Slow Leaks

     Our neighbor is building a large deck around their house and went down into the crawl space to check out the walls where the ledger boards were going to be attached. It was providential that he did so, because while he was down there, he noticed that the ground was wet in one location and found a galvanized pipe that was spraying water out of a little hole. Fortunately it was in an easy place to repair, but had he not found it when he did, it could have eventually caused some major damage.  
     I couldn’t help but compare that situation to what often happens in our spiritual lives.   We have a “slow leak” and don’t realize it.  Some area of our life is draining us of our spiritual vitality, little by little. If it continues, however, unnoticed and unattended to, we will continue to grow weaker and weaker spiritually.  It could be a bitterness we are harboring from an unwillingness to forgive someone. It could be a habit that is detracting from our relationship with God and our testimony for Him. It could be an infatuation with some allurement in the world that has distracted us from our walk with God.  It doesn’t even have to necessarily be a sinful thing (though it often is), but it is slowly drawing us away from a life of enthusiasm for Christ, for His Word, and for assembling with fellow Christians on a regular basis.  And we are not even aware it is happening.
     Now if a pipe bursts, or a tire blows out, we know about it right away, but it is those slow leaks that subtly rob us of our faith and joy in Jesus.  Others may see it happening but probably if they confronted us, we would say, “I’m okay.  Everything is fine.”  But they have been able to observe us over time and see us drifting spiritually. 
      It is like having termites eating away at the walls of your home and you don’t realize it until much damage has been done. Or, as Solomon wrote regarding his relationship to the Shulamite  woman, “Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that are ruining the vineyards, while our vineyards are in blossom” (Song of Sol. 2:15).   Both Solomon and his fiancee resolved to keep anything from spoiling their relationship.  The “little foxes” are so-called “little sins” that  undermine a believer’s love and service for His LORD.  Even the most “separated” Christian, active in witnessing and Christian service, may easily allow some little sin or habit or attitude to hinder the production of real and lasting fruit in his “vineyard.” It might be worry (Phil. 4:6), impatience (Heb. 10:36), ingratitude (Eph. 5:20), pride (I Pet. 5:5), unforgiving spirit (Mt.  6:15; Eph. 4:32), or any number of other things. 
     Ask God to show you any “slow leaks” going on in your life that are draining your spiritual strength and stamina. Then repair them, remove them. Using Solomon’s analogy, ask God to help you find and catch any “little foxes” that have entered your “vineyard” and are spoiling the vines, and robbing you of fruit in your life. 
     I suspect that had happened to the Church at Ephesus that Christ addressed in Rev.  2:1-7.  They were doing many things right but Christ said, “But I have this against you, that you have left your first love” (v.  4).  “First” here refers not only to primacy in time, but also in quality. The Church at Ephesus had left that devotion which gives the Lord first place in their affections.  But there was hope. It is not always possible to recover what has been lost, but we can always return to the position from which we have strayed.  The Lord calls each of us who has wandered (whose spiritual vitality has been “leaking”) to come back to the place of putting Christ first and loving Him supremely.
      Would you say that you have “left your first love”?  Has your life been drifting spiritually?  Has there been a slow leak going on without your realizing  it?  What would your Christian friends say?  What would your spouse say?  What would God say?  Well, ask Him. King David did. He  prayed, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way” (Psa. 139:23,24).  If you sense that you have lost your first love for Christ, ask God to show you where you have been “leaking” and ask His help to fix it. He is definitely in the “repair or replacement business!”  Get rid of those “slow leaks.”  Or if you’ve had a pipe burst or a tire blow, He can help you with that too!  The important thing is that you get back to having a vital relationship with Christ and to being of greatest service to Him.  And, oh, it will restore your joy too  (see Psa. 51:12)!
                                          Forever His,
                                                      Pastor Dave


About Pastor Dave

Until my retirement 2 years ago, I pastored an independent Bible church in Northwest Montana for nearly 38 years. During that time I also helped establish a Christian school, and a Bible Camp. I am married and have children and grandchildren. The Wisdom of the Week devotional is an outgrowth of my desire to share what God is doing in my life and in our world, and to challenge you to be a part.
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