So I tried to write another devotional for today, but God wouldn't get the following out of my head. I was convinced that it wasn't the right time, didn't pertain to now...all of the usual excuses that came as a result of what I thought was need for now. Obviously, God gets His way, and my word can wait for another time. However because this word is fresh in my spirit, and therefore may not come out as fully developed as I'd like. So I ask you to bare with me, and direct any questions to my inbox later :)
Sitting in service this morning, I was considering water and it's many attributes, which carried over to when I got home. Yes, I know that sounds random, but if you know me, this should not come as a surprise. Anyway, I was thinking about how it flows. When a river is rushing, it typically is the result of a constant, steady, reliable flow of water that is unceasing in nature. This is how we like to view our faith. We'd like to say that yes, God is constantly flowing revelation and the power of his love, spirit, and strength into our lives and that it is never ceasing, but honestly...is this always the case?
I can be real with you and say, that for me, it's not. I go through seasons just as, I would venture to say, most do and have periods of my life where I am more in tune, more open, and more conductive to the flow of the Spirit, and therefore receive and believe for more. This, of course, got me to thinking...how can I make my life, not just like the mighty rushing river (a life that is pouring out itself constantly for the furthering of God's kingdom) but how can I be the riverbed that conducts the move of that mighty rushing water, not for itself, but to provide for others?
Naturally, I turned to Bible Gateway for scripture
(praise the Lord for the Christian's google. haha)
In Malachi 3:10 it says:
"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it."
Now, I know this is speaking of tithing the first fruits of your income to the Lord, I don't deny that, but, when I read it, I applied this principle to my life. If the Lord spoke through Malachi that when we bring the full tithe into the storehouse we WILL see the floodgates pour out blessing that we cannot even contain, what would happen if we applied that to everything we did? What if we said, no, I may not have money to give right now, but I'll give the first fruits of my day, the first fruits of free time, the first fruits of my singing, etc...all to God. And that's when it hit me, when we take part in this practice, of giving the first fruits of everything we do to the Lord, giving Him the "whole" of ourselves instead of the "half", "third", or even "little bit" we allow Him to respond to our testing Him in this manner.
We allow God to answer our action with a reaction of outpouring.
I'm the kind of person that enjoys step-by-step instructions from preachers and God about how to fix my life...and well, giving all of yourself to the Lord sounds like a pretty straight forward process with clear steps that must be fulfilled, such as stop watching that frivolous TV show, turn away from that risque website, get your lazy butt out of be, get off Facebook and get in His presence (just to name a few). This makes it easy, right?...wrong.
When we are not carrying out this process of being riverbeds (conductors), we are cement dams that hold back the water (move of His Spirit). Now, cement doesn't just break when you tap on it, you have to completely alter the foundations upon which it is built. When those foundations of pride in our outward man that others see as "holy", arrogance that we can do better than God, and laziness to get in His word and set aside time for Him are cracked and taken away, things have to change, and the dam is forced to come down because it has nothing left to stand on.
Although the dam is forced to come down, it doesn't happen all at once. First cracks begin to form as the foundations slip away, and through those cracks the water begins to slowly trickle. It's the same way with the Spirit of the most high God. Many become discouraged by this when they start to rearrange their lives and only see a trickle of a result, but although the results with God appear to only be a trickle to our immature spirit eyes, we forget that there is an abundance of pent up water on the other side, just waiting for the right time, when the wall completely comes down, and it can gush through. Although this takes time, because with God, EVERYTHING IS A PROCESS, when we have broken every corrupt foundation and torn away all of the dirty earth (our flesh nature) that holds it up, the walls of the dam WILL come tumbling down and we WILL see the outpouring He has promised to us.
The question is, can you endure the current hardship, and apparent lack of results, to see the glory He wants to reveal to you if you can make it to the end of your remodeling?
In Romans, chapter 8 verse 18 Paul says:
"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us"
We often quote it, but do we believe it? If we can write this truth upon the tablet of our heart, we can receive the strength from God to endure the time of testing and cutting away of our flesh to see the ultimate outpouring He has for us, and the water that will flow through us is the purest, most holy that could ever exist.
Will you trust in the Lord? Will you wait on Him longer than five minutes so that He can tear a part your foundations and restore you to a lifestyle of ceaselessly conducting the flow of God's Spirit?
Will you endure to become pure?