February 27, 2013

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”  John 1:9

UV Disinfection SystemAs a civil engineer, I have worked on various water treatment projects for both wastewater and drinking water.  We are in the final stages of a design of a water treatment plant for a small community water system, supplied by a mountain stream.  This water treatment system will have many components that are necessary to purify the drinking water.  However, water from a system that makes perfectly clear water can still be dangerous to drink.  It is dangerous due to what you cannot see.  There are all sorts of microorganisms in mountain streams that can make us humans very sick and in some cases kill us.  It is necessary to include a unit process in this treatment system that will remove these unseen organisms that can have such a significant effect upon those who will drink the water.

The selected disinfection process is ultra-violet disinfection.   This process uses the ultra-violet radiation from specialized light bulbs to rid the water of contaminating microorganisms.  The interesting part of UV disinfection is that the process does not actually kill the microorganisms.  The radiation alters their DNA in a way that it prevents the organism from reproducing.  These microorganisms have relatively short life spans so if they cannot reproduce then they will disappear over a very short period of time.  The power of the right kind of light can be very purifying.

However, the effectiveness of this light is very dependent upon the light shining upon what is unseen.  Anything that inhibits the light from fully illuminating the “bad actors” will result in those organisms reproducing and they come back with a vengeance.  Therefore, purification from infectious contaminants is dependent upon the intensity of the light, the duration of exposure to the light, and the general murkiness of the water (water quality).

In many ways, the Spirit works in the lives of believers in similar ways as UV disinfection.  Our problem has always been our flesh.  Our flesh is amazingly efficient at producing sin.  Our flesh is hostile to God and the result of that hostility toward God is death for all who live according to the flesh.

However, we are stuck with the problem of the flesh until we die.  Even though we are not living according to the flesh as followers of Christ, our flesh still has the ability to produce sin.  Our desire as earnest followers of Christ is to stop producing sin.  We want to please God.  A life of sin is not pleasing to God.  The only way for our flesh to stop producing sin is for the DNA of our flesh to be changed; we need to be changed.  Our flesh has to be continually disinfected.  It has to regularly be altered so that it will no longer reproduce sin.

That is the job of the Spirit in the life of a Christian.  It is the work of the Spirit that alters our flesh at the spiritual DNA level.  It is through these alterations in our very nature that we begin to produce the fruit of the Spirit rather than the fruits of the flesh (sin).  This process happens for all who are living according to the Spirit by setting their mind on the things of the Spirit.  It is when our minds are set on the things of the Spirit that the cleansing work of the Spirit can happen.

However, this work of the Spirit is dependent some of the same factors as UV disinfection: intensity, duration, and clarity.

Intensity:  We have to let the power of the Spirit work in our lives.  That can be a painful, searing process.  We are being altered – it might get uncomfortable.  The things that we love are being conformed.  It can be intense.  Some things may be ripped from us.  We may want to use the spiritual dimmer switch to make the process more bearable.  However, we have to allow the Spirit to challenge us and convict us.  We have to take what we are being taught through God’s word and respond to it.  It is like turning down the intensity of the Spirit, when we are lackadaisical about what we know needs to change in our lives.  We will see incredible changes in the produce of our lives when we set our minds on the things of the Spirit and allow the intensity of the Spirit to cook us until we are done.

Duration:  We are to live according to the Spirit.  The more time that we spend with our minds set on the things of the Spirit, is just more time for the Spirit to be transforming us into the image of Christ.  It is a process that we call sanctification.  A Thanksgiving turkey will never be ready if you continually take it in and out of the oven.  It has to go into the oven and stay in the oven for anyone to be pleased with it.  In much the same way, it is not surprising that our lives are not pleasing to God, if we spend the majority of our time with our minds set on the things of this world.  There are many aspects of our lives where the best medicine is a long soak in the Spirit.  Actually, the most cleansing life is the one where our minds are never set upon anything other than the things of the Spirit.  The purifying work of the Spirit can do amazing transformations in the soul of the person who wins the battle for the control of their own mind.

