By Curtis Peter van Gorder
I was in India, a few days before the monsoon season arrived…
Everyone in India looks forward to the monsoon. You can read predictions of its arrival and follow its daily progress around the country in the newspapers. The heavy rains clean the dirt that has accumulated over the months. The rains also help to cool things down. Without them, not much will grow. The monsoon is India’s lifeblood.
In anticipation of the rains, many trees are trimmed back and drains are cleaned. Until it is collected, all along the roadside next to the drains lies all manner of trash, much of it decomposed into a sort of black goo.
I asked my daughter, who lives there, why they did this, and she explained, “They trim the trees to prevent any weak branches from breaking off and falling on power lines or causing other damage, and they clear the drains so the rainwater will flow freely. It’s not enough to clear the drains and just pile the trash on the side of the road, though. If the monsoon were to hit before trucks arrived to cart the trash away, it would either be washed back down the drains and clog them again, or be washed elsewhere. Either way, it would contribute to the monsoon flooding and carry all kinds of germs with it, creating a lot of problems.”
In our spiritual lives, we have to do much the same thing. We have to get rid of any obstructions that drag us down or hinder our spiritual growth—the things that keep God’s cleansing, renewing Spirit from flowing freely through us.
This “trash” in our lives could be anything that has come between the Lord and us. For example, it could be a grievance we have against someone—a “root of bitterness,” like the Bible warns against, which will eat away at us if we don’t recognize it and make amends with the person we feel has wronged us (Hebrews 12:15). Or it could be materialistic “thorns and weeds” that choke out our love for the Lord and others—the “cares of this life,” which Jesus warned against (Matthew 13:22). Or it could be our own pride—an exaggerated feeling of self-importance or self-reliance that hinders our link with the Lord through prayer and causes us to miss out on some of the blessings He has for us.
If not thoroughly removed, these obstacles will weaken us. They will also spill out and infect others. It is really worth our while to first of all identify what it is that is blocking the flow of God’s Spirit to ours, and then to get rid of those hindrances before they can do any more damage.
There is victory to be had! Let’s ask God today to show us what could be hindering us spiritually, and then go to work to clear away the trash in our hearts so the fresh, clean waters of His Spirit and Word can flow freely. As we do our part, God will do His and we will experience Him working more fully in our lives, we will receive more of His blessings, and we will go on to become all He wants us to be and knows we can be.