A Picture Story to Encourage You
If you relish walking in the countryside and enjoy the experience of changing seasons, we share something in common. There is incredible beauty to be observed while out walking in God’s world. Plants and animals, valleys and hills, trees and shrubs, sunrise and sunsets. All of these wonders of God’s creation are a joy to behold. Whether the day is grey, wet and windy or the sky a deep blue. If we are attentive, there will be moments of wonder and awe for each of us.
God’s Creation Reveals His Glory
Without a doubt, there is an extraordinary diversity and beauty in nature that reveals the glory of God. One particular element of nature that captivates my own imagination is the power of running water. Streams, rivers and the power of rapidly flowing water washing over rocks. Hold this picture in your imagination. It is here I want to focus our attention specifically on the continuous flow of cascading water running over a rock formation. Largely unnoticed, an eroding process is taking place. Yet, it does not become evident overnight. Almost imperceptibly, the effect of erosion becomes noticeable only over time.
Life that Transforms
Without a doubt, we are living today in the midst of dark and turbulent times. Like the constant flow of a running river. We face each day the unseen influence of idolatry coursing through our society. Its aim is to erode Christian values and distract God’s people. Sending them out on purposeless detours. Yet the Good News is that Jesus Christ has provided an antidote to this erosion of godliness. He has provided for all people an open door of salvation life. He has fixed the flag on the mountain top and become our strong hope. Our conquering King. His resurrection not only opens the way for total forgiveness towards outsiders but also thirst quenching spirit power to live above the ravages of this corrosive influence we call erosion. And, best of all He chooses to love us recklessly because we don’t deserve to be loved like this.
Hopelessly Dependent Upon Jesus
If we are completely honest with ourselves the Good News of Jesus Christ is an absurd message to those who do not believe. But, the grace of God opens the floodgates of pure, undeserved love upon anyone who will receive it. This incredible encounter with God calls us to live the kind of radical lifestyle that demonstrates that we are hopelessly dependent upon Jesus. With no reservations and a commitment to revel in His incredible love. We must allow God to be God. Almighty, Majestic, Awesome, Eternal and Holy.
Reality Through Intimacy
We stand in desperate need of knowing the reality of what it means to know Him intimately. Daily, to experience His Divine power. And to know without reservation that His way provides us with the answer to the forces of erosion and weathering. You see, we are not of this world system. God’s people are not called to ‘go with the flow’ of modern-day negative influences. Even today, when people talk about positivity, it is based upon their own ideas. Life flow with God is always on His terms! We must never allow the authority of books, institutions, or leaders to replace the authority of intimately knowing Jesus Christ personally, directly and intimately.
Grieving over Idolatry
The Apostle Paul was waiting for Timothy and Silas. “He was greatly distressed.” Why? Because Paul was grieving over the idol worship evident in Athens. Like the continuous flow of a river over rocks which slowly erodes and re-shapes their contour. So, in like manner, we must guard against the steady flow of idolatry that permeates our own society today. False gods and pagan practices can cause people to detour from God’s truth. In one of the ancient books in the Old Testament, this influence is identified as “the wearing down of the saints.” However, let me encourage you. It is our time as God’s people to rise and speak out against these entities of darkness. And, to live outside of their evil influence. Let us drink deeply from the continuous flow of living water. And live within the Spirit’s power.
If anyone is Thirsty
In contrast to the water that erodes and weathers, God’s people are to be filled full with the inward rivers of Spirit life promised to those who are thirsty. A fresh, bubbling, life-giving spring. An artesian well within us that does not require a pump to bring the water to the surface. It was Jesus who shouted out at the feast of Tabernacles, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink…streams of living water will flow from within him.” The Spirit is the thirst quenching, life-giving, transformative, forever-life offered to those who have surrendered to Jesus. We can know this incomparably great power which God exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead. Think about the significance of God’s power to live this life, and then set yourself to embrace all that He has for you each day!