Rivers of Living Water

Revelation 22:1

 Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 

I was sitting at a river the other day and I believe that the lord gave me a great insight into how His living water, affects every part of our lives.

Here is what I believe that he showed me.

Water serves many functions on our planet, it quenches our thirst, it clears out impurities, and it gives much needed nourishment to all living things.

I was enjoying an afternoon at our local river watching my daughter and her friends catch the little fish that were swimming downstream, while I was sitting there the lord showed me how his living water flowing through our lives is very similar to how the water ran over the rocks on the river bed in front of me.

This particular river had experienced quite a severe flood in the spring and as a result there was an unusually large amount of rocks that had been deposited on the river bed. What fascinated me was that there was not a single rock that had not been affected by the water in some way.

Most of the rocks were from upstream, deposited there during the flooding. Some were big, some small, each vastly different in size and shape from the others around them. They even had different patterns on them.

The lord spoke into my heart at this point, that our lives are very much like that river bed, sometimes we are flooded by things that are out of our control, things that people have said to us, done to us, hurts that have occurred, offenses that we have taken, un-forgiveness and bitterness that we have allowed to lay dormant in the bed of our lives.

God’s living water flows over our rocks of sin, hurt, unbelief and every other thing that immobilizes us as believers.

What I did notice however, that rocks were not necessarily removed from our lives, but they definitely no longer had the same stench as they had before.

I realized that those rocks were in our lives for a reason, some to teach us about faith and complete reliance on God, others to deepen our understanding of human nature, others to help us to learn to operate in the fruits of the spirit, others to produce good character. Even though at the time the pounding that came from having these rocks in our lives were hard, nonetheless, each played their part in helping us to develop who we are, and our dependence in God.

The Lord then showed me that just as the water in the river had touched each stone at one point or another, his living water touches every part of our hearts as well. Not one stone was left untouched.

Then he drew my attention to the sand of the river bed and how that too was affected by the water, as it turned into muddy pools, or because dry and caked when the water had receded. That mud acted as a filter for the impurities for the eco system in the river.

The mud in our lives is his living word, it teaches us to filter out all of the impurities that have been brought into our lives through sin. When we accept the bible as the ultimate truth and authority for our lives, then when anything happens to us whether good or bad, it can and must be filtered through the truth of the bible God’s living word to us.

This will help us to recognize lies and wickedness as well as every good thing that God has for us. The bible needs to become your ultimate standard by which you measure everything in your life.

 Your plumb line.

The lord then took my attention to the banks of the river, and I noticed that if it were not for the life giving water flowing through this area, everything would die. There would be no more plant life, animal life or even human life. It was a sustaining force for all of these things.

The same is true in our lives, when we allow the Holy Spirit, to flow through our lives with his life giving water, and cleanse away all the old hurts, and sorrows, and replace it instead with the Glory of God through his son Jesus Christ, we will have a life giving effect on everyone around us.

They will be encouraged when we are around and through the Spirit of God we will nourish their dry and weary souls.

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, there is a truth that you have to realize, your life matters to everyone around you. You represent Christ when you go about your daily life. You represent his holiness and purity and in the world. These days, there is a definitive lack of purity and holiness in society.

People are hungry for goodness, purity, holiness, truth, love and they are looking in all of the wrong places.

What do I mean by that?

People are seeking “Enlightenment” through worshipping all kinds of idols, running after all kinds of religions and experiences but they are coming up just as empty as before.

My prayer for you is that you will allow the Holy Spirit to cleanse away all of the old rocks of bitterness, anger, resentment, hurts, and offenses that you have carried. Let him wash you and heal you so that you truly can be nourishment to all whom you come into contact with.

The world needs to see real people with real issues, allow God to cleanse and heal them, and then take that healing to all who are in need of it. We are God’s plan to bring his life giving water to the entire world.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

 

 

 

 

Imitating Christ’s humility

In recent weeks I have had the privilege to learn a few lessons about the art of true humility and the stench of Pride. I will call it the art of true Humility because it really is that, it is a moment by moment practice to choose not to elevate yourself above another person.

