Daily Devotional

Polluted by Sin

by Simon Whitton

Like a muddied spring or a polluted well
 is a righteous man who gives way to the wicked.

Proverbs 25:26 (NIV)

I know of a church where a spiritually gifted man was invited to minister. However, people who he'd ministered to later had bad dreams or some other ill effects. It turned out that although this man was genuinely gifted, he had a serious and unrepentant addiction to pornography.

He didn't stop being a 'well' when he 'gave way to the wicked'. People still drew from him as a spiritual source, but his well had become polluted. Perhaps this is an extreme case, but this sort of concept can be found in a number of places in the Old and New Testaments.

Must my flock feed on what you have trampled
and drink what you have muddied with your feet?

Ezekiel 34:19 (NIV)

In the scriptures the Holy Spirit is described as living water:

Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said,
streams of living water will flow from within him.
By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.

John 7:38-39a (NIV)

There are some places in the world where tube wells produce crystal clear fresh water; but it's contaminated with naturally formed arsenic. The water looks, smells and tastes pure, but can cause a wide variety of heath problems, and can even result in cancer 20 to 30 years later. Our hearts should be a spring for pure living water, uncontaminated by sin, whether gossip, envy, selfishness, bitterness, unforgiveness or some other sort of poison.

8 but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness.
10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.
11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?

James 3:8-11 (NIV)

We all have sin in our lives, just as all water has impurities. But when there is rooted, unconfessed, ongoing sin, a stronghold of the enemy, it can corrupt our hearts; and 'out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks'. If the life-giving water that springs from us is polluted, it may influence our gifts and ministry in ways that we aren't even aware of.

Let's pray that the Lord will cleanse us, and make us Holy vessels for His service. That we will be a source of pure living water, a blessing to those around us.

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