Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Wait, Part 5: Married & Young Challenge (Plumbing Issues + Why You're "Worth Being Worked On")

Image source: Facebook

This morning in the Married and Young 5 Day Challenge group, Pastor Jamal Miller spoke about the heart. This discussion tied nicely into yesterday's word about perspective, but took things one step further. Now that we know God can see us from all angles, we have to be willing to let Him dig deeper to get to the root of what needs fixing. We have to let Him examine our inner plumbing and unclog our hearts. Once our hearts are fixed on God, He'll send us the gift of our future spouse...but He has to take us through some things first.

I clicked on the video without looking at the title, so I didn't know what scripture Jamal would be teaching from, but as soon as he started speaking, I heard the lyrics to Tamela Mann's "Change Me" from her 2016 album, One Way, ringing in my spirit:

Tamela Mann - One Way album art / Amazon

Change me, O God
Make me more like You
Change me, O God
Wash me through and through
Create in me a clean heart
So that I may worship You

I love this song. I sing it all the time and watch covers of it on YouTube to see if anybody can do it justice, because let's be honest: NOBODY sings it like Tamela can! I knew the lyrics were borrowed from Psalms 51:10, but it wasn't until I spoke the words aloud instead of singing them that I realized that they are actually a very powerful prayer -- a prayer that we shouldn't pray until we are 100% sure we mean every word.

Change is good, but it's also scary because, well, it's change -- new and uncharted territory that we haven't explored before. We don't like change because it forces us to have to relearn everything, so we get comfortable in that job, that town, that person, that sin, because it's what we're used to. A lot of times, we don't feel God moving in our lives because we're afraid change is going to hurt. This morning, Jamal assured us that it will be painful. And ironically, the scripture he alluded to was Psalms 51:10 *cue goosebumps*.

Let's go back to the analogy of unclogging the heart. Has your sink drain ever been clogged? If so, you probably tried to fix it yourself before calling a plumber, right? Some Drain-O should do the trick. So you pour the whole bottle of Drain-O down the sink and continue adding more sludge down the drain for the next two weeks or so, only to find out that the Drain-O didn't fix anything the first time. The clog is even worse than before, so you bite the bullet and call the plumber, even though you really didn't want to pay the extra expense.

It's not a pleasant experience, but it sounds familiar, doesn't it? Too often, we try to fix our problems ourselves. We tell ourselves to suck it up and pretend to be okay, and the drain just continues to clog up until the sludge is almost visible under the surface. We don't want to call the plumber (God) because we know He's going to pull it out of us, and if it hurt going down, it'll be even more painful coming back up. It will cost us something, and we really don't want to pay the extra expense of being uncomfortable. Well guess what? It's necessary. And your expenses have already been paid.

Yes, change will hurt. In order to allow God to change us and make us more like Him, we have to come to terms with those things that are clogging our hearts. As Jamal shared this morning, it won't feel good during the process, but on the other side of the process is the living water of God that will be able to flow freely through our hearts (John 7:38). When we allow God to fix our plumbing, we can start drinking His living water, and in learning how to live for Him, we'll learn how to love like Him. This will eventually apply to our relationships with our future spouses, but in the meantime, we need to learn to love ourselves and our neighbors, our communities. As painful as it will be, we have to look inside ourselves and realize that we are "worth being worked on."

Let us pray:

God, I open my heart to You. You knew the ins and outs of me before I ever did. You know what needs fixing. Help me and everyone who reads this to surrender and accept the change that is necessary in order for us to be pleasing in Your sight. Help us to know that we are worth being worked on, and help us trust You to complete that work. Time and time again, we've tried to fix things ourselves, and time and time again we have failed. We like to think we've got it all figured out, but the truth is, we need You. Help us to understand that needing You is not an "extra expense" because You've already paid it all on the cross. Deal with us and show us how to deal with life. Unclog our hearts so that we may learn to love ourselves and others, and eventually, our future spouses, in a way that glorifies You. Let our lives and our unions be a reflection of who You are.

In Jesus' name we pray,


For a recap of the message Jamal shared yesterday, click here.


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