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"Marbles or Water?"

Date published: 11/02/2019

Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is — His good, pleasing and perfect will.”


   New and old Christians fight a common enemy – whether to conform to the world or to become like Christ.  The pivotal action that reconciles this conflict is your Lordship to Christ.  Consider this example in understanding the importance of making Christ Lord of every area of your life.  Your life in Christ is represented by a glass colander that is filled with marbles.  Each marble represents sin or an area of your life outside of the Holy Spirit’s control.  The Holy Spirit in this example is represented by water poured to the top of the colander.  The water only occupies about 20% of the space, because of the marbles.  Each person’s life is filled with small and large marbles that represent areas where you are blocking God’s work.  The Holy Spirit is fully in your life but limited by how much you have yielded to Him.  The Holy Spirit wants to take you into the fullness of Christ, but you have yielded little to the Holy Spirit.  Your heart’s desire is transformation, but the Holy Spirit is controlling only a small part of your life. 


   How does one go from minimally living for Christ to wholeheartedly living for Christ?  This is a life-long process called sanctification or becoming like Christ.  Returning to our illustration of marbles in the colander helps to understand how to become like Christ.  God uses the Bible and prayer to reveal and unfold the many things in your life that block the work of the Holy Spirit.  Through prayer, confession, and submission to Christ the Holy Spirit will reveal areas for you to cast out or better conform to Christ’s ways, so that more of your life can come under the influence of the Holy Spirit, so that you can become more like Christ.  As the colander of your life removes marbles you make room for more water – representing the Holy Spirit having more influence in you.  This transformative process of allowing more of the Holy Spirit to control your life takes you deeper into God’s will – “His good, pleasing, and perfect will.”  


   The process of sanctification occurs daily as you fill your life with generous amounts of God’s Word through your quiet time, study of the Bible, Scripture memory, formal studies of the Bible, and Biblically based fellowship with other Christians.  Lather these activities in prayer while developing a listening ear for God’s direction in applying Scriptural truths to your life.  Be alert to what James 1:25 says in applying the Word: “But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it — he will be blessed in what he does.”  Do not just routinely read and study, but fully expect God to meet you in truth and transformation! 


1 John 2:15-17 “Do not love the world or anything in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For everything in the world — the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does — comes not from the Father but from the world.  The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” 


   Growing in Christ offers two free resources that will help you in this transformative process.  Go to and then scroll to the bottom of the page for “Impactful Journaling” and the “Spending Time With God.”


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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience in this area:  “Discipleship” and “Satisfaction.”