Friday, August 22, 2008

Stagnant Decoration or Living Water for a Thirsty World?

Click on the video frame and see my amazing tabletop fountain!

Ok, ok, so it’s not that amazing…maybe this will be a little “more” amazing…”

This controlled water release into the Grand Canyon this past March released 300,000 gallons of water A SECOND into the canyon, not just for fun, but as an attempt to restore the needed sediment levels that had been disrupted by the Glen Canyon Dam. In short, they needed to stir up dirt in the river to help the fish. They were “stimulating” the ecosystem to sustain and multiply life.

The lesson? Well, some churches (and Christians) can easily become like my little fountain. There is music, and some movement, but newcomers can quickly tell that there is a lot of recirculation going on. The water may be “pretty” to look at, but they wouldn’t drink it! (Have you ever looked in the “tank” of one of these fountains after a couple of weeks? Nasty!)

Also, if you don’t add water to those things, they dry up as the water evaporates, and the pump gets ruined and you have a useless piece of nothing. Again, it is possible for a church to not depend on or expect God’s living water (i.e. the Holy Spirit) to do much of anything new, and people are content to come and watch a show, hear some music, and leave unchanged. If there is no awakening to the presence and purpose of God’s Spirit, things can quickly dry up!

In John 7:37-39, we read, “On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as[a] the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.” It is obvious that Christ-followers are supposed to live in a “stream” of “living water, not in a stagnant pool. This stream does not have its end in us, but is meant to flow to others in love, kindness, compassion, service, humility, joy, peace, etc., that they may be stirred up to see their need for Christ.

God meant for the church (insert your name here if you are a Christ follower) to be like the canyon water, being released into to the world to stir things up for life! Paul says plainly that we are reconciled to God through Christ NOT just for heaven, but so that we can go into the world as Christ’s ambassadors (see 2 Corinthians 5:17-19 ).

So don’t settle to be a re-circulating table decoration, be a Spirit-controlled, flood of living water! Read the next post below for a new way to let the flood flow!

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