You will obviously ask me which sieve? A while ago the only water that came out of our warm water tap was a trickle. It didn’t matter what strength you selected, it was just a trickle. I wondered what the reason was, and started my investigation. It is then that I saw this sieve at the end of the tap. This got me thinking about our own lives.
What do you do when you hear a story? Do you listen attentively and are you able to tell the story exactly as you heard it? Or does the story lose something along the line? Or maybe you consciously cut out certain parts of the story because it doesn’t rhyme with your beliefs?
We all have our own examples of this in our lives. Maybe you heard something from somebody, and the first time you told someone else the story you added something just to give it more credibility. Or maybe you left out a small detail, as it doesn’t really matter.
When I removed the sieve I found a whole lot of chalky stuff blocking the flow of the water. After emptying the sieve, I had to take a brush to remove some of the stuff blocking the sieve. This was a very difficult task, but once completed, I could return the sieve to the tap. When I opened the tap, I showered myself with all the water that rushed through the tap.
No my question to you is: How clean is your sieve?
The Bible declares that streams of living water will flow from us. What is your flow like? Does it drip out like my tap before cleaning it, or does it cause a flood when you open it? How does Jesus put it? “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38)
This scripture declares that rivers of living water will flow from us. If I look around at many Christians that I come into contact with, I sometimes wonder if there is any water at all. Why? Because their sieves are blocked. How did it happen? The impurities of our lives are blocking the flow.
What are all these impurities, and how do I clean my sieve?
Just like my basin tap, I have to start at the beginning. I first have to realise that the water flow is blocked. What does your life look like? Do you exhibit Jesus in everything you do everyday, or not? Maybe their are moments that you are not proud of. You might even have a habit that you are not happy about. Maybe you even use a couple of choice words when a taxi swerves and stops in front of you.
The moment I realise that my sieve is dirty, I can start the cleaning process. I first have to remove the sieve from the tap, and require a spanner or pair of pliers for this. It is also not easy to loosen the sieve, but after exerting a lot of energy, it will come loose. The same applies to our lives. I must decide to break with everything that is wrong in my life. How tight is your sieve? You might even tell me that there is nothing wrong with your sieve, as you are not connected to a pipe with a very strong water flow. You might even live in denial. That is normally the biggest problem. I am all right. There is nothing wrong with my life. I am just not connected to a pipe with a strong flow. That is not what the Bible declares. Jesus did not say that rivers would flow from some people only. No, He declared that whoever believes in Him, rivers of living water will flow from him. If it doesn’t happen, then your sieve is blocked.
But why is it difficult to loosen my sieve? Maybe the problem is with you theology. Maybe you were brought up that one doesn’t talk about you Christianity, as it will almost always cause words. You may even specialise in traditions of man. You say that your dad was brought up and believed this way, as well as his dad and everyone before him. Paul (Saul) was like that before he met Jesus. “And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.” (Galatians 1:14) But then he met Jesus. I know we have to preserve our traditions, but I shouldn’t elevate my traditions to be more important that my relationship with the LORD.
You might say that you are like Moses and that you cannot express yourself well. Remember, the Bible says rivers of living water will flow from you. Give the LORD a chance to work through you; He will anoint your lips. Most times people do not read your words but your life, meaning that your life must be a life filled with living water.
What else can cause the sieve not to loosen? You might still enjoy your life as it is. You might think that by loosening your sieve and cleaning it that you might become like someone you do not really like. I do not know what your reason might be. Ask the LORD to show you, and He will.
We can then start cleaning the sieve as soon as it is loosened. We can get rid of everything that is blocking the water flow. Some of it might be easy to get rid of, other not so easy. But what are all these things that can block my sieve? Let us look at two scriptures that will shed some light on it.
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21)
“But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;” (Colossians 3:8-9)
This is the list of things that we have to shed. Some people might find it easy to remove all the blockages, while others might find it difficult. It might also reveal to you that you have been so brainwashed by people that you don’t even know what living water looks like. Maybe you need to replace your sieve completely, or in religious terms your doctrine, in order for living water to flow through.
But what does living water look like? Living water is words and deeds that benefit others, and not yourself. When you do something for someone else, you have to do it as if you are doing it for yourself. Jesus himself declared the following: “And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.” (Luke 10:27). Put differently, it is as follows: I will live my life in order not to benefit myself, but others around me. If I still try and favour myself, or, if I still try and put others down, my sieve is blocked and needs cleaning.
If you do not know what I am talking about, or if you think that you are okay, investigate your life to see which water pipe you are connected to, the one leading from the LORD, or maybe Satan’s pipe, your deeds will tell which one.
In conclusion, how long does the sieve stay clean? As long as I give everything through that I receive from the LORD. The moment that I start filtering things out, my sieve needs cleaning or replacing. Seeking forgiveness from the LORD does this. Remember that sin will cause your sieve to slow down and block the water flow. Remember that this sin could completely block your sieve, but fortunately we can go to Jesus and get forgiveness for our sins. The Blood of Jesus will clean our sieves.