I use a garden hose on a regular basis. I use it to water the plants, sprinkle the lawn, wash my cars, and to do just about anything else that requires transferring water from my well to someplace else. The other day I needed to wash my car so I took the hose off the hose reel attached to my house and dragged it fifty feet to where my car was parked. I set down the hose and walked back to the valve to turn it on. Then I walked back to the end of the hose near the car expecting water to be gushing out. The problem was, there was no water coming out even though the valve was on. I looked at the hose and followed it back to the valve with my eyes. That was when I noticed the hose had four kinks in it. So I had to go back and straighten out all four kinks in order for the water to freely flow out of the nozzle. As soon as I straightened the first kink, the water rushed through the hose to the second. So I straightened that kink and it rushed to a third kink. And once I straightened that kink the water came gushing out of the end.
In a spiritual sense, God uses us like a hose to bring life (the water) wherever we go. The Holy Spirit flows through us to bring Jesus and when we bring Jesus, He brings life. But sin is like a kink in the hose. Lies are like a kink in the hose. Anger is a kink in the hose. Foul and abusive language is a kink in the hose. Bitterness, rage, slander and other sin are all kinks in the hose. When you have kinks, you stop the Holy Spirit from flowing through you and bringing life to others.
God wants us to examine our lives so that we can remove the kinks and he can use us. Right now the Holy Spirit might be revealing a few kinks that you need to deal with. I want to encourage you to deal with them. Don’t put it off, don’t pretend they are not there. Deal with them and watch how God will not only work through you but in you. If your marriage is struggling, maybe you have a relational kink that needs to be worked out. Feel far from God? Maybe you have a kink of doubt or self-will that needs to be worked out. Feel angry all the time or resentful toward someone? You have a kink in the hose and until you forgive them the Holy Spirit will be limited in what He can do through you. And if someone is parked on your hose, you will need to work through a process to get them off. I’m not saying get rid of the car, but you might need to move it.
The Apostle Paul instructs us how to remove the kinks writing: “So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:25-32
The good news is that once you look for the kinks in your hose, you will see them and can deal with them. You might not be able to remove all the kinks right now, but you can start today. Pick one kink and work it out. Then when you sense God pushing up against another one, work it out. God wants the Holy Spirit to flow through you. There is nothing in this world that I want more than to see the Holy Spirit flowing through you, watering others, helping them to grow closer to Christ. As a church we want to raise the spiritual climate of our community and this will happen more quickly if we get the kinks out in our individual spiritual lives so we can let God’s love flow through us.