4th Sunday After Pentecost: When Your Water Hole Dries Up
After the Lord had given John a revelation of Himself in Revelation Chapter 1, He gave John an insight into the actual state of many of the churches in that part of the world - in Chapters 2 and 3. As you know, many of those churches were in a very backslidden state. Then the Lord said to John in Chapter 4:1: "Come up hither!". What a lovely word that is! When we see the state of things around us, and encounter problems for which we do not have a solution, it is good to hear the Lord saying to us, "Come up higher! Come and see things from My standpoint - and not from the low earthly level from which you have been looking at these things". I believe this is a word that we need to hear constantly - "Come up higher!". Paul said, "Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended. But one thing I do: forgetting the things that are behind, and stretching forth myself to those things that are before, I press towards the mark, to the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus". He had heard the call to come up higher and he was never satisfied, no matter how high he had reached. "We need to get closer to the heart of God! We need to go up higher!"
God did not create Adam because He needed a servant. He did not create Adam because He wanted a scholar. And He did not create you and me because He needs servants or scholars. He already has enough servants in the millions of angels. He created Adam first of all that Adam might have fellowship with Him. That's why, for Adam, the law was NOT: "Six days you shall work and the seventh day you shall rest". No. That came through the Law that God gave Moses later. Adam was created on the sixth day. And so his very FIRST day - the seventh day for God but the first for Adam - was a day of rest and fellowship with his Creator. It was from that day of fellowship with God that Adam was to go out into the garden and serve God for the next six days. And when we forget that order - when we forget that fellowship with God must always take precedence over our going out into His vineyard to serve Him - then we've missed the primary purpose of our creation and of our redemption.
We can be so taken up with the need around us that we have no time for fellowship with God.
We may feel that's a waste of time, when there is so much need around us. But what is the result of need-based work? Perhaps plenty of work - but the quality will be poor.
There are times in our life when we go through certain crises'. When we are trying to serve the Lord and we find that although we are doing everything that we know to do, we are spiritually tired, we lack the grace and Holy Ghost power to keep going! We need a renewed awareness of the life that was given to us in the sacraments of baptism and confirmation. We need an intensified awareness of the presence and power of the Holy Ghost. We need to be endued with power from on high again. The "rivers of living water" seems to have dried up in our lives. There seems to be a dam from within that is keeping it flowing out of our lives. Yet Jesus had promised that everyone who believed in Him would have rivers of living water flowing out of their life - they'd never be dry. But I find myself dry, many times. Even though I know the Word, and even though I pray my prayers, I find myself dry. Very often my service for the Lord is like pumping a hand- pump. You know what that means - you pump and pump and a few trickles of water come out. It is certainly not like a river. Yet I see the word of Jesus clearly: "Everyone who believes in Me, out of his innermost being will flow rivers of living water". All I can say is that when I seek God during these times, He meets with me. He meets with me and renews a right spirit with in me.
Later, I'll come to another low point in my life. I come to a place in my life, where I have to say, "Lord, my inner life does not correspond with what I am living". Externally, I look good. But my thought-life and my attitudes - are not Christ-like. I find myself proclaiming Christ with my mouth or with my actions but the Spirit of Christ is not ruling my thoughts. And I have to be honest about it with God.
Fellowship with God needs to become the most precious thing for each and everyone of us. It will change your life and take away discouragement and depression from your life altogether.
This is the secret of walking with God. This is what makes our vocation in life joyful! It is no longer dry!
All your service for God depends on your personal walk with God.
You remember when Jesus was in the house of Mary and Martha. He said to Martha, "You are worried and bothered about so many things". What was Martha worried about? There was a need there. And she was serving the Lord, unselfishly and sacrificially, sweating away in the kitchen - not cooking food for herself but for the Lord and His disciples. What greater service could she do than that? It was totally unselfish! And she didn't do it for money or for a salary. No. It was totally unselfish! And yet the Lord told her, "You are bothered about so many things". She had thought that Mary was selfish, sitting there at the Lord's feet and not doing any work, but just listening. And Jesus said, "That's the important thing. That's the ONE THING needful".
In our epistle reading for today, coming from 1 Corinthians 4:2, we read, “Here now it is required among the stewards, that a man be found faithful.” There is a beautiful paraphrase of this verse in The Living Bible that reads like this: "The most important thing about a servant is that he does just what his master tells him to." That has brought so much rest to my heart, and I hope it does the same for you.
And so when you have those dry times, when you are in the midst of discouragement, when you are tired and do not want to keep going, say to the Lord, "I want to hear You. I want to see Your face. I want to see things the way you are seeing them.