When God Calls Us to Do the Impossible Things

When God Calls Us to Do the Impossible Things

I am a girl who loves to sit with a cup of coffee and daydream. I am most passionate about Jesus, my family, and family ministry. My husband and I live in Oklahoma with our two precious daughters. I spend my days with my girls, discovering and growing alongside them! You can usually find us either in our sunroom, the park, or taking long walks through Target. :)
Kristin J
Latest posts by Kristin J (see all)

Impossible Things

More often than not a human creature seemed cast for the role that suited him least. There was a purpose here, perhaps. To swim with the stream was easy; it was swimming against it that increased one’s strength.” – Elizabeth Goudge, The Bird in the Tree 

What is that thing you said you’d never do because you thought you couldn’t?

Maybe it’s running a marathon, going on a mission trip, or fostering children in need. The possibilities  are endless, and chances are we have all said such about multiple things.

The Impossible Thing I Felt Called to Do.

One of the things I once felt least suited for was homeschooling. 

As a young bride I had friends who homeschooled their children, and while I truly admired these families, I thought there was NO WAY I’d ever pursue the same path.

Why did I see this as my Impossible Things?

There were many reasons, but here were a few: 

I was not patient enough. 

I struggled in school so I’d never be able to teach. 

God’s called me to ministry work, it would be selfish to stay home. (This one makes me cringe!)

Did I sound like a person fit for the role of a homeschool mother? Absolutely not. 

And yet… God called me.

Through different studies and books I came across my eyes were opened to the duty God had given me to love, nurture, and cultivate goodness and beauty for my family. For the first time I realized the ministry God had laid right before me in my own home. My heart began to soften to the concept of homeschooling. As I processed my new convictions with my husband he was on board with me from the get-go, which was another sure sign. 

Even though I didn’t feel qualified, I felt equipped through the Spirit.

It’s an indescribable feeling. And in these last few years of embracing being home with my children everyday, I’ve grown. 

Growing is an interesting experience. At the forefront it seems adventurous, but in the doing of the growing there is often great discomfort. In the end though, we are strengthened through it. 

God calls us toward growth.

It is encouraging to look through scripture at the the ways God grew strength in his people. I love the account of Peter walking out on the water to Christ. 

Let’s take a look at Matthew 14:25-33:

25 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea.26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Peter was definitely not qualified to walk on water, no human is, yet Christ call to him, “Come.” 

Peter does and his flesh fails him, but it is in this moment of weakness that his faith is made stronger. No longer does Peter wonder, but he knows. “Lord, save me,” he cries. They board the boat and the disciples worship Jesus, declaring that he is indeed the son of God. 

Michael Card, in his commentary on Matthew writes:

” The miracle? The ‘if’ of verse 28 has disappeared completely. The deeper truth of this story is that often sinking is more important than walking, more life-changing, more transformational.” 

Ah, yes. There it is, the pain in the growing.

God calls us out of comfort zone into the realm where we have no other option but to depend on him and experience his faithfulness. 

My children are young, and we are only just beginning the homeschooling journey but already I have faced overwhelming doubt and frustration. It is in these times that I am brought to my knees, and I have seen Him deliver!

When we fix our eyes on Him, nothing in accordance with His will is impossible. With God impossible things do not exist.

The Invitation to Follow God’s Calling with What Seems Impossible

This post is not intended to be an invitation to homeschooling, because every person’s walk is different. My invitation for you is to consider doing the impossible.

God radically transformed me from a women who viewed family as a hindrance to the “important work” to one who now embraces this season with purpose and vision. I am living a lifestyle I never dreamed possible for my personality.

God has done redemptive work on my heart!

So often we claim, “That’s not just not for me” because we are depending only on ourselves. The truth is on our own we just aren’t enough.

Are we willing to risk our own dependence and walk out on the water?  

2 Timothy 1:7 says:

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.” 

What impossible thing might the Lord be calling you to do? 

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior”

Oceans by Hillsong   

Prayer Over Our Hearts

Father God, Thank you for equipping us for your good work through the Holy Spirit. Help us to hear your call and not be afraid to come. Strengthen us in our times of weakness and doubt as we look to you. In the name of Jesus, Amen 

 

Be Encouraged by these Posts as well…

The Devil in Disguise

Prayer for Moms Across the World

The Years at Home Filling Our Time-Capsule Well

Back to the Basics!

Back to the Basics!

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
Avatar
Latest posts by Kristi F (see all)

Let’s get back to the basics! 

Whether we are learning how to play basketball, cooking a new recipe, playing a game with our kids, or learning how to follow Christ, we must learn the basics. Without understanding the basics, we will never build a firm foundation or be able to excel at anything we choose to do, so we must get back to the basics.

