I have to tell you that one of the worst subjects i ever took was Chemistry. I have always been fascinated by the sciences, and there was a love/hate of Chemistry. It was not in my mindset to fully understand the complexity of this science. Thank God there are people skilled at it.
But one lesson i did remember clearly was that you just don;t assume that a clear liquid is harmless water. There are many highly dangerous substances that look like water, have the same viscosity of water, and when put in a beaker next to that of water look absolutely indistinguishable. The test is in how the substance reacts to various other things. In the example the second beaker was not water, but a very toxic acid that would inflict severe and life threatening injuries to any surface it came in contact with apart from the laboratory glass it was held in.
Toxins like strong acids wear down, break down, and destroy what comes in contact with it. Scarey stuff! Again, another reason i probably ran the other way when it came to the hard sciences.
But this lesson was not taught to me in a science class. It was an old preacher when i was a young believer. He spoke of being a believer, and how important it was to live like life has changed since you found Jesus. And knowing that our life before Christ was filled with plenty of areas that needed healing. We enter this world in sin, and some of the first things kids express are selfish sinfulness. Our little sin nature grows into a big sin nature with little assistance. Small amounts of toxins grow into major sources of toxin. We are all there.
Thanks be to God, who knows our hearts, and understands the toxins of sin that have polluted our soul. His answer is the water of his Word, flushing out and diluting what was once harmful until it is no longer there.
The solution to pollution is dilution – flooding our souls with God’s Word daily, and even moment by moment as it is needed is the only answer.
As we take in God’s word we take in healing, life, and the wisdom for living rightly. And as God’s word washes out and flushes our soul of the old ways of sin we can begin to see the plan God has for our life… to seek others who need his wisdom, healing, and the relief from the toxins of this life.
Tonight as i write i am thinking of situations where God has called people from very difficult and life threatening places, drawn by the love of God, and the hope of cleansing from sin. These are heros of the faith, people who have heard the soft whisper of the Lord through the toxic din of this world. People who responded to the gentle prompting of God’s Spirit… and they have watched as their life changed… the shackles of addiction, of behaviors, of emotions, or bondage dropped to the floor, freeing them to move closer to Jesus.
And yet I think we can say that we have watched some people begin to respond to God’s gentle calling, but the world crowded in, pride injected big doses of hypnotic distraction, and rather than the shackles falling off, these people became shackle bearers, looking to fit others with leg irons, filtering how they see life not by the word of God, but by the word of their own heart. Dare i say, their very toxic own heart.
The difference between the two is the presence of toxins. Harboring toxins, sins that cling and bind to our soul, will ultimately destroy us. Some toxic sin requires simple prayer to God for release. And other sins require the help of counseling, faithful sisters and brothers in the Lord praying you through, speaking truth to the situation and accountability.
Just like the two beakers of clear liquid, you have to test people before you assume they are safe to take in. The freedom seeking yielded christian will always offer supportive encouragement. They will look for ways to encourage, share their hope, and help people to find the great freedom that the Lord gave them. While the surface christian will look good, and try to do good, the toxins unresolved in their heart will leak out. For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. They will not be able to contain the deep wells of toxin from affecting those around them.
So which beaker are you today? The refreshing cool beaker of water? or the highly deadly one of toxic acid, destroying everything it touches?
My prayer is that you are a life giving, spirit filled, yielded, living epistle of God’s saving grace, washed with God’s word, allowing it to fill and dilute every nook and cranny of your soul until you find an overflow calling you to look outward, and encourage others.
And if you find yourself wrestling with wells of unresolved toxin:
1. Spend some quiet time with the lord, turn off the TV, computer, cell phone, etc and open your bible, and pray.
2. Examine your heart. Ask God to show you how you are, and what needs to be yielded to him.
4. Accept God’s deep and refreshing forgiveness
5. Allow God to begin to fill you with his word. Take time daily for his word, for worship, and for encouragement from his people
6. Find a believer you respect and ask them to mentor you.
Lord, Thank you that you are the living water, the water that quenches my thirsty soul. You are the source of life , the healer, the deliverer. In you is health and life and hope. Thank you that your very word, breathed by God, speaks life to my soul, washes me of the toxins of sin, and shows me a better way to live. I thank you for the promise that you will never leave me nor forsake me. And today I lift up every Christian who has been called to you. May you strengthen them that they grow strong, warriors for you, oaks of righteousness for their God, a planting of the Lord for his Glory. Keep them strong. Keep the devil far from them. And grant through your spirit that the world will hear the good news of Jesus through their life, their witness, their hunger to share you.
And lord, i pray for those who are surface christians. I ask you to meet them in their place of need, even if they dont realize their need. Break through the muck and mire of toxicness and flood their souls with your refreshing, life giving water. Cleanse the toxins, and breathe life to their souls that they too may live rightly, love deeply, and reach many for the Glory of Jesus Christ.