Friday, March 25, 2011

Flowing Rivers, Sparkling Rivers

As I spoke in a meeting today about God's faithfulness, I sensed the familiar warmth of joy that always accompanies the opportunity to speak well of Him.
"Let the redeemed of the Lord say so" (Psalm 107:2).
I grew up spiritually in a tradition that represented our speaking for the Lord, whether in personal witness or preaching, as a responsibility rather than the incredible privilege it actually is. Certainly responsibility is involved in the sense that we are commanded to go and tell. However, genuine witness for the Lord Jesus Christ far more involves the expression of ongoing discovery of His wonder, and the inevitable desire to communicate that goes along with such growth in His grace and truth.
The Apostle Paul once prayed "that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel" (Ephesians 6:19). How might the Lord answer such a prayer? Might He grant strength for Paul to be more disciplined and courageous? Maybe. However, far more likely is the possibility that the Apostle's Heavenly Father worked to grant a more living and true experience of Christ to such degree that the truth was fulfilled in Paul, "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh" (Matthew 12:34). A heart full of Christ acknowledged, loved, admired, trusted and obeyed inevitably leads to utterance directed and enabled by the Holy Spirit, regardless of the cost.
"He that believeth on Me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water" (John 7:38). The verb tense of "believeth" in this statement of our Lord is in the present active, meaning an ongoing believing. Thus, the more we grow in living knowledge of Christ and its blessed fruit of faith, the more we will avail ourselves of those opportunities God gives to speak well of Him. Rivers will flow from us, rivers that sparkle with the beauty of a Savior first blessedly known by us, and then blessedly communicated through us to our world.
"By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name."
(Hebrews 13:15)

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