Tag Archives: fresh water

Conduit Connection

28 Sep

When you were dead in your sins…, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness,which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross….Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.  These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ…. Such a person [is] puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.  Colossians 2: 13-19

My garden hose is one of my favorite tools.  I enjoy standing surrounded by my green and flowering plant friends in the cool of the evening as I shower them.  They thank me with bowed heads and colorful, fragrant offerings the next morning.

Without a hose I must use the watering can.  That involves lots of waiting for filling, and lugging, and sloshing, and spilling on my shoes, and holding a heavy couple of gallons of water while it pours out.

The hose does all the work for me.  All I have to do is turn it on and off.  I have a shut-off valve before the nozzle, but sometimes it’s easier and faster to just bend the hose, crimping it to a trickle.  However it’s accomplished, the ability to turn the water off and on makes the hose a convenient faucet extension.  The hose does all the work, and the water goes efficiently to where it’s needed.

As a worship leader, my goal is to be a conduit of God’s love and grace – allowing Him to flow through me so others connect with Him.  The hose is a descriptive metaphor – and an apt one – for my relationship with God.

In my imagination I see everyone with spiritual hoses connected to the tops of their heads.  Some are exalting in a fountain-like shower, sprinkling those around them; while others have turned off the nozzle and are wandering around, searching for sweet water in terrain filled with stagnant, dirty, putrid, and even poisonous salty pools.

More like an umbilical cord than a garden hose, the connection to myCreator that I am born with flows constantly over my soul, flooding me with grace, mercy, strength, wisdom, and love.  But unlike an umbilical cord, this connection is not supposed to be severed at birth.  Instead, it is to be tended so as not to get kinked, shutting down spiritual health and vitality.  And this connection is never meant to be shut off.

But we do.  I do.

For reasons that seem silly, self-seeking, and stupid when realized and named, I crimp or turn off my connection to God.

So here’s my crazy thought – what if I could keep that connection open, healthy, and flowing?  What if all of us in the church could?  How would that change our families, our neighborhoods, and our churches?

How would that change our worship?

What if everyone who read this post kept his/her connection with God open all week and came ready to worship God on Sunday?

I dare you to try it!  I dare myself to try it!!  Let’s make this our holy experiment – to be so connected to our Creator, so in love with our Savior, so infused with the Spirit, that praise, worship, and adoration tumble out of us like a garden hose without a nozzle.

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Ready for Sunday

List the issues, sins, attitudes, etc. that limit my connection to God.

Confess them, and ask God for a plan to avoid them in the future.

Now revel in a flood-level connection, and let it overflow to everyone I’m connected with… and watch what He does– in the church, in relationships, in my neighborhood…

The godless drought is over.

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A resource on the topic: Connection to God, Kim Walker

Bread and Water

14 Jul

Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14

My phone was eligible for an upgrade – so off to the store I trotted, birthday and Christmas money saved for months safely stuffed into my pocket.  I was a little incensed that the clerk opened the box unceremoniously in front of me.  Part of the fun of buying something new is opening the box and being the first one to handle the pristine item.  The feeling passed quickly, however, as he expertly transferred all my contacts, and presented me with my sleek, new super-phone.

The new phone has some cool features, but my real reason for upgrading is the camera.  I’ve become fascinated with phone/app photography.  I was excited to show my new tool to friends with the same interest.  Raised eyebrows and nods of approval all around.  Except for someone new to the group.

“Why didn’t you wait for the next model coming out in 3 months?  The camera will be even better, the storage capacity enormous, and the processing time next to nothing.”

I knew about the upcoming product, but I’d decided the wait wasn’t worth it.  I was happy with my new camer… I mean phone!  Still, a little wistful feeling crept into my happiness when I realized that my brand new (quite expensive) purchase was already outdated technology.

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Dissatisfaction can be a good thing.

Our bodies need replenishing.  Yesterday’s manna is gone (or moldy!), and we need to eat again today to satisfy our hunger.  The water I drank before sitting down to write this post has been absorbed into my hydration-thirsty cells.   I need more to satisfy my thirst.  (Right now.  brb!)  Bread and water.  Hunger and thirst.  They are part of our human condition.

Jesus contrasted the living water He promised the Samaritan woman with water drawn from the public well.  The Greek word for well in the passage, more correctly translated cistern, describes “a receptacle for water conveyed to it; distinguished [from a different Greek word, translated spring], which denotes a place where water rises on the spot.” (1)

Because rainfall was extremely scarce in Israel (much like in the Midwest this summer!), people had to dig cisterns to collect every bit of rain in order to have water during the dry season, while those who lived near a spring had an endless supply of fresh water, no matter what the weather or season.

Water in a cistern would sustain life, but spring water was far more preferable.  Cisterns dried up, the water they held was stagnant or muddy and lukewarm, and pride or self-sufficiency replaced dependence on God.

Living water from a spring was sweet and clear, cool and refreshing; it flowed continuously from deep within the earth without the aid of human back-breaking labor.

This is the context of the offer Jesus made to the woman at the well.

Of course she wanted living water!

Walking to the cistern everyday to get water was hard work and the water she collected was sub-standard– warm and muddy from last month’s rainstorm.  She definitely wanted the water upgrade Jesus offered!

But Jesus shattered her mental water jar on the nearby cliffs.

He wasn’t talking about water at all.  This Living Water fills on a more basic life-level.  It truly satisfies and also causes a deep yearning for more and more of the same.

Jesus wasn’t saying that she, and we, only need one drink from the spring of Living Water to be satisfied, but that once we know where to get a drink, the desire to go back to the cistern evaporates like a puddle on desert clay at noon in July.  We no longer thirst because now we know where to find the Living Water.

But just like the lesson of the Old Testament manna,  taking an extra-big drink of Living Water won’t last through tomorrow.  (You will have to get up during the night, though!)   Carrying home an extra supply of water in a jar also won’t last until tomorrow because it won’t be fresh – it will stagnate.

The spiritual parallel supports two main points:

  1. a holy dissatisfaction with substitutes for our relationship with Christ; and
  2. a daily (or hourly) need for relationship-building with our Lord.

Our thirst is satisfied in Him, the Living Water, and yet we are also unsatisfied and thirsty for more of Him.  We have tasted the fresh water and know where it comes from– so we can’t help but return.

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Ready for Sunday

Sometimes when I get focused on a task or a project, it feels very inconvenient to stop and eat.  I can keep going for a little while, but when my energy begins to dry up, I wish I’d stopped earlier to fuel my energy.  How many times have I continued to forge ahead on my own, when I know where the Source of my strength lies?

Why do I wait until my tank is on E before stopping for a long, cool drink?  And why do I trade the stagnant water of my own efforts for Life-giving Water?

As worship leaders, it also goes beyond you and me.  Not only is it impossible to lead others to the spring if we haven’t been there lately, but if we travel without stopping for Living Water, we will shrivel up in the heat and not be able to lead anyone.

The condition of my parched yard and gardens in the hottest and driest summer in a century is a graphic reminder of what I am on my own.  Desolate.  And the day lilies I water everyday, that exists in the same harsh summer, display the glory of the One who satisfies the thirsty.

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(1) Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary quoted in the cistern article on dictionary.com

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