The Hydraulic Human

Full-power, passionate intimacy.

That's the most frightening thing, especially for religious folks.

Yet it is starting to dawn on me that the very thing religious people are most afraid of, most intimidated by is the very place that God intends to take all who are being prepared to live safely with Him throughout all of eternity.

Given that context, defining what sin really is takes on a whole different complexion.

Our hearts and our emotional systems are like hoses created of an elaborate fabric or web of materials designed to contain fluid moving through them at high pressure. The problem is that sin has created a condition of multiple weaknesses in most of the areas along the lining of these hoses. Thus, if high pressure were actually allowed to be applied to the hydraulic fluid passing through our hearts it would spurt out all over the place from the wrong places.

The hydraulic fluid in this system is the passion of God – passionate love in its purest form. If the hydraulic lines were all intact and connected properly a human being would be prepared to experience and enjoy every possible positive emotion at a very intense level. But at this point we cannot even imagine such an experience, yet that is exactly what heaven is going to be for us most of the time.

Salvation is the process and provisions designed by God to expose and repair the many weaknesses in our lines that endanger us and prevent us from being able to be exposed to intense passion. Some of us are so weakened by sin, both our own and generationally, that we can hardly handle even very low levels of emotions. Given this condition many have come to the mistaken conclusion that the problem is experiencing emotions themselves instead of our inability to contain and direct them properly and safely.

God provided Jesus to us as something of a secondary repair hose whereby, for all those willing to cooperate with Him, He can wrap our hoses inside His parallel hoses and begin the process of growing new skin and tissues and covering over the damaged places in our hearts to contain and redirect the passion that is supposed to be flowing through these tubes. Total dependence on Jesus and learning to trust fully in His presence and His Word is the means whereby we can depend on the strength of His hoses instead of our hoses to be the protection needed to contain our emotions and direct them into the right channels for the right purposes. Maybe it is something like a steel mesh, or better yet some other kind of flexible yet very strong mesh designed to allow us to grow our own tissues around it until it is fully incorporated into the fabric of our own lines.

If we resist having Jesus' repair lines surrounding our own lines at any point along the system within our internal emotional network, Jesus is fully respectful of our choices to try to contain things our own way. But inevitably our weaknesses are going to be exposed as the pressure rises in certain situations and we find that the increased emotional pressure from the inside creates leaks that spray out in hazardous ways to hurt both ourselves and others. The greater the pressure the more pain will be inflicted by the tiny, high-powered jets of liquid piercing the tender areas around these hoses. Or if they are gaping holes the fluid runs out all over the place and makes a huge mess that must be cleaned up for a long time.

This repair process is very elaborate, very detailed, very specific and customized for each individual by the Holy Spirit. Each of us has our own set of unique weakness patterns along the surfaces or fittings of our hoses and tubes. All of us have extensive damage and many areas of unseen weaknesses that we don't even know about yet because we have never been exposed to the levels of pressure that would expose these weak areas. But the weaknesses are there even though we may be totally unaware of them and God wants us to allow Him full access to do the work He needs to do internally in order to shore up and repair all of these liabilities.

Someone else has likened this repair work to the banks along a river. If there are weak areas in the bank, then when the river rises to flood-stage, the waters can collapse the banks and then pour out into areas it is not supposed to go causing much havoc. God wants us to let Him reinforce these weak areas in our riverbanks so that when the floods come the water can all be contained within the confines of the river and can be directed properly without bursting out of its proper boundaries. This analogy is pretty much identical to the hydraulic lines analogy.

In mechanical applications we use high-pressure hydraulic tubes to active and bring to life various pieces of equipment to do all sorts of very useful things for us. Some of the best simulations of human movement in life-like robots is accomplished through the use of high-pressure hydraulic lines and/or electrical actuators. Yet the success of making these robots appear so lifelike that they can fool many people into seeming that they have emotions we can resonate with is due to the integrity of all the inner components operating within their assigned boundaries and providing the power to move each part of the complex machine simulating human movements and expressions.

If any of these hydraulic hoses springs a leak the whole system is in serious danger of failure. Given the very nature of hydraulic systems every part of the system must be fully enclosed, integrated and be free of leaks, otherwise the whole system will suffer weakness in pressure and is in danger of total collapse. It matters not whether a leak is in a large feeder hose or is in some small actuator, if there is a leak it can not only make a mess but will siphon off the strength of the rest of the system and can quickly accelerate into creating more and more damage as the leak continues.

If I view my own heart and emotional life using this analogy I can see how these principles apply to what God is trying to do in me to prepare me to live in the high intensity of His presence. I can also sense that I have many weak areas in my life that have leaked for many years and are in desperate need of serious repair. I am also somewhat aware that there are many more areas in my emotional makeup that may contain weaknesses that are currently blind spots for me, weak spots in the lining of my emotional hoses that could burst wide open if exposed to too much emotional pressure under certain situations.

It is true that God's grace keeps us from being exposed to levels of emotion and passion much of the time in order to keep our hoses relatively intact. But He has no desire to leave us in this extremely weakened condition. He wants us to allow Him to work with us and in us to repair the many weak spots so we don't have to go on through life avoiding anything that might intensify the passion level in some area of our emotional labyrinth. He deeply desires to restore us to our original design where we will be able to safely contain and direct all of the many emotions and passions that He designed us to have and that will provide the power to move our lives in exciting ways we can now only dimly perceive.

Once in awhile I get a fleeting sense of what God might be up to in this process. I sense that the intense feelings we experience whenever we are exposed to stimulations that elicit strong responses from within emotionally may not actually be as sinful as many have assumed. Stimulations that produce feelings or desires for deep intimacy are usually considered temptations that must be sources of evil. But actually they may be sources of legitimate power if only our own hoses were not in such a sad state of disarray and disrepair. For instance, just because a beautiful woman creates such intense responses within the male psyche does not necessarily mean that it is wrong to feel such stimulation. It may simply mean that the males thus exposed need to have the healing repair hoses of Jesus surrounding their own weak internal emotional lines in order to direct that high-level pressure to accomplish the output it was originally intended to produce.

Likewise, the feeling of emptiness that women may feel deep in their heart that may lead them to become addicted to novels or love stories or highly-charged sentimental movies may be indicators that the passions that God intended to be a source of life for them are possibly being diverted into damaging areas that confuse and frustrate them instead of bonding them to other hearts as God designed for them.

I believe this principle applies to every emotional stimulation that we are exposed to. One of the greatest problems of false ideas in religion is that we put the blame too often in the wrong places. We may be blaming the sources of the fluid of passion rather than paying attention to the many leaks that need to be fixed in our receiving lines. I am starting to suspect that when a group of people allow the Holy Spirit to encase all of their internal emotional lines with the repair kits provided through our privilege of living “in Christ” as is the purpose of salvation, then all the the stimulations that now often create problems of sin in our hearts will then amazingly become unexpected sources of extra power to motivate us in very different ways than what we now experience when exposed to those sources.

Sin has caused us to misdirect and misinterpret most of the sources of power that God originally designed to be a blessing in our lives. But instead of focusing on extinguishing these sources of power in our lives, I believe we should pay more attention to the internal leaks where these pressures are causing chaos; we need to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in apply patches and repairing holes and strengthening the weak areas so that we can come closer and closer to the original condition and design of being created in God's image.

Examining some of the aspects of how a hose is created to withstand high pressures may help us to see even more useful analogies to these problems. For instance, a high pressure hose must have certain materials and characteristics and designs if it is to be usable in a high-pressure hydraulic system. A hose for conducting liquid may look just like another hose, but that in no way proves that it is qualified to be safe for high-pressure applications.

Often, hoses designed for high-pressure applications have a steel webbing built into their wall lining during fabrication. This webbing material is vital to keeping the pressure from inside the hose from bursting out through the sidewalls. This webbing does not necessarily have to be made of steel, but it must be some material that is strong enough to withstand very high pressures in order to be effective. Of course there must be other materials encasing that webbing in order for it all to work together to seal the fluids inside the hose and direct it to where it can perform its intended functions.

In our emotional makeup we also need reinforced channels that are not compromised by weak spots in order for us to handle high pressures from emotions both within and from without. Of course all of us have weak spots – that is just the reality that we currently live with from being in this sinful world. But God does not want to leave us in this dangerous condition. He has ways and means of strengthening and reinforcing these areas of weakness inside of us but He must have our permission and cooperation in order for Him to accomplish these repairs in our makeup. He is perfectly capable – no, well more than capable of doing all that is needed to empower us to handle the high pressures of powerful emotions and passions we were designed to enjoy. But if we refuse to respond to His instructions and submit to His methods we will never be prepared to experience the intensity of the passions we are all going to be exposed to sooner or later.

I recently experienced a double hernia surgery due to a weakness in my abdomen wall that allowed internal pressures to improperly push my intestines out where they did not belong. This condition was not healthy for me and prevented me from even doing things I normally felt capable of doing physically. I needed a repair for this weakened condition and so I went to skilled surgeon for advice and assistance.

This surgeon strongly suggested that I allow him to insert a mesh, a web-like material over the weakened area beneath my skin in order to prevent it from ever failing again. I agreed with his plan and submitted to the expensive and painful experience of having myself cut open, the patch implanted and my incisions sewed up again. Then I faced a number of weeks of pain during the recovery. But I very willingly agreed to this arrangement because the alternatives were far less appealing to me.

Over time the wounds have healed, the mesh has been enclosed and integrated into my body and has become a part of the natural protections that are supposed to hold me together the way I was originally designed to be. If this mesh was not in place I would be in much more constant danger of having serious and even life-threatening problems every time I might pick up something even remotely heavy. I would be severely restricted in what I could do for work and pleasure and would not be able to enjoy life in many ways as I should be able to do.

The very same concept applies to my emotional and spiritual life, but is not nearly so obvious. Yet it is the weaknesses in my emotional pipelines that cause many of the problems in my life. We feel the need to have strong emotions, to experience intense happiness, pleasures, joy and intimate fellowship with others around us. Yet most of the time when we attempt to establish bonds of affection or social connections with others we find all sorts of complications setting in due to weak areas in our emotional tubing. Then we begin to think that the problem is the emotions and passions themselves instead of with the weak condition of our tubing.

But cutting back more and more on our willingness to feel certain emotions or to release the pressure of passion behind our emotions is only a temporary fix that actually heads us in the wrong direction from our ultimate destiny. Yes, it may be necessary to back off from exposure to such pressures at times due to the extensive leakage causing problems in our life. But that is not the long-term solution that will prepare us for living in the high-pressure emotionally-charged environment of heaven. Salvation is full of the provisions put into place by God whereby we may be restored in all of our analogous wiring and tubing systems to be in shape to have the intense power of God's passion energizing all of our being. We must be prepared to embrace emotions that we were supposed to be able to enjoy from the Garden of Eden.

Now, here's something to ponder.
If the contents in God's arteries is love under extremely high pressure, then wouldn't it stand to reason that the much talked about blood of Jesus may actually be the passionate love of God in its purest form?
And here's yet another thought. Someone has mentioned to me that if we want to benefit from the saving blood of Jesus that is talked about so much in the Bible that we must become a part of the body of Christ as described in the New Testament. For blood is designed to flow only through the body, not outside of it. So if we want to thrive from the life-giving benefits of Jesus' blood bringing us the healing, restoring grace of God's presence and power, we need to be connected effectively in some way to the rest of the body which is supposed to be part of the delivery system for His life-giving blood to us.


  1. Clay,

    You've raised some interesting points here. When I read:

    For instance, just because a beautiful woman creates such intense responses within the male psyche does not necessarily mean that it is wrong to feel such stimulation. It may simply mean that the males thus exposed need to have the healing repair hoses of Jesus surrounding their own weak internal emotional lines in order to direct that high-level pressure to accomplish the output it was originally intended to produce---

    it reminded me of this passage from The Table of Inwardness by Calvin Miller:

    "The saints demonstrate that the passion of the glands can be as great as that spiritual love which hungers after God. Elizabeth of Hungary, a thirteenth-century mystic, married a lusty crusader named Louis. Elizabeth's passion for Louis drove her to constant lust for him. Even in church she was driven by erotic desire. Merely seeing him festively arrayed at Mass, she fell under a great longing to kiss him. Her flights of romantic love so captured her mind that she often forgot she was in church. But this fierce yearning for Louis was only one aspect of a double madness. She was also passionate in her pursuit of the Holy God whom she desired with an equal ardor. She cried out to know the approval of Christ, greatly striving for his pleasure as well.

    Louis left their young marriage feeling a spiritual obligation to go on a crusade. Elizabeth missed him with a love that caused a "boiling in her blood" along with desires "to kiss her husband with many kisses" and to embrace him in full love. But in his continued absence, she found the inner and powerful presence of Christ began to motivate her in an equal but higher passion. She ministered through the villages and hostels of the city, giving her life in unending ministry where she took little thought of her own health or the common necessities of life. She died at twenty-four years of age, having served two loves in fullest passion. Louis and Elizabeth demonstrate that there is more than a casual connection between human love and the love of God. Both loves are motivated by passions not easily denied. How foolish we are to believe that those who have a great adoration for God cease to be sexual creatures. It is tragic that we do not channel our passions and make them usable to God."


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