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Clearing the Decks

"Whatever you do, work at it with your whole being, for the Lord and not for men, because you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as your reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." ~ Colossians 3:23-24

Do you know the origin of that phrase? Clear the decks?

It's an old naval command.

In preparation for a storm or battle, sailors had to batten down the hatches, to remove or securely tie down anything that might be dangerous when the unpredictable arose... thus, clear the decks.

There are plenty of times in life when we choose to clear the decks.

Our schedule is just too full. We're feeling stretched far too thin with commitments, whether work or personal, and we just have to start saying "no." We have to clear the decks.

There are any number of ways we clear the decks.

But, have you ever noticed (either in the moment or looking back) the times when God clears the decks for us?

Doors and windows start to close.

The winds of change seem to be blowing, but we may not yet know where they're taking us.

I hope you know what I'm talking about.

This is definitely something He does in my life. Before I had an opportunity to move to New York, this was happening big time. Same with the lead-in to my move to Nashville. Each time I was able to move at the drop of a hat because God had already cleared the decks.

I don't think it has anything to do with a move this time, but I started to feel the familiarity of Divinely closed doors and windows, a progressive clearing of the decks.

Is He preparing for an incoming storm or simply making ready for something new? I couldn't say.

But, when these things happen, when these seasons arise, the best thing the children of God can do is take a deep breath, trust, and obey. There is power in graceful surrender.

I don't know about you, but the last thing in the world I want is to be a petulant child with the Father, digging in my heels and saying, but I wanted it to be THAT way; or engaging in some classic two-year-old behavior, clinging with a death-grip to what I think I don't want to let go of, kicking and screaming and crying, while He is trying to say He has something better.

When we notice Him beginning to clear the decks, it's my opinion that the very best thing we can do is to look around and see where we can lend a hand. Where can we batten down the hatches in our own lives?

If a storm might be rolling in, do we need to check that our financial habits are nice and clean, responsible and tight?

If a battle is afoot, do we need to look for loose ends in our lives to tie up? Perhaps there is life pruning we can do to set things to rights so that if the decks shift unexpectedly, there's no loose cannon that could cause damage.

He certainly has me mulling over the question of, other than trust, obey, and surrender, what can I do to help set the stage for whatever might be coming next.

I'm asking myself, what is He up to as He makes me ready and asks me to make ready for whatever opportunity or call to action might arise? And, the reality is, I don't need to know the answer. I simply need to allow and participate when called upon.

It's not always easy when He sets to overturning the tables in our own hearts, if that's what it takes. But, if that is what it takes, isn't that what we want in the deepest core of ourselves?

So it is we offer ourselves up as moulding clay, willing to participate where He would have us do so, willing to be refined when He says be still.

Is there perhaps something there for you? Just a li'l food for thought.

Abba Father,

I pray that when You begin to clear the decks in our lives, we have the eyes to see.

I pray that You would help us to have the grace and strength to not only, trust, obey, and surrender... but to give a helping hand, to take on an active role wherever we can to batten down the hatches.

Thank You, for caring enough about us to prepare us, to make a way, and to train us up to take conscious powerful action, as You would have us do.

These things we pray in Your most Holy Names,


"But everything must be done in a proper and orderly manner." ~ 1 Corinthians 14:40

"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." ~ Psalm 51:10

"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." ~ Matthew 13:44

May the Good Lord bless you and keep you, friends... always, in all ways. Amen.

Bonus song of praise... ♥ While we're talking ships, we might as well burn them as well. One of my personal faves.

Sharables! ...and, hey, thanks for sharing.

********************* Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture citations are sourced from The Holy Bible, " Study Bible, BSB

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