Streams And Springs

"There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fail." Psalm 46:4-5....."I have heard somewhere of a spring whose waters had certain medicinal properties that those who drank from it were helped in the case of various infirmities. In the course of time, homes sprang up around the spring, then a hotel, stores, and eventually a town that grew into a city. But there came a day when visitors would ask, 'By the way, where is the spring from where this grew?' and dwellers in the city would rub their hands in embarrassment and say, 'I am sorry that I cannot tell you, but somehow, in the midst of all our progress and improvement, we lost the spring and no one knows now where it is.' ...."There is a sad application here for the church. Under all our ecclesiastical superstructure today we have lost the spring. We have been lost on the circumference and need to get back to the Center."Vance Havner

 

T. Austin-Sparks defined the conversion experience, that is, the transformational encounter of coming to Christ, as an experience that placed Christ at the very center of our being. And from that center, He spreads out to the outermost places of our being and life, exercising total Lordship over all. He said that this was what is was to be a believer. He also said that this experience collides with every force in the universe that is against Christ. Havner said that the apostle Paul never left the Center of living at the spring, the stream that is Jesus Christ. Our problem is that we so easily do. As I saw it put by someone, we are always living out on the circumference of His life, on our own, trying to figure it all out, rather than in Him, living moment by moment in the reality of His presence. In our lives, our homes, our fellowships, we are so much like the city Havner spoke of. We have forgotten that from which we sprang. We speak much of our heritage and of His Living Water, but we have forgotten just where the Source of that water is. We have built up a great outer structure, but it is maintained by us and not the flow of His life giving water.

There was a classic sci-fi show called "The Outer Limits," that had the theme of taking the watcher to the furthest limits of their imagination and experience. The desire of the Father in Christ is to take us to the outer limits of spiritual experience yet never leaving our center in Christ. We live stretching forward in Him, yet we never cease to abide in the center of His being. As He takes us into ever new frontiers of life in Him, places where everything may well change around us, all stays centered completely in Him. Things around us change, we ourselves will certainly change.....He will never change. Except as He reveals to us more and more of the wonder of who He is.

The city Havner spoke of still had those life giving springs somewhere beneath it. It just remained for the people to reopen the path to them. For the church, that path will always be Christ. In Genesis 26, the Philistines, jealous and fearful of Isaac's growing wealth and power, filled in his wells of water with dirt and demanded he leave, which he did. Verse 18 says that upon arriving in the new land, which was his father Abraham's previous dwelling, "He reopened the wells his father had dug." I believe we in the church must do the same, and in every aspect of our lives and fellowships. The wells, springs, and streams of His Living Water remain available to us all. In our self-sufficiency and self-absorption, we may have forgotten where they are, but His voice calls us to follow Him, to reopen those wells, springs, and streams. To discover again that the stream which makes glad the city of God, does the same for His people and church. Does the stream flow in our lives and fellowships, or, have we forgotten where it is? Do we need to start digging and re-open those wells of life?

Blessings,
Pastor O

 

 

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