Jumping Ahead of the Basics

Often times we are so eager to do the BIG things for Christ and His kingdom that we forget that the daily work of walking with him is what is most important. Without being in his word,  Satan has too much of an opportunity to trip us up and make can something SEEM godly, when it is really not God’s way at all. 

One result of jumping ahead of the basics of the Bible is that we can actually not only end up following a misleading path delivered by another well-meaning Christ follower, but we ourselves could lead others in a direction away from Christ as well. 

The Coffee House Conversation

This past summer as God called my heart to write again, I found myself sitting on a terrace of a coffee house with my husband. He was working and I was writing. 

As I took a minute to look up from my laptop, I noticed that a young woman had settled herself on the opposite side of the terrace and pulled out a well-read Bible. 

To say I felt compelled to go pray with her was an understatement, so I finished my thought, saved my work, and walked over to say hi. 

Now, I don’t mind meeting new people, but sometimes I can be awkward. I’m not sure what I said, but she politely invited me to sit down and we proceeded to talk for about two hours before ending with a prayer. 

The Sad Epiphany from our Conversation

It was an utter joy speaking with this young woman. She was full of wisdom and knew God’s word. As I looked at her Bible, which looked like it had been poured over for at least a decade, I asked how long she had been following Christ and her answer shocked me:

Less than a year!  

Praise the Lord that she had been leaning into God’s word so heavily, but this is where the sad epiphany occurred. 

She beamed as she shared her conversion story, but sadness filled her face as she confessed that almost immediately she was confronted with well-meaning Christians who encouraged her to read other books than the Bible so that she could grow in her understanding of her role as a disciple of Christ. 

What?  

Why would we think that giving a book that shares someone else’s thoughts about what the Bible has to say could be better than God’s actual words? 

But don’t we do this sometimes? 

Instead of reading a book that talks about what God says, she decided to read what God says. She wanted to go directly to the source!

Even though at the time she was less than a year old as a follower of Christ her spiritual maturity level was way beyond her years and it all started by being in God’s word. From their her faith grew, her walk with God became more solid, and she faces each day knowing that the God of the Bible is living, breathing, and giving her his strength! 

Is this a sad truth that we are facing?

Is she the only Christ follower that in their immature stage has been offered something other than the Bible to learn from?

Do we as Christ followers tend to put more emphasis on other books that supposedly explain the Bible rather than encourage people to dig into the Bible for themselves? 

The Myth that Compels Us to Share Other Books

After walking away from this conversation, I couldn’t help but wonder why so many of us  may choose to recommend another book than the Bible to help someone grow spiritually? 

It’s seem ridiculous doesn’t it? But as I thought about my own walk, I remember thinking several things about the Bible before I started digging in on my own. 

The Bible is too hard to understand.”

“I can’t understand this on my own.”

“I need someone to explain this to me.”

And although these are seemingly true the devil totally takes advantage of these thoughts and turns them into beliefs that keep us from opening the Bible. 

Here is how I respond to these statement now:

“The Bible is too hard to understand.”

Although some concepts in the Bible may be difficult to understand, we will never begin to understand them, if we don’t start reading and studying them now. As we read and study, we will begin to make connections that will help us understand. God is good and gracious and will help us as we seek Him. 

“I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.”
– Proverbs 8:17

The thoughts “I can’t understand this on my own.” and “I need someone to explain this to me.” now get answered by James 1:5: 

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”

We can ask God to give us wisdom and understanding as we are reading his words, so that we can grow closer to him. 

What Does Getting Back to the Basics Look Like?

Getting back to the basics is really simple. It means opening our Bibles, reading them, praying for wisdom, and then with courage implementing what we have read. 

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” – James 1:22

It’s not about just reading the Bible for ourselves but also reading the Bible with our children and teaching them how to live it out through our Lord’s strength. 

Bible Reading Tracker Printable

This year our family decided to keep a visual Bible Reading Log of what we have read. As we read through different books and chapters, we color off a chapter of that book. We keep it tucked in our Bible so we don’t misplace it and actually tend to use it as a bookmark for where we finished.  

I’m excited to see what all God will teach us this year as we draw closer to Him through His word!

Prayer Over Our Hearts

Lord, we praise you!  You spoke this world into being and created us. Your words are powerful. Your Word brings life, hope, peace, and mercy. We pray that we will delight in your words and teachings, that we will meditate on it day and night and be like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields it’s fruit in season and who leaf does not wither (Psalm 1:1-3). May we then live a life that honors and glorifies you and points others back to your words of truth. In Jesus’ powerful name – Amen

Be Encouraged by These Posts as Well…

Thy Will Be Done…if I’m comfortable

Six Tips to Prepare for Your