Advent: Make Room in Your Heart

The holiday season is upon us with all of its demands and joys. It is incredibly easy for us to simply coast through the next few weeks. To be carried along by impulses and circumstances without taking the time to quiet our hearts in remembrance of the essence of Christmas.

Advent, the period beginning four Sunday’s before Christmas, is meant to be a time where we look back and remember the history of our heritage. We reflect upon the years of waiting our forefathers endured as they held onto the prophetic promise of a Savior who would come and redeem them from their oppression, lead them as King, and establish for them an everlasting place in God’s Kingdom.

During this holiday season we can choose to actively strive against the wind of chaos that surrounds us, or we can be swept up in its momentum, led by its direction. I, for one, greatly desire to find myself in a posture of defiance against the countless endeavors of the evil one to turn my attention elsewhere. My prayer is that we can stand and fight together against his schemes that are already at work and formed for the destruction of our peace and joy in Christ.

One way we can do this is the discipline of decluttering our hearts. We must make room for His Spirit to fill us with the joy of His presence, whatever we may find ourselves walking through. The Christian’s heart is a vessel, indwelt with the Spirit of God, meant to “flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38), blessing the world around us from a place of deep satisfaction. Jesus has come and our thirst has been quenched. We have left our water jar by the well of this world and taken up our cross to follow Living Water. Sounds pretty good! Yet, this begs the question: Does your life reflect this kind of satisfaction? Or, is your heart, as C.S. Lewis so insightfully pointed out, an idol factory? Are you hosting idols when you have been called to banish them? This is where we must start. To truly receive the wonder of God’s love for us in this season we must make room in our hearts. It is time to declutter.

How do we do this? We must come to the throne of grace in our neediness and receive the mercy of King Jesus. In a posture of prayer, we wait for the Holy Spirit to reveal any hidden sin in our heart. We come in humility, confessing to Him where we have hosted idols and sin. And we remember, as we are bowed before a holy God, that this is precisely the reason He had to come. It is here we begin to remember the glory of the gospel and are revived with confidence to move forward—hearts wide open—in a posture of defiance against anything that would hinder us from experiencing the depth of Christ’s love for us. God has so much in store for you. Make room in your heart, not only for your sake, but for the blessing it will be to those around you. Like a drink of refreshing water to someone who is parched shall we be to those parched for thirst around us but are looking for it in all the wrong places.

You and I can lead others to the thirst-quenching presence of the Lord as we satisfy ourselves in him. One of the most honoring responses to the virgin birth is this:

The greatest gift we can give back to our great God is to let His love make us glad.

Ann Voskamp


A Guide to Declutter Your Heart:


Psalm 119:32 says, “I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart!”.


Ask God to enlarge the capacity of your heart to run this race with the desire and ability to obey His word, whatever the cost.


Matthew 5:6 says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”


Consider what you crave right now. Where is your appetite for the world growing? Confess this to the Lord and ask the Holy Spirit to help you crave righteousness in place of worldly desires. Remember that an empty heart is never the goal. We are emptied to be filled with more of the fullness of God!


Hebrews 4:15-16 says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”


As you read this, ask God to strengthen your faith in the fact that He is merciful and will help you in your time of need. This final step of decluttering is of utmost importance. If you are having a hard time having confidence in Christ, reach out to someone this week and ask for prayer.