Draining the System and Purifying the Soul
Each day, on my way to and from the church, I pass ADS (Advanced Drainage Systems) on Warner Hill. Invariably, there is a fully loaded truck leaving the facility or an empty truck returning from a delivery. I guess I never realized how much of this pipe runs beneath the ground we stand on and how important its function is in facilitating the proper disposal of storm water and wastewater.
All of this reminded me that our spiritual life also requires drainage on a daily basis, but fortunately we do not have to rely on ADS to remove that which stains our soul and threatens to clog our system. A simple but sincere prayer of confession can immediately
eradicate our transgressions and purify our entire being. We know this from a variety of
passages in the Bible, including this from I John 1:9, which states that “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
No Advanced Drainage System required.
As humans, we generate a lot of waste in a spiritual sense, but as a fellowship of believers, we know that we are not alone in our transgressions. Romans 3:23 tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Fortunately, that is not the end of the story. Later in Romans 5:8, we are assured that “God shows his love for us in that
while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” We tend to think of Jesus’ death and resurrection as a one-time event, which of course it was, but we often overlook the fact
that His mighty act wiped out all sin — past, present, and even future — and that as we
are forgiven, we must also forgive others.
So what can we do in response? Well, Romans 6:1 addresses that with these words, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Indeed, new life is what we seek — new life in Christ Jesus.
In order to do that, we are advised to take a page from the Book of Galatians, which instructs us to “walk by the Spirit, and…not gratify the desires of the flesh.” Such an effort would be impossible if we live according to the ways of this world, but entirely doable if we follow Jesus and live by the spirit. We are, after all, temples of the Holy Spirit, and we are commanded to live our lives with respect and reverence.
Yes, unfortunately, we will continue to trip, stumble, and even fall throughout our lives, but James 4:7 gives us hope that we should “submit ourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from [us].” In other words, there is a way out, a way to avoid temptation and reject evil.
May this encouragement fill you with hope and bring you joy with the knowledge that the Lord God Almighty is always with us, always looking out for us, and always there to forgive the sins of those who repent.
Until We Meet Again, Be Blessed! – Pastor John