One of our tasks on the dairy farm was taking a flat bed and pulling through a recently disked field to remove rocks. A flat bed was made from boards nailed together and pulled along the ground like a sled. When I was a child, there were so many rocks to remove, I thought our farm was growing rocks. Some of the rocks were so large that it took two of us to lift those onto the flat bed. We would load the flat bed with rocks and then take it to the holler and unload it. When I was younger, the flat bed was pulled by horses. Once we acquired a tractor, we could load more rocks on the flat bed. Removing rocks was necessary for planting and growing crops. Rocks remaining in the field hindered the growth of crops. Sometimes an unseen rock, just below the surface of the ground, would break pieces of farm equipment used to plant the crops.
In like manner, as Christians, our challenge is to remove sin from our lives. Sin in our lives hinders spiritual growth. Sin in our lives hinders us from running the Christian race. Hebrews 12:2 challenges us, “Let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Sin in our lives distracts us from our focus. Romans 8:6 says, “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.” Sin in our lives hinders the influence and work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The more sin we remove from our hearts, the more room in our hearts we have for the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:13 says, “For if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Another analogy we could use would be that of rocks in a jar. If we pour water into a jar that is full of rocks, the only way to put more water in the jar is to remove the rocks. The same is true as Christians. The more sin we remove from our hearts, the more room we have for the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:14 says, “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”
Starting Sunday, July 2, we will begin a new sermon series entitled, “Removing Rocks!” Throughout this series, we will address specific sins that we need to remove from our hearts to allow more room for the leadership and work of the Holy Spirit.
May the Holy Spirit fill our hearts!
~ Tommy Simpson