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FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH IN DOWNTOWN WILMINGTON NC
  • Writer's pictureDr. Jim Baldwin

Hunkered Down Homilies – Filled

Backyard with above ground pool with dirty green water that needs to be cleaned.

The goal at our house this week is to get the redneck swimming pool ready for summer fun.  Our pool preparations have been delayed by other home projects (such as trimming hedges, planting flowers, cleaning carpets, pressure washing porches, yadda yadda yadda.)  But grandchildren are coming soon, and temperatures are nearing 90 degrees.  It’s time!


We leave the pool up year-round, simply draining it to about half-full and covering it so a million leaves don’t end up floating around.  As you might imagine, after six months of neglect the water gets pretty gross.  Getting the pool ready first involves draining the remainder of the water out and cleaning the inside really well with Clorox.  As soon as the nasty water is gone and the pool has been scrubbed, we begin the three-day process of refilling it with clean – cold but clean – water.  The sunshine does the warming, and the summer fun begins!


There are spiritual lessons to be learned from our swimming pool protocol. Like my pool, a spirit that remains stagnant for long becomes unpleasant and uninviting.  Left untended we tend to become less reflective of the God who created us and who shapes us.  King David went through a period of spiritual boredom that led to a series of ugly and painful actions.  His response was to pray, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”  (Psalm 51:10)


David understood that praying for cleansing is not enough.  It is just as important that we ask God to fill us with His Spirit so that we remain steadfast.  An empty pool – or an empty spirit – invites trouble.  Some friends told us they emptied their pool, planning to fill it up the next day.  An unexpected storm came through during the night and carried their empty pool onto the neighbor’s roof.  Jesus echoes this truth in the parable of a man who was delivered from an impure spirit but who failed to fill the void in his life with Christ.  The impure spirit returned and found the life clean and in order, but empty.  The impure spirit came back with seven other bad spirits and the man was worse off than he was before.  (Matthew 12:44-45)


We need the cleansing that comes from confession and repentance.  We also need the filling of the Holy Spirit to keep our hearts in sync with God.


It’s time!



-Dr. Jim Baldwin




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