Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Off and On

Tonight at our Bible Study, the Lord gave me a visual from part of what we discussed.  I've heard similar analogies, but this really made me think and He gave me a bigger picture on my way home.  Colossians 3 is a great chapter to learn how to become set apart as one of His children.  In this chapter it tells us what to take off.
Colossians 3:5-9 NLT So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.6 Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming.7 You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world.8 But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language.9 Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds.
It also tells us what to put on.
Colossians 3: 10,12-14 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.
The visual is here.  I have a decorative glass bowl on my table with those flattened glass decorative marbles in it and also a candle.  If I remove the candle (light) from the bowl, the marbles fill in its hole.  When I try to replace the candle and scoop away the marbles, I can't quite get all of those marbles out from the bottom of the bowl and I just scoop and scoop to no avail.  The bowl wants to be filled and the marbles seek to do that job.  The only way I can put the candle in the center of the bowl is to empty it completely of the marbles and then put the candle in.  If I want to put the marbles back, I can then do it around the candle.
I am not a scientist, so I may be off a bit on this, but as far as I'm aware anything that is emptied must be filled again with something even if it is air.  Its like when you go to the beach and dig a hole near the water, the hole is always filling up with water.  If those marbles in my bowl are the things listed to get rid of: evil desires, sexual impurities, lust, etc.; and I don't completely get rid of them, I will not have room for the things I'm supposed to fill up with: mercy, kindness, gentleness, and so on.  The light is never in the center or won't fit when there are a couple of marbles under it.
A few more lessons from my candle and marbles in the bowl.
If you think of the bowl as me, the candle as the Light of Jesus, and the marbles as good things...
There are many good things in our lives that are not counted in the list of what to get rid of.  We just need to make sure that the foundation of the Light is exactly where it needs to be.  In the center of our lives.  I can wear jewelry and make-up and decorate my house with nice things, but when those things get in the way of the Light and take His place in the center of me, I need to get rid of them.
If you think of the marbles in my bowl...
The original marbles in my bowl were a light purple.  I bought them in a set and they looked really nice.  Eventually, I've found other marbles from different locations that are teal or clear or peach and different shapes.  Since I don't have another place to put them, I've just added them to this dish.  My pure purple display has become impure and tainted.  Just one extra marble of a different style can change the display, even a clear marble can change this whole look and make it impure.  So keeping just one of the sins listed in Colossians 3, can make me impure. Once I get rid of all of the different colored marbles, which we can call sin, and refill my bowl first by putting the Light in the center of it, and surround that light with all the things, purple marbles, that go with it like humility, patience and forgiveness, I can then be living a holy life.  Pure purple around the light.
There's a lot here to digest, but I don't want to just want to make analogies with the Word, I want my life to be transformed by it.  Father, help me to examine my life and daily put off the old nature and put on the new.  Renew me and refresh me.  Help me continually fill my life with the good things that You desire so there will be no room for the things You hate.

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