The other day I was outside working on the gutters on the screened in porch. They are my most Favorite (sarcasm) gutters to work on. You have to work your hand down into the gutter around the sharp corner of aluminum that guards the front of the gutter.
The first time that he and I cleaned them, it took us all day to clean them, which is why they hadn’t been done in such a long time. Actually they had trees growing out of them. Well, this time around they had asparagus growing out of them, so I decided it was time to clean them out.
I got the ladder out, the hose with the power end on it, a screwdriver, and started cleaning out one end of the gutter. I thought I had all the big muck cleaned out until I started running the water through the gutter. Of course it backed up and sprayed me in the face with all that wonderful mud and muck. As I looked further down the gutter, just half of it, I found that there was a blockage that wouldn’t let the water flow freely. It turned out to be two pieces of sponge from the triangles that were used to keep the weather out of the porch. There were sponge triangles that kept the water in the gutter on the inside of the porch. My son had just replaced old ones and ones that had been missing. Now, these were not the new ones, they were old ones that were probably still in there from the first time around. However, the water wasn’t going to flow until they were removed.
It reminded me about the Holy Spirit working in our lives. I guess since I’m preaching and teaching about the Holy Spirit working in our lives. When we come to Christ we accept all of God in our lives. Scripture tells us that we’re new creatures and new creations. Our spirits are made new. Our spirits are forgiven. Our past sin is forgiven. We have the blood and we’re on our way to glory. We’re walking in the Kingdom of God, here and now.
Our bodies are going to be renewed. There is going to come a day when we will put off this old body and receive a new body. That is another promise of Scripture. Not only are our spirits renewed. Not only are we forgiven from our sin through the work of Christ on the cross. We will also receive a new body when we cross over into glory. To be absent from the body is to be present before the Lord, as the Apostle Paul writes. In Psalm 23 David writes about us walking through the valley of the shadow of death and not fearing evil. If you go to the original Hebrew that valley is actually an illusion. Death is an illusion for the believer. Jesus made a way that we won’t taste death. Death where is thy sting. Grave where is thy victory. It’s not for those who have that relationship with the Lord. That’s when we get that new body. Oh, how I’m looking forward to that!!!!
But, it’s the mind that gives us trouble. You see, that mind still thinks like the world. The mind, even though you have the relationship, even though you’re covered by the blood, you still think like you used to. That’s why Paul writes in Romans 12:2, Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. That’s where the “blockages” come. That’s where the obstacles come. That’s where the anxiety is. That’s where the depression lies. That’s where the old way of thinking stays. That mind has to be renewed. That way of thinking has to be cleared out. That way of thinking has to be removed if we want true freedom from the world.
So, how do we do it? It’s a process. It takes one word, DISCIPLINE! I know that’s not a word we like. However, that’s what it takes. It takes DISCIPLINE of being in the Word, not devotionals (although those can help). The Word is where we find our truth. The Word of God is where we start to renew our mind. Jesus says that He is the Word. If you read John 1 you see that the Word became flesh. In order to know how to live, how to think, what to do, you have to know Christ. Not what you think you know, but you have to know. There are so many things that I learn about Him everyday just by reading the Word over and over again. Just by taking a moment to study and cross-reference that Word.
It takes DISCIPLINE to be in prayer. Not just praying for the “Christmas List” of our needs and wants. But, praying in praise and thanksgiving for the suffering and trials that we are going through. Giving God glory for all that He is doing in our lives. All of those things that take place in our lives are molding us into His image. That’s why James tells us to count it joy and let the trials work completely in our lives. That way we can be complete and whole lacking nothing. That’s becoming the image of Christ.
Lastly, it takes DISCIPLINE to be in worship. I know that there is a strong move today to stay at home and worship online. Yes, you can worship at home. You can worship anywhere you are, that’s one of the coolest things about God. However, there is just something about being with other believers who are praising the Lord. There is just something about being with others who are going through the same thing that you’re going through. There’s just something about singing the songs with other believers, studying the Word with other believers, that is encouraging and lifts your spirit. It is the “Family of God” coming together and bearing one another up. Are we all perfect when we come together? No. But we have to remember that it’s not about us, it’s about God. Don’t lose that focus.
Let me close this out by saying, that if you follow these DISCIPLINES, you’ll remove the obstacles in your gutters and the water of the Spirit will flow freely in your life. You’ll experience power that you never knew you had. You’ll experience joy that is unspeakable and full of glory. You’ll have a peace that passes all understanding. Not to mention the fact that you’ll hear the voice of God giving you clear direction. Is it time to clean your gutters?