Stirred Up

Today I had to clean out our swimming pool. The water looked clean, it was clear and pretty. However, there was some debris that was settled deep on the bottom where the filter didn’t reach. So I got in there with the pool vac. As I did it stirred up the water and by the time I had finished, even though I had gotten a lot of stuff out with the vac, the water was no longer clear and the whole pool actually looked worse then before. I thought, “man, I didn’t know how dirty, and in need of work this pool really was until I got it all stirred up”

You know, our soul can be a lot like that pool. We think we’re doing pretty good when things are calm. We seem pretty clean spiritually, but what happens when something “stirs you up“? What filth rises up that had been settled deep down in your heart that you didn’t even realize was there? I think that sometimes God allows the enemy to rise up against us to stir us up and show us how dirty and in need of work we really are. 

You are growing spiritually, you have allowed God to remove many big things from your life, and your feeling pretty clean. You just know that you are ready to be that refreshing pool of Holy Spirit living water to others. Then a friend betrays you, your spouse pushes you over the edge, someone comes against your kids, something happens that really stirs you up and stuff that you didn’t know was in you starts to come to the surface. It is in these moments that we need to stop and run to the thrown room. It may be the time that you feel the least worthy to be there but it is when you most need to be there, so you can humble yourself, acknowledged these formally hidden heart issues (such as offense, pride, anger, unbelief, control, unclean lips, self centeredness, vain glory, etc.) as sin before God, confess it, repent of it, and ask His grace to overcome and remove it!

Don’t become discouraged by the stirring. I would not have known how desperately the pool needed my attention had it’s issues not been brought to the surface by it getting stirred up. Likewise we would not realize how much we need to get before Jesus and let Him work on cleaning us up had our own junk not come to the surface by the things that stirred us up. The goal is to be so completely pure that, just like the pool, even when stirred up it still stays crystal clear because there is no filth left to surface. 

The fastest way to achieve this is with a different kind of stirring, by stirring up the Holy Spirit in prayer daily so that He can reveal and remove those things hidden deep within you. You see, I began to realize that the bottom of the pool had gotten so dirty because I had not been spending time in it stirring up the waters so that the pump could do its job. Likewise, if we do not spend time every day in prayer stirring up the Holy Spirit and letting him do his cleansing work in us, then the water will fall still and junk will begin to accumulate and settle in. 

So in this I see that we will face a stirring that will cause to surface that which is deep within us one way or the other. Either gently by daily time stirring the waters of the spirit in prayer, or chaotically by something stirring the emotions of the soul. Ether way, what’s in your heart will eventually come to surface. Clean it up and keep it clean by keeping it stirred up in the private place of prayer to your glory that it doesn’t get stirred up in public to your shame.

“…out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” – Luke‬ ‭6:45‬ ‭

“… and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” – Genesis‬ ‭1:2‬ ‭

“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy‬ ‭1:6-7‬ ‭

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Purged For The Master’s Use

“But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” – 2 Timothy‬ ‭2:20-21‬ ‭

I see this passage in two lights this morning. In the first I see the reality that many times throughout scripture when God desired to use Israel He could not because of sin, rebellion, or complacency in the Kings, priest, governors, and so on. Though He wanted to move through them, He could not do so because it would endorse their actions as acceptable by Him and misrepresent His character. God is Holy, therefor can He only endorse a people that demonstrate who He is to the world and in doing so become a light in the darkness and a beacon on a hill.

So then God would have to purge his people of these impurities through the fires of affliction and trial. Through seasons of being pressed by their enemies, through wildernesses, through times of desperation, dependency, oppression, rebuke, wrath, correction, crying out, and coddling He would slowly work these weaknesses to the surface and skim them away until He had a people that were pure, holy, devoted, and faithful that He could use for His glory.

He does this even to this day in ministries that He desires to use. He cannot endorse with the power of heaven, that which does not rightly represent Heaven. Therefor does He take them through trials, battles, and wildernesses until the vessels of dishonor have been purged and the ministry is refined that He might use it to the fullest of His glory.

“And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” – Malachi‬ ‭3:3‬

The second light in which I see this truth applied is in the life of the individual believer. Despite what a preacher might have told you at salvation, Jesus never promised that the journey would be easy, only that the destination would be worth whatever it cost you to get there. Not unlike the Israelites in the wilderness, the journey was full of trial but those that made it through entered the Promise pure, even though they lost some vessels of dishonor along the way. 

Likewise each of us carries some junk with us from the Spiritual Egypt (our old life that we were delivered from) and we can’t take that stuff into the Promise Land so the hardships and attacks of the wilderness come to prod us to decide what is most valuable to us that we might be willing to discard the vessels of dishonor that we are still hauling with us from Egypt. There are things that will keep us from the promise God has for us, but if you will be willing to simply purge yourself of those things, then the vessels of honor that are fit for the masters use can enter into promise and be used by Him to the fullest. 

“Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.” – Isaiah‬ ‭48:10-11

“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” – 1 Peter‬ ‭1:6-7‬ ‭