Recently as I have been going about my day, I observed a common issue surface both at work and at home. I’m calling this issue “buildup.” Allow me to explain what buildup is and how it relates to dangers in spiritual life.

The first place where I noticed buildup was on my desk in my office. This issue began when I walked into my office in the morning and placed my keys, wallet and phone on my desk. Soon my desk was cluttered with post-it notes, small tools, papers and other miscellaneous items — once I started allowing clutter accumulate it was easier to let even more build up. What started with not promptly storing a few objects quickly turned into a serious mess. 

Then, I again noticed buildup as I cleaned out the gutters at my home. As I removed the debris from one gutter I could tell that a single, small twig had first become lodged in the passage, followed by a few leaves which caught on the twig, and then some maple seeds which were trapped in the leaves. As each item caught on the previous object, the gutter became more and more plugged. Like the clutter on my desk, the buildup started with what seemed like a small issue, but it quickly escalated into the threat of basement flooding or perhaps even structural damage to the wall of the house if a hard rain fell and had no where to flow. 

So how does this idea of “buildup” apply to spiritual life? In Leviticus 10:3 Moses conveys a warning from The Lord. This warning comes after The Lord kills two of Aaron’s sons for bringing strange fire and incense before The Lord — specifically a fire that He had not commanded them to bring. Here The Lord warns

“By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy...”

Holiness is critical to closeness and a relationship with God. From the beginning, holiness and unholiness have been defined by The Truth of God’s Word. Truth is critical to holiness, because holiness is hearing, receiving and acting upon The Truth (see 1 Peter 1:22-25 and John 17:17). In addition to doing Truth, a believer who is pursuing holiness must not allow sin to take root in his or her life, because sin and holiness are mutually exclusive. 

First, let’s further explore the idea of Truth flowing from God to saints (or holy ones). Think of the rain that falls into my gutters as being The Truth (see Deuteronomy 32:1-3) and the cleanliness of the gutters being the ease in which The Truth is delivered to me. I want to keep every little bit of junk and blockage out of the way — 100% — so that God’s Word can freely flow into my heart and transform me. I don’t want to allow one single obstacle to stand in the way of The Truth flowing to it’s proper destination, because one obstacle naturally builds up into a solid dam that won’t allow any water through! Plus, the only spiritual substance that I wanted flowing into me is the pure, unmixed Truth, just as I literally only want water in the gutters so that they will remain free flowing. 

In a similar manner, sin must not be allowed to build up or accumulate within my life. Just like when clutter begins to pile up on my desk, a single sin quickly leads to more and more unholiness. For example, fleshly anger that last more than a day creates room, or a “place” for The Adversary (Ephesians 4:26-27). A desire for riches that turns into a love for money leads to every type evil (1 Timothy 6:9-11). And lust that is allowed to procreate produces sin and ultimately death (James 1:13-16). One sin naturally leads to another, that’s why it’s important to immediately confess, root out and repent from sin and make a 180 degree turn to righteousness.

Allow me to pose some questions to you:

  • If you truly believe Revelation 22:12, then why would you want any sin to linger in you?

  • How much sin will The Perfect God will tolerate in His presence?

  • How close do you want to come to The Father’s throne?

  • Are you content being 1/2 a mile from God? 1,000 feet away? How about 1 foot, but you can come no closer?

I invite you to ask The Holy Spirit to thoroughly examine your spirit, soul, mind, body and being to see if there is any buildup of sin or a blockage that would hinder The Truth from flowing into your heart. Ask today, ask now...your eternal state depends upon the answer!

Additional verses about sin: 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 1 Corinthians 6:18, 1 Corinthians 10:14, 2 Timothy 2:22, James 2:10-12

Additional verses about holiness: John 15:1-7, Ephesians 5:25-27, Revelation 21:1-11, Revelation 22:11-17.