Mudballs in the Kingdom. Playable Messy Goo.

Yesterday evening, my youngest son and I decided to try an experiment. We took half a glass of purified water and added some virgin olive oil. From the top of the glass, it looked as if the plain, colourless water was immediately transformed into a rich, golden colour. Beautiful! When we looked at the side of the glass however, we noticed that the golden oil was all floating on the top of the water.

My son, who knows me well, sensed there was some deeper purpose behind our little "experiment". "What does it represent?" he asked.

I smiled, for the full meaning was only just dawning on me. "I think the water represents us humans," I said. "Aren't we made up mostly of water?"

My son nodded. "90%!"

Later research revealed that though he was a bit generous with his numbers, we are, indeed, primarily made up of water-78% when we are born, and 55-65% as adults!

"Humans remain bland all of their lives," I continued, "just like the colourless water. Unless we invite God's Spirit into our lives, that is! Most of us pretend to lead awesome lives, but when we face our death beds, we often find ourselves filled with remorse, anxiety and regret. Most of us wish we had another chance at life to rectify our mistakes, but we don't, and soon death swallows us up. It kind of reminds me of Ps 55:4-5: "My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death assail me. Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me." NIV

My son continued to stare at the glass. I think he knew where I was going with this, but I continued anyway: "It is completely different when you reach out to God. When you welcome God's Spirit into your life, all of that blandness disappears under a golden hue. People around you notice it and wonder about the difference. They see that you are still yourself, but somehow you radiate joy and peace that is beyond this world.

"Oil is often associated in the Bible with the Holy Spirit," I continued, talking more to myself now than to him. "Wherever we use oil, it makes a difference. Whether it is cooking, massage therapy, therapeutic baths, or just to grease the pistons of the car engine. And God's Spirit makes a difference to us as well, but only when we welcome Him in!"

It reminded me of some familiar of Bible texts:

"So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power. Samuel then went to Ramah." (1 Sam 16:13 NIV)

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?" (1 Cor 6:19 NIV)

"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth." (John 16:13 NIV)

"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10 NIV)

"The individual still has his own personality," I continued, musing now, "but his life clearly reflects God's presence. Hey! Watch this!" I picked up a handful of dirt and dropped it, bit by bit into the golden water. At first we noticed black specks in the water that distorted the beauty of the olive oil. By the time my hand was empty however, the water had turned completely black. We could see a bit of water here and there, but the oil was nowhere to be seen.

"Hey Papa, you've made the oil disappear!"

"It's like the sinful attractions of the heart," I explained. "This, my son, is what happens when we mess around with what we call sin. At first the difference it makes in our lives is hardly noticeable. If we persevere with our lustful attractions however, our lives will slowly be transformed into a muddy mess. God's Spirit can't live in such a heart. We become dead to real life and slaves to our own lustful gratifications, and God's spirit departs."

This reminded me of a couple other texts:

"If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: 'A dog returns to its vomit,' and, 'A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.'" (2 Peter 2:20-22)

"No one who is born of God will continue to sin , because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God ." (1 John 3:9 NIV)

My son looked pensive. "But if the person that puts mud in their lives repents, he can be saved, right?"

"The Bible is clear on that," I said. "'If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness!' (1 John 1:9). And remember: 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.' (Matt 9:26 NIV) God is amazing! His mercy is unending. His abundant love doesn't permit Him to hinder our choices, however when we go our own way, His heart breaks! His biggest wish is this: 'God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men-the testimony given in its proper time.'" (1 Tim 2:3-6 NIV)

My son smiled and nodded, and proceeded to begin cleaning up the gooey mess that by this time had somehow managed to get all over the countertop. I guess he knew his mother well!

Friends, if your life is tainted by sin and you don't know how to get out of the messy goo, may I suggest you come to Jesus? Repent and welcome Him into your life. Ask for His deliverance and cling to Him. Not only will you be forgiven, but you will be truly set free! It has been my personal experience, and it could be yours as well!

Remember, "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." (John 8:36 NIV)

Whether you remain a messy mudball or are transformed into an attractive, Spirit-filled individual is your choice!

Rob Chaffart

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