The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Fill your life with the spirit of God


April 13, 2018

Jesus, who knows us better than we even know ourselves, warned His hearers about obstructions or sin in one’s heart. He said: “What comes from your heart is what makes you unclean. Out of your heart come evil thoughts, vulgar deeds, stealing, murder, unfaithfulness in marriage, greed, meanness, deceit, indecency, envy, insults, pride, and foolishness. All of these come from your heart and they are what make you unfit to worship God.” (Mark 7:20-23). Further, once these sins take hold in a person’s life, they become obstacles to keep us from being the people that can be fully effective for the Lord Jesus Christ.

How can obstructions in the believer’s life hinder him or her from following the Lord and being effective in this world? Think about the following illustration.

One of my earliest memories at Meserve Grade School in Kansas City, Kansas, centers was music class. I always looked forward to Miss Theta Abel’s music class.

The young and petite Miss Abel had an outgoing personality and all the students in the classroom loved Miss Abel.

After books were passed out to all the students, Miss Abel would give us the page number and then she blew on her pitch pipe. That was our signal that we were ready to sing. We sang a variety of songs like “Old Dan Tucker,” “When the Caissons Go Rolling Along,” “My Wild Irish Rose,” and “America the Beautiful.”

At times Miss Abel would bring walk us through some musical project. For one project, Miss Abel brought drinking glasses and felt colored mallets. She passed out glasses of the same size to the students. Then she came by each one of us and filled our glasses with water, pouring a different amount of water in each glass.

Then she did something unusual. She went by each student’s glass, and put various sizes of rocks in each glass. Some students had bigger rocks and some had rocks that were smaller. She gave us our instructions. She intended to play Amazing Grace (that was way before political correctness). She was going to take her mallets and tap on each student’s glass to get a different tone.

We went through a “dry run.” She started gliding from student to student in an attempt to play Amazing Grace. What we heard was not exactly the tune of Amazing Grace; some notes were off and some had a dull thud to them.

Then the experiment went on. Miss Abel told each student to take the rock out of their glasses. We followed her instructions and Miss Abel once again started her moving from glass to glass, tapping on each one. Expect for a little glitch now and then, it all went wonderfully well. Miss Abel glided back and forth from student to student, tapping each glass with her rubber mallet. The tune of Amazing Grace came out clear and smooth.

The glasses were the same size and our teacher tapped each glass with the same rubber mallet using the same amount of force. Yet, the difference in the notes we heard depended upon the amount of water and also on whether there was an obstruction in each glass. The bigger the obstruction, the less water the glass held, making for a thudding sound. It certainly was not a beautiful sound.

That little musical experiment from third grade was memorable. Yet as an adult, I see spiritual implications from that true story. I have realized from my own life that there can be obstructions in the Christian life that cause us to be ineffective for Christ.

These obstructions keep us from being the kind of follower God wants us to be. The Scripture commands us to be filled with nothing else but the Holy Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

The lesson? Give all of yourself each day to God. Don’t fill your life with anything that would not glorify God, because when we are filled with the Spirit of God, the hope within us is harmonious, uplifting, and pleasant. God’s grace working within us can bring uplifting and lovely melodies each day of our lives.

Judy Brandon writes about faith for The Eastern New Mexico News. Contact her at:


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