I recently found this picture of a logjam attached to a blog about life in Malaysia and it really spoke to me. Here is a portion of what came with the picture:

“The Rejang River… is 350 miles long and it also longest river in Malaysia…To these people, the Mighty Rejang is their River of Life… I saw firsthand the devastating effect created by a single… tree to the river system near my longhouse. Two years ago the folks in my longhouse cut down an old engkabang tree near the longhouse bathing site as it was deemed to be dangerous to the bathers. The tree fell across the river. But before the people in the longhouse managed to clear the whole tree from the river, the flood came. The engkabang tree diverted the flow of the river which caused major erosion. Our two beautiful pebble beaches were wiped out. The flood in turn created a small island in the middle of the Paku River right in front of our longhouse.

That was just one tree. And we can only imagine the kinds of impacts brought about by thousands of trees on the Rejang river system.”

Ideally, the Bible says that God’s Spirit flows in and through us like a healthy stream of life (John 7:38,39). Practically, we all know that it’s possible to grieve the Holy Spirit and block his generous flow. What we sometimes forget is that when we don’t deal with our sin, other stuff sticks to it. It accumulates more sin. If we’re not careful, it can create a dangerous logjam.

A logjam does more than make a mess. According to the story above, it can actually change the course of the river, so that the places that need it most suffer by being denied access to its life-giving flow.

I’ll just say it: There are places in your life that aren’t being filled with the Spirit because logjam in your relationship with God are re-routing his River. There are people around you who aren’t being touched because God’s Spirit is grieved within you.

This past week, God released a major logjam in my vision for life and ministry. It was painful, scary… and exhilarating. God’s power and wisdom was backed up for miles in my heart, and now that the river is free to flow, all kinds of other blessings are finding me as well.

When stuff begins to pile up around our sin, we need to remember that the longer we leave it, the bigger the logjam will be. I have a feeling there are countless believers out there wondering where the magic went in their friendship with Jesus, expecting fresh wind and fresh fire and getting nothing in return. That was me, until recently. I realized that God was saying, “Sure, I could send you more… but what’s the point. You’re all log jammed up anyway. Deal with that, get stuff flowing, and then let’s talk.”

How about you? Are you willing to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the logjams in your spiritual life?