Becoming more like Jesus — becoming the man He created me to be — requires that He bring my heart to a rolling boil to distill off the impurities that contaminate the waters of my soul.
The distillation process requires my permission. The boiling cannot begin without a fire — one that I must allow Him to build in the depths of my heart.
Distillation takes time. It takes time to bring the waters to the boiling point, where heat and motion separate the pure from the foul.
If I genuinely choose today to give myself completely over to Jesus, the fire has been lit; however, the waters have not yet begun to boil.
In the moment of my decision to devote myself to Jesus, He may not — most likely will not — rescue me from the consequences of a lifetime of choices made out of selfishness, greed, fear and lust. I may be a new creation in Christ, but my old relationships are still infused with the poisons of my past.
I may have a new Spirit inside, but I still carry my old heart wounds. Jesus seldom removes those in an instant. I still have history, and I still have an ugly story. They continue to motivate my old coping behaviors: I isolate; I self-medicate. Shame and self-hatred still call me to hide my true self.
But distillation does work. The waters boil, and Jesus burns off what contaminates me.
He leads me through the process, as I walk out the consequences of my story. That walk may be long and difficult, but He brings others to walk alongside. . .to love, to care, to comfort and to encourage. In the midst of the fire and heat, He assures me that His love is unconditional and unwavering. . .steadfast.
I come to know — to embrace — that I am valued and desired. . .that I am the delight of His heart, becoming more delightful every day as I allow Him to boil away the things that foul the waters of my soul.