Having lived in Florida for almost 13 years, I've seen a few sinkholes. A few years ago, my own home had to be rescued from one—a gap in the earth underneath my house had to be plugged with 40 cubic yards of concrete.
The process proved long and arduous, but it stabilized the foundation of our house and saved us from years of grief and heartache. Praise God for his mercy and loving kindness. Other homes on our street weren't as fortunate.
The maw (defined as a cavernous opening that resembles the open jaws of an animal) that Satan meant for destruction of our home—and perhaps our family—worked out for good because, through that situation, my wife and I learned to trust God with our home. "We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" (Rom. 8:28).
We're certainly grateful to those who helped repair our home. We haven't had any issues since.
However, while we did learn to lean on God with our home, it's sad to say that it took a lot longer for me to listen to Him about the gaps in my spiritual life.
Sinkholes are dangerous, and so are spiritual maws.
For years, God has been speaking to me through many friends and preachers—as well as His Word—about the things I need to do to draw closer to Him. I know I need to immerse myself in the Bible. I know I need to enhance my prayer life greatly. I know I need to focus on and serve others in a way that I never have before.
I am seeking complete transformation for my life, but I know that transformation comes only by obedience, and obedience comes only from a renewed mind. "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Rom. 12:2).
And what is necessary for renewal? Plain and simple: the Holy Spirit. John Piper says, "The spirit renews the mind. It is first and decisively His work. We are radically dependent on Him. Our efforts follow His initiatives and enablings. ... The Spirit must work from the inside out, breaking the hard heart that blinds and corrupts the mind."
Slowly but surely, the Spirit is breaking my hard heart of things that blind me and corrupt my mind. That includes two of my worst traits—complacency and procrastination. Praise God.
But do you know the wonderful thing about Jesus? He doesn't bring guilt or shame upon his children. He doesn't care what you've done in the past or how long you've waited. He desires your repentance and obedience now. "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit" (Rom. 8:1).
Is there a spiritual maw in your life? Pray that God will reveal it to you so you can fill it up and stabilize the foundation of your walk with Him.
And as I always like to say, "there is that."
Shawn A. Akers is the online managing editor at Charisma Media. He is a published poet and published a story about Dale Earnhardt in NASCAR Chicken Soup for the Soul. You can read his blog here. To sign up for his newsletter, "Step Out of the Boat," and other Charisma newsletters, click here. You can also listen to his podcasts, the Javelin Sports Show, on the Charisma Podcast Network.
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