Recently we had a technician from a leak detection company come to check out the water lines on our church property. We hadn’t noticed any visible signs of such a problem – no wet spots in the building and no geysers spewing into the air out in the yard. However, based on the unusual increase in usage reflected on our water bill, we felt confident that there was a problem somewhere. The meter showed that water was still being used even when no one was in the building. There was definitely a leak somewhere. It was simply a matter of finding it.

Sometimes we may experience indications that things aren’t quite right in our relationship with the Lord. It’s not obvious. It may not be noticeable to anyone else. However, we sense that for some reason our connection with the Lord just isn’t as strong as it should be. It’s not that we’re aware of having committed some blatant sin that cut off our fellowship with God. We just know that our spiritual fervor seems to have decreased, and the Lord seems to be more distant than in the past. We seem to have sprung a leak in our endeavor to be a Spirit-filled follower of Jesus.

We do well to examine our own hearts and lives at such times to try to diagnose the problem. Sometimes we know the source of the leak, we’ve just been trying to ignore it. However, other times we might have no idea where the issue lies. We often need to pray as David did: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24). We’re not capable of discovering some problems on our own. Our eyes are blind or we just don’t want to see what’s there. That’s why we need to call in an expert. The technician we engaged to find our water leak came with equipment and expertise we didn’t possess. And the Spirit of the Lord searches our hearts in ways beyond our own abilities. He knows us better than we know ourselves. If we’ll listen to His expert guidance, He can reveal truths to us, even about ourselves, that we wouldn’t have recognized otherwise.

There can be numerous causes of such spiritual leaks. It may be a little area of disobedience to God that we’ve failed to confess and repent of. We’ve allowed it to continue over time until it’s grown into more of a problem. Or it may be that we’ve allowed ourselves to get too entangled with some of the affairs of this world until, like tree roots wrapping around a water line, they’ve interrupted our connection with the Lord. Or maybe we’ve just grown complacent in our pursuit of a closer walk with God. Think about one of those helium-filled balloons we often purchase to celebrate birthdays or other special occasions. Over time wrinkles start to appear in the once smooth surface of the balloon. It doesn’t fly quite as high as it did to begin with. The gas inside may be slowly leaking or is growing stagnant and less effective as time goes by. Similarly, we’ve got to keep a fresh flow of the Spirit in us to keep us from stagnating. We also have that tendency to leak, so we have to keep a supply of spiritual life flowing into us through constantly pursuing a closer walk with the Lord.

If you sense any leaks in your relationship with the Lord today, don’t ignore it. Ask the divine expert to search your heart. And let’s be open to whatever He shows us.

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The Rev. Tony W. Elder is pastor of Wesley Community Fellowship Church. He can be reached at 770-483-3405 or by email at


I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.

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