Closed For Inventory
“As the deer pants for water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. Where can I find him to come and stand before him? Day and night, I weep for his help, and all the while my enemies taunt me. “Where is this God of yours?” they scoff. Take courage, my soul! Do you remember those times (but how could you ever forget them!) when you led a great procession to the Temple on festival days, singing with joy, praising the Lord? Why then be downcast? Why be discouraged and sad? Hope in God! I shall yet praise him again. Yes, I shall again praise him for his help.” (Psalm 42:1-5 (TLB)
Now, before we go on, let’s define this word “inventory”. It means “a complete list of items such as goods in stock or the contents of a building; a quantity of goods in stock.” Inventory is conducted to discover what’s good, what’s bad, what’s outdated, what’s needed, what’s no longer needed, and how much of all of this is present. Inventory is done to find out the cost of the good and the cost of the bad, in stock.
With that in mind, there was one man in history who was called the man after God’s own heart by God Himself. His name was David. It’s this man whose personal spiritual diary is in your possession. It’s called the book of Psalms. One of those is in Psalm 42; it’s a real look inside David’s heart. No pretense, no mask, no phoniness, no cover-up, but the real heart of David.
Here, David is he’s saying it’s time to close the store and meet with God. It’s time to take an inventory of my life and where I am right now. It’s time to discover what’s good, what’s bad, what’s outdated, what’s needed, what’s no longer needed, and how much of all of this is present. It’s time to find out the cost of the good and the cost of the bad, I have in stock.
Maybe it’s that time for you too. It’s time to meet with God, let Him close the door (that no man can open) and you take close inventory. Truth is, we can only go but so long without time away from all the other voices. And can we dare be honest? There are a lot of voices. Our spouses, children, family members, coworkers, bosses, clients, church, neighbors, and the list could go on forever.
Someone, somewhere is constantly talking to us about something. But with so many voices to listen to every day, when do you get quiet time just to hear the voice of the Lord? And isn’t that the one voice we can’t afford to ignore?
Life has a strange way of simply spinning out of control without a periodic time of uninterrupted inventory with God. Because, besides listening to all the other voices, we also have jobs, school, responsibilities, appointments, meetings, and once again, the list could go on and on.
I do hope this will encourage and inspire you to re-evaluate (and do a personal inventory) of your life. Go to God like David did, “Lord, when can I meet with You?” God will close the door, and you will have uninterrupted, personal time with your Savior.
Which makes me think of the many times in the Bible (Old and New Testament) when a door was closed, there was often a miracle performed on the other side of it. From Noah and Elisha to Jesus and the Disciples, something awesome happens, when doors are closed!
Stores know you can’t really take stock of what you have while you’re still selling and servicing customers at the same time. They have to close the doors.
They have to hang out a closed sign to do it. It’s the same spiritually, mentally and emotionally for us. Because it’s hard to really see where you are and where God wants you to be while you’re still meeting all the demands of your daily responsibilities and servicing all the “customers” in your life. It’s hard to know what You need, while simultaneously serving all the needs of others.
But what I’ve learned, is that you have to value yourself enough to ask God to close the door because you need to meet with Him to re-evaluate your inventory.
There must be those times when you hang out the closed sign and just say, “I’m all yours, God.” Spend some extended time with your Lord.
Remember David’s question: “When can I go and meet with God?” It might be a day; it might be a couple of days or once in a while a longer period of time. And what you do is, just take you, your Bible, a pen, and a big notepad to write down what comes to you while you’re listening to the Lord and you can expect Him to fill that pad. He loves when we come to Him with an empty piece of paper, instead of our own full personal agenda.
You need some quiet time away from it all to sit with God and see what’s good, what’s bad, what’s outdated, what’s no longer needed, what requires more. If not, you’ll find yourself still trying to make deposits in others, when you’re depleted yourself.
In honesty, there are some relationships/friendships/companions we no longer need, and we’re stressed out over their very presence. However, if you took the needed time to sit behind closed doors and talk to God, He would’ve shown you that months even years ago. Many of us have people, places and things that have been long outdated, and still they’re hanging onto us because we haven’t taken out the necessary time to re-evaluate them, and realize that keeping them is far too costly!
Listen: When you do go meet with God, open up every corner of you to His search light. Psalm 139:23-24, “Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about…”
You need to ask the Lord to do this for you. That word “investigate” means “to carry out a formal inquiry so as to establish the truth.” When you “trace” something, it means “to find out by investigation”.
And there are simply some things in your life that you will never discover need to be removed from your life until the Lord does His own private investigation.
It’s not until you sit with the Lord, with your undivided attention, and listen attentively to Him, that you’ll be able to finally trace where your exhaustion is coming from; where your discouragement is coming from; where your depletion is coming from; where your peace, joy and contentment are going. It’s not until then when you’re able to trace where your aggravation is coming from.
It takes investigation, and investigation doesn’t happen in 5 minutes. You need time to spend time with the Lord. You’re losing too much sleep, money, sanity and strength. You need to trace the source.
You need to deal with wrong actions, and wrong attitudes that have developed. Stand back with Him and get the big picture again. Then ask Him to help you see each of the key people in your life as He sees them – through His eyes.
So how long has it been since you closed for inventory? Are you afraid they’ll get mad? Are you afraid you may miss an opportunity? Are you afraid the time a part will destroy the relationship/friendship? Are you afraid you’ll miss out on money?
Are you afraid you’ll lose ‘friends’, posts, likes, and tweets? Are you afraid you’ll lose your seat, title, office and position? Are you afraid you’ll lose your ring and robe? What has you so afraid of temporary closed doors, that will grant you permanent peace?
Listen, anytime you spend time with the Lord, you Gain…you never Lose! So, anything (or anyone) that falls off in your silence, was a quiet blessing!
God has so much He wants to show you and you need to hear His voice so much. You’ll come out of that “seeking time” really ready for business again. But first you have to be still and know that He is God.
We are not that anointed, gifted, talented, important and vital that all of the world and the Kingdom of God will go on hold because of our absence.
Know when you need a Break before you’re Beyond Repair!
Jesus shares these interesting words in Luke 14:28-30, “Is there anyone here who, planning to build a new house, doesn’t first sit down and figure the cost so you’ll know if you can complete it? If you only get the foundation laid and then run out of money, you’re going to look pretty foolish. Everyone passing by will poke fun at you: ‘He started something he couldn’t finish.”
You need to have the Lord close doors, and sit you down to do inventory.
You need to know if you have all that you need to do and be all that the Lord desires, or are you missing something? And if you are, do you even know what it is?
Well, you’ll never know until you sit down and count the cost. Do your inventory before you start the business, open the church, relocate, marry him/her, go to school there, take this job… Can you finish what you started with what you have? And I understand potential and ambition, dreams and desires, but I also understand the importance of time with God to hear His voice and heed is direction.
You need to know how much you’ve gained by having her in your life, you also need to know how much you’ve loss by having him in your life. And you’ll never know either without time with God.
I’m a firm believer that God closes doors to force you to turn to Him, so He can finally point you in the direction, to the right door, you should’ve entered. Even David knew that. Because as distressed as he was, he at least knew he needed some time with God. He said, yes, I’m going to praise Him again, but for right now, I need some help with what I’m feeling. So, do we, and that’s not a bad thing to admit.
Let God close the door, so you can both sit down and reason together, what’s working and what’s not. Where is the gain and where is the loss? What should be added, what should be taken away? And you can’t sit with God, while you’re busy serving others. You need to put your “closed for inventory” sign up, and let people know, “not today…”
You’re not out of commission permanently, you’re just under New Management, and receiving some Over-Due Repairs, and when you open for Business again, this time, you’ll turn a better Profit!
Let God restructure and renovate you and your life. Let Him go over the plans and look at the numbers. Let God Handle It, and Take Your Hands-Off It. You need a break from being everything to everybody all the time. Let God replenish you. Let God restore you.
Keep in mind: YOU are not the only person people can go to! In other words, get rid of your Elijah Complex,
You Are Not the Only One God Has Left to Use!
Today, Ask God for a Meeting, and When He Closes the Door, Take Out Your Pen and Pad and Do Some Much-Needed Inventory!
After all, you are no good to the body of Christ if you can’t even take proper care of your own body!
Do not take this lightly! Like David, set aside your meeting time with god, take your pen and pad, and get to work! We have need of a healthy, healed and whole you in the Kingdom of God to aid in fixing this Broken world!
Tell folks, you’re closed for inventory!
Reflections Ministries / Calvin Wyatt / e-mail:email@example.com
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