“I’ve never seen anything like that,” Mark announced. “Sewage was coming out the roof downspout!”
The neighbors across the street had been experiencing some blockage in their septic system, so being the DIY types that they are, they had rented a sewage “snake” and were trying to alleviate the problem.
It ended up that the obstacle was out at the alley somewhere and city workers were brought in to clear the lines. The situation was finally resolved, but the roof regurgitation wasn’t something easily forgotten.
As I was praying through my own tendency toward soulish living today, I kept visualizing the neighbor’s sewage backup.
We were designed for a flow of His Spirit to ours. Our brimming spirit is to then overflow into our soul (thoughts and emotions) and eventually into our actions. This is the essence of His “rivers of Living Water” (John 7:38) that spills from within us to refresh the lives of others.
The problem is we still have a mind of our own, huh?
Rather than receiving His overflow with a submissive personality, we backup the flow by trying to source life from within our own energies. When we take our Bible readings, our church goings and our religious doings into our own hands, we effectively begin “put confidence in the flesh” and clog up the purifying current of the Spirit.
When the soul takes upon itself to do what only the Spirit only can do, we have a sewage problem of the heart. The soul – designed to be renewed from a Fresh Source day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16) – suddenly finds itself sinking in its own garbage. What a disgusting thought.
It is no wonder that so little of our religious exercises result in true Life. Motivations for “good” aren’t always good. If our incentive is only to make ourselves look better, then we are not pleasing the Father (Romans 8:8). In fact, all self-initiated religious actions actually stink to high heaven.
To keep the flow fresh, our purpose must be to connect with Him.
I like the way 19th Century missionary, Andrew Murray, puts it:
“I cannot glory in a distant Jesus, from whom I am separated. When I try to do it, it takes effort; I must have the help of the flesh to do it. I can only truly glory in a present Saviour, whom the Holy Spirit glorifies, and reveals within me.”
May it be so, O Lord. May it be so.