Now that might sound simple enough but in reality in day to day practice, it can seem to be nearly impossible. There are many examples of people in our culture today who will do anything to get ahead, in whatever field they see fit and in doing so they have no problems walking all over other people.

Their pride and arrogance has blinded them to the reality of real life and how their actions, hurt, annoy and irritate other people. This prideful posture that they assume, might come across as confidence in the beginning, or even fun, but in short order the stench of the pride rears it’s ugly head.

I was recently in a situation where I experienced that kind of behavior, and to be honest it completely turned my stomach, and I know longer felt that I could trust the individual and what he spoke  about. The pride manifested in another way to, in that it revealed the lack of care that the individual had for others, it became a game of it is all about me, and look how good I am, and you are little, I am big therefore I will crush you to show you how big I really am.

In contrast however, I have had the privilege to meet the most wonderful people who were genuinely humble, who cared about other people, and who were always looking out for other people’s interest. They never boasted about their achievements, even if they were many, but humbly admitted that if it were not for the Holy Spirit at work within them; they would never have accomplished what they did.

In humility they sought ways to make other people’s lives better, they did not lord over them, but served them, they did not demand from the people, instead, they gave generously. They often give up their homes, ways of life, family, in order to serve those who are in need.

The bible teaches us that God opposes the proud; this means that he literally fights against the prideful and arrogant of our day, and he brings them down. The book of Proverbs is full of examples of God teaching us, that Pride and arrogance stand against all that he stands for.

Whereas with humility, God says that those who are humble, he will raise up and give honor and grace to. Why does God take such a definite stand on humility verses pride?

Pride is the catalyst to our destruction, it convinces us that we are way more important than what we are, it convinces us that we can do all things by ourselves without the need to have a Savior, it convinces us that we are no longer accountable to anyone, least of all God for our behavior and can do anything to get what we want. It corrupts our heart, and hardens us from all the good that God wants to do in and through us. Pride convinces us that it was purely by our own strength, hard work and cleverness that we accomplished all that we have. It places us in a position where we are never thankful to God for what he has given to us and how he worked behind the scenes to help us.

This is the furthest from the truth as the bible clearly states that we need God, and his wisdom and direction in our lives in order to navigate the waters of our lives.

Having read the two sides of humility and pride, which camp do you find yourself in? I would love to say to you that every day of my life, I walk in great humility, but I would be lying. Pride loves to raise it’s ugly head in my life, and before I know it, I am falling on my face because that is where my pride leads me, to humiliation, not humility.

In the book of Philippians, the Apostle Paul said that we should have the same kind of attitude that Christ had when it came to humility. That he gladly gave up his throne in heaven, the comforts of home, to come to earth, to teach us how to walk with him, then not only did he teach us, but he willingly laid down his life as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.

Read the following Passage;

Philippians 2:1-11

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, as you can see in the above passage of scripture that Jesus himself, consider our lives of greater value than his own, so he laid his life down on the cross as the ultimate sacrifice for sin and because of that act of humbling himself and obedience to God the Father, Jesus Christ the son, was raised up, and given a place of honor, and that place is to sit at the right hand of the father, forever.

Now, if you are feeling a prickling of your conscience that you have been walking in pride in your life, and would like to start learning how to walk in obedience, take a moment with me and pray, a simple pray of repentance. God will forgive you and restore you and teach you how to walk with an attitude that pleases him.

Dear Lord Jesus,

I realize that my heart attitude is one of pride and arrogance, I am selfish and self-seeking, even when I am doing things for other people. Please forgive me of this heart attitude oh Lord and help me to learn to walk in humility. Lord your promise is that if I turn from my wickedness that you will forgive me and restore me. Please do so now, I surrender my heart and mind to you and ask that you will use me to bring you glory and honor instead of myself.

In Jesus name,

Amen