I think Brian and I carried a water jinx with us this summer. Not that I believe in luck, good or bad, but it seemed that wherever we went, there was a water issue.
Fact: We visited mom the first of August, and within a day, the city of Toledo’s automated emergency call service rang in with the dire warning – do not drink the water, do not boil the water, do not touch the water! What?!?!
Fact: We visited my sister Betty in a very nice cabin she’d rented in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, and shortly after we arrived, the water faucets started spitting and quickly ran dry.
Fact: We visited our son, Dan and his family in Buford, Georgia, and before the end of our visit, the bathroom drains in the lower level where we were staying stopped flowing.
Fact: We simply thought of staying a few days with our son, Bob, and his wife in Round Rock, Texas when we are in transition, and the sinks in one of their bathrooms started uncontrollably overflowing.
OK, there are real explanations for all of these events: There was an Algae Bloom on Lake Erie, in OH; the pumps from the well to the reservoir and then to the house failed in NC; the previous owner of our son’s house in GA had improperly installed the ejector pump; and Midwesterners didn’t know that air conditioners that run continually in TX can eventually clog the condenser drains if they are not regularly cleaned out.
It’s only when water doesn’t flow where and when it’s supposed to that we realize how much we take for granted the free flow of unimpeded fresh, clean water…
…and how much we don’t like to deal with clogs, broken pumps or algae.
God’s Word speaks of the blessing of flowing water:
“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” – John 7:38(NIV)
If we believe in Jesus, if we have been born again, the Holy Spirit is within us and will flow through us. We are not the source of the water. We cannot conjure up the water. But we can impede the flow. And when we do, I don’t think we are too much more fun to be around than the blocked water flow we experienced this summer.
For example the Algae Bloom on Lake Erie — Lake Erie is a fresh water lake, it provides drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people; but when the water is invaded by outside influences it becomes the perfect breeding ground for toxins.
When you, or I, allow more outside influence than Godly influence, do we become toxic? Do we make decisions that poison our relationships? Are people afraid to come near us? Are we no longer giving out Godly advice and wisdom? What is flowing into you from your entertainment choices? How are you countering its influence?
“You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying truth?” – Galatians 5:7(NIV)
And, then there’s the whole pump issue in NC! There was plenty of water being pumped from the well into the reservoir; so much so that it leaked onto the garage floor. But the pump to get the water from the reservoir into the house failed. The water in the tank was useless.
You, or I, may be full of the Holy Spirit but if there isn’t a place of service where God might pump out of us what He has put into us we are useless. Oh a little water may leak out onto the floor of our lives, but how useful is that? How are you serving God’s people? Is your pump primed with love for God and others?
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:10(NIV)
Next, the improperly installed pump; there was no check-valve, so the pump burned out, the sewage pit filled up, and let’s politely say, “there was a bit of a back-up.”
When you and I don’t have a check-valve — an accountability partner, a friend who tells the truth in love, or the ability to hear the Holy Spirit’s prompting, we will burn out. Do you feel yourself burning out? Why? What do you need to do to keep the water flowing through you?
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” – Isaiah 30:21 (NIV)
And, finally, there are the drains that were not properly purged of build up. The result: the water couldn’t flow, so it backed up and damaged floors, ceilings and walls.
When you, or I, fail to confess our sins wickedness will grow in hidden places until our lives bring more harm than good. How often do you cleanse your heart with confession?
“If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” – I John 1:9 (NLT)
Will you let Jesus Christ, the Living Water, flow through you to a thirsty world today?