, ‘I’ll go back to my old haunt.’ On return it finds the person spotlessly clean, but vacant. It then runs out and rounds up seven other spirits more evil than itself and they all move in, whooping it up. That person ends up far worse off than if he’d never gotten cleaned up in the first place.  That’s what this generation is like: You may think you have cleaned out the junk from your lives and gotten ready for God, but you weren’t hospitable to my kingdom message, and now all the devils are moving back in.  Matthew 12:43-45 (The Message)

In other words, don’t just get rid of the bad, hurtful “spirits” in our hearts, but take time to move in the things that focus our life on God. Here are seven “evil spirits” that we should get rid of:

The spirit of complaining – complaining/criticizing is toxic to our hearts
The spirit of apathy – apathy keeps us from passionately serving Jesus
The spirit of selfishness – this spirit helps no one including ourselves
The spirit of laziness – Proverbs 6:6-11; Hebrews 6:12
The spirit of distraction – doing a little bit of everything, means doing nothing very well – focus
The spirit of greed – this spirit will ruin your life and remove the spirit of generosity
The spirit of pessimism – genuine optimism breeds faith and hope

Like I said (well, Jesus said), it’s not enough to remove these spirits from our hearts. We have to go a step further and move some new spirits in. Here are some ideas…

The spirit of gratitude
The spirit of humility
The spirit of compassion
The spirit of serving
The spirit of faith
The spirit of generosity
The spirit of love

No explanation needed for these. These are all a part of the spirit of Jesus. If we genuinely allow them to take up residence in our lives, it’s amazing what could happen in us and through us. Imagine how much better our marriages would be, our attitudes would be, our joy would be. Really, how much more fulfilled our whole life would be.

Looking forward to all of us Cornerstoners being renewed by these spirits this year! Hope your 2014 is the best ever!

Blessings,
Rusty

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