Refreshment in Refuge
by Gina Burgess
The other day I heard running water where water should not be running. At first I thought a pipe might have burst. I checked outside, and the faucets were shut tight and still wrapped against the few hours of freeze that we have down here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I chased the sound into my bathroom. The tank to the toilet was leaking so the water never shut off and the tank never filled up.
Now this simile could go two ways. A Christian’s heart should be like that so that we have a constant flow of fresh living water pouring into our souls ever ready to flush out and cleanse whatever refuse that may stink up our lives. On the other hand, how can a Christian have a really good washing if the heart tank isn’t fully topped up with the Fruit of the Spirit?
But, let’s look at the real culprit of this deal. Can we actually blame Satan for a leak in the tank? The world? Clearly we come to realize after reading Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy that Egypt is the land of slavery… addictions… bitterness… rage… unforgiveness… all the seeds of the dissatisfied soul, right? So it must be the world and Satan that put those hooks in the water that we snap at every day and those nets which entangle us all the time dragging us right back into the wilderness.
The real question is why do we want to stay in the wilderness when we’ve been promised the land of milk and honey? Oh! It’s because we actually have to fight for that land, and that means we have to work at it.
But wait! Jesus told Peter that he was already bathed—washed clean through baptism—and only needed his feet washed. Where’s the work?
It is so much easier to let God carry us than for us to walk on our own two feet. God wants to teach our feet to walk on all types of ground—rocky, grassy, soft dirt, swinging bridges, uphill and down vale. He does not intend to carry us our entire lives. We must walk in order to receive God’s blessings. After all, the Angel’s manna came down, but the children of Israel had to go out and gather it, they had to grind it, they had to cook it and it was enough for only one day except the Sabbath. The next day they had to do the whole thing again. When God sent the quail, it didn’t come de-feathered, grilled and placed nicely on the plate.
Deuteronomy 1:30 Jehovah your God who goes before you shall fight for you, according to all that He did for you in Egypt before your eyes; 31 and in the wilderness, where you have seen how Jehovah your God has borne you as a man bears his son, in all the way which you have gone until you have come to this place. 32Yet in this thing you are not believing in Jehovah your God, 33 who went before you in the way to seek out a place for your camping, in fire by night, to show you the way in which you should go, and in a cloud by the day.
Oh, it is so incredibly easy to be sustained by His wonders… to be lifted up by emotions, and to rely upon those fickle feelings rather to rely upon His word for sustenance and to be filled to bursting with the Truth and the Light of Jesus breath, His word.
Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked. For whatever a man may sow, that he also will reap. 8 For the one sowing to his flesh will reap corruption of the flesh. But the one sowing to the Spirit will reap everlasting life from the Spirit.
Sowing is work.
It is also much easier to enjoy the blessings rather than becoming the blessing. Without investing our lives and becoming the miracle, we cannot be the salt or the light in a dark world. We effectively become stagnant.
In order to move into the Promised Land, the Israelites had to cross the river, take up their swords and follow God’s lead on who to fight when. Just as Egypt was the place of bondage, Canaan is the place of victory and spiritual maturity. But let’s don’t forget that God wanted that land cleansed of wickedness, and the Israelites had to work at the cleansing.
We must participate in His will, His commands, His statutes for our own good. And that takes work melded with believing God.
With belief, comes action. With action, comes blessing. With blessing, comes pleasure. With pleasure, comes God’s smile… And that is what I strive for! But, even beyond that, we reap all the fruit of the Spirit: Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 meekness, self-control. Against such things there is not a law. All those wonderful things are ours just because we belong to Him, yet how many of us actually have tanks completely full, topped off with this fruit? Why don’t we?
So where does the satisfaction come from? Isaiah 58:11 And Jehovah shall always guide you, and satisfy your soul in dry places, and make strong your bones. And you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.
When we run dry, and we always do, we’ve got a huge God who will fill us up, but we’ve got to go to the right place for a fill up… we’ve got to have the right attitude and we’ve got to make sure we’ve got the right motivation in our hearts, but mainly we must believe God.
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She is the author of several books including: When Christians Hurt Christians, The Crowns of the Believers and others available in online bookstores. She authors several columns, using her God-given talent to shine a light in a dark world. You can browse her blog at Refreshment In Refuge.
If you'd like to take a look at some Christian fiction and Christian non-fiction book reviews before the books hit the book store shelves, check out Gina's book reviews at Upon Reflection
Gina is a partner and COO of Common Sense Marketing Strategies, LLC that owns Authors Community and eBookChristian.com
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