Day 4: Adult Department
Being filled with God’s Spirit
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit in me. Do not cast me from Your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (Psalm 51:10-12, NIV).
My husband is the gracious caretaker of our pool. He is the one who keeps it clean and the water balanced. As a result, we most always have a refreshing respite from the hot, summer weather. Even when you’re not swimming, it’s beautiful to look at.
But this year was different.
No matter what he tried, the water remained unbalanced and murky. The normally beautiful blue color of the water was replaced by an undesirable shade of green. Algae grew and no one was even remotely enticed to take a dip. He hadn’t changed his habits. He was doing everything the same as he always had. What was the problem? He tried everything he could possibly think of to correct it but nothing worked. He finally gave up.
The next time he went to the pool store he was venting about his inability to fix the pool. He explained he had been doing this faithfully for the last 15 years. The guy working replied, “when is the last time you emptied it?”
“Emptied it?” my husband responded. “Never!” (How exactly do you empty 30,000 gallons of water anyway??)
The guy went on to explain that when your efforts are no longer working, the only thing you can do is to drain it. Start over. Fill it with new water and begin anew.
And that’s what he did.
It couldn’t all be drained at once. However, he consistently drained as much as he could each day until it was finally empty.
It looked odd. Barren. Unusable. Not at all what a pool should look like. But you know what? It could be deeply cleaned in a way that can only happen when empty.
I believe God so wants to do this in our lives. In our hearts. I believe He is saying, “Empty yourselves so I can fill you. Trust me. I will renew you and restore you. You simply can’t do these things in your own strength, no matter how hard you try.”
“Lord, open our eyes to the necessity of this truth. Help us to empty ourselves so that you may refill us with your living water. Help us to recognize that even our best intentions can get in the way of being filled with your Spirit. Thank you for restoring us and bringing new joy to our lives and church. In Jesus’ name,” Amen.