Overcoming Darkness

A Good Plumber

Our plumbing has been clogging up. To unplug our “pipes”, we need to “crucify” whatever needs to be removed from our life. And we must replace old, clogged pipes with new pipes attached to each other in new, better ways.

We had trouble with our plumbing.

First, we couldn’t get hot water in our shower stall.

There was plenty of hot water in the house. But the control in the shower stall for the temperature  of the water was frozen. It couldn’t rotate far enough counter-clockwise to permit hot water to come out.

The plumber didn’t come for two days. But once he arrived, it took only a few minutes for him to fix the problem. He replaced the old, frozen valve with a new one.

Voila! Everything was fine.

I realized that this was an illustration of how God fixes our lives. Our life may be “cold” for a few days. But then the Good Plumber, the LORD shows up.

There’s plenty of hot water all around us. But something is keeping the hot water from reaching us.

What is blocking the flow of hot water to us? Why are we stuck with cold water in our life?

In his Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-23), the Good Plumber, Jesus, identified a number of possible reasons:

—We aren’t hearing and understanding his words (Matthew 13:19).

—We fall away from following him because of troubles and persecutions (Matthew 13:20-21).

—We choke on the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth (Matthew 13:22).

In such cases, a thorough cleaning of the valve or a squirt of “WD-40” might be  enough to get the valve working again. It might be enough to get “hot water” flowing again into our life.

But in many cases, we need to take the advice of another Good Plumber, the Apostle Paul. We need to replace the frozen valve completely by “crucifying” it!

As Paul wrote to the churches in Galatians:

[those] who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. [We] live by the Spirit, [we] keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:24).

What “passions and desires” must we crucify so we can get the “hot water” of the Spirit flowing into our lives?

“[S]exual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. (Galatians 5:19-21).

With such “passions and desires” removed from our life, the “hot water” of the Spirit flows into our life. How can we tell? This “hot water” produces “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control”. (Galatians 5:22).

So far so good. But one week later, the garbage disposal ground to a halt!

This meant we couldn’t use the dishwasher. This meant we didn’t dare try to put water down our sink because it would overflow.

It’s good when our life overflows with goodness and love. (Psalm 23:5-6).

But it’s bad when our sink overflows with dirty water! (Galatians 5:19-21).

This time, it was five days before another Good Plumber arrived.

This time, it took much longer than a few minutes for him to fix the problems. He couldn’t replace one old, flawed valve quickly with a new, perfect valve.

The Good Plumber had to take out all the old pipes under the sink and replace them with new pipes. He needed to arrange and attach these new pipes in a new, better way.

This new, better way of arranging and attaching the pipes made it easier for the water to flow and harder for the pipes to get clogged by “misunderstandings”, “falling away”, and “choking”.

All these delays and all these variations in the ways that a Good Plumber fixes problems reminded me of something I like to say. “Things happen ‘in God’s good time and in God’s good way’”.

Furthermore, the ways that the Good Plumber fixed this problem with the pipes reminded me of advice from the Apostle Peter.

The Good Plumber Peter wrote that we “are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:5).

We start building this spiritual house by taking out the old pipes. How? Peter commands us to “rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander of every kind.” (1 Peter 2:1).

Next, we build a spiritual house with new pipes that are attached together in a new, better way.

What are these new pipes made of?

First, the chosen and precious cornerstone, Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:6).

Then, those of us who follow the Way of Jesus. We are “a chosen people, a holy nation, God’s special possession”. (1 Peter 2:9).

What are the new ways these pipes are attached together?

Ways that “add to [our] faith goodness; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection, and to mutual affection, love.” (2 Peter 1:5-7).

With this new plumbing, our “dish washer” will remove evil. Our “garbage disposal” will dispose of evil.

This spiritual house that we are building—the Church Universal—will overcome all evil!

Indeed, our Good Plumber Jesus has promised us that the Gates of Hell itself cannot overcome the Church Universal that Jesus is building! (Matthew 16:17-19; my blog “The Immense, Towering Rock Overcomes the ‘Gates of Hell’”)


Is the flow of “hot water” into your life being blocked by “misunderstandings”, “falling away”, or “choking”? How? Why?

How can “misunderstandings”, “falling away”, and “choking” be removed from your life?

Are old, clogged pipes and bad ways of attaching these old, clogged pipes keeping you from removing the evil from your life? How? Why?

Are old, clogged pipes and bad ways of attaching these old, clogged pipes keeping the Church Universal from overcoming evil? How? Why?


For related ideas, please read my blogs “A COMPLETELY New Heart”, “The Immense, Towering Rock Overcomes the ‘Gates of Hell’”, and “No Power. No Meal!”.