Clarity:  The battle for our own mind, what we set our mind on, is made more difficult when we flood it with garbage and the irrelevant.  Our flesh can grab onto the most benign of fleshly desires and be back into the production of sin.  It is like trying to shine UV light through a stream of mud.  It just will not penetrate very deep.  We must evaluate our lives for the clutter of the world.  There are many things in our lives that are not sinful in and of themselves but they may not be helpful for what we want most; our own sanctification.  I am continually working to un-clutter my mind because I know that all that other stuff will easily begin to make it harder for me to set my mind on the things of the Spirit.

The battle for control of our minds is very important.  It is one of the main reasons that I am working hard at memorizing scripture.  Rolling scripture around in my head is a very good way for me to wrestle my mind away from my flesh and set back in the place that I want it to be – set on the Spirit.  I know my flesh.  It is not good.  I know that when I set my mind on the fleshly that I produce all sorts of detestable produce.  I have more experience doing that then I care to admit.

I know where I want to be and that is living in accordance to the Spirit.  I don’t want to be any place other than walking with my Lord.  That means I need to fight the battle of my mind continually.  Where I allow my mind to rest has a direct influence on the work of the Spirit in my life.  I know that when I am actively setting my mind on the things of the Spirit that intensity of the Spirit is turned up, the Spirit has time to work, and there is not a lot of garbage blocking the process that I want most – to produce pleasing fruit for my Savior.  It is only those who are living in the Spirit that will please God.

Let’s fight for the control of our minds and let the Spirit do His job in our lives, which is our sanctification.

PRAYER: Father, thank you for not leaving us like we are.  Thank you for the work of the Spirit in my life.  Lord, help me to control my mind.  Teach me to recognize when I am not setting my mind on the things that are of You.  Father, I want to live my life in a manner that is pleasing to You.  You are so good and faithful to me.  I want to be a pleasing fragrance to You.  Forgive me for those times that I am not; when I set my mind on the things of the flesh.  Lord, I know that You still have a lot of work to do in my sanctification.  Spirit do your work in my life.     Amen


  1. Reblogged this on wordimagery and commented:
    “If we walk(live) in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses of all unrighteousness.”

  2. […] “CLEANSING POWER OF LIGHT” – Feb. 27. […]

  3. […] “CLEANSING POWER OF LIGHT” – Feb. 27 (boyslumber.wordpress.com) […]

  4. Thanks for making this clearer than a mountain stream to understand! 🙂 Your posts are terrific and always beneficial!

  5. Reblogged this on darylgstewart.

  6. I am so grateful for the work of the Holy Spirit to cleanse our lives. Thank you for this illustration from your civil engineer work

  7. I feel convicted regarding my own struggles with food and television addictions. Thank you for the reminder. – Laura

  8. Do you mind if I reblog some of your articles from time to time?

    • Daryl – I would be very honor if you wanted to reblog any of the artilces. Thank you very much.

  9. Well put, JD. We all need to be vigilant in guarding our mind!

  10. I am going through this process right now so this really hit home for me. My DNA is most definitely being changed as we speak. Thank you Lord!!

  11. Thanks for the reminder. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

  12. Love the practical and visual example of Light purifying us. Going to share with the scientific thinkers in the family. Thanks!

  13. This was very inspiring and gives one much to think about. I got that new DNA when I was cleansed from my sins by the blood of the Lamb, yet it (sin) still flows within. It is a daily battle and one we must fight if we are to have our eternal hopes fullfilled. Keep working in those who love you Lord! Amen and Amen!

  14. Very good post. I would like to bring to mind though. There was once a clean stream from the mountain sides and in some places still is, that was drinkable without devastating effects. Can we go to the root and clean the streams? I believe it can be done, but not without the cleansing power of God, Spirit, Christ. Wisdom helps.

  15. I say Amen to this and to your prayer for I have to pray continually for help to keep the flesh of sin out of my life.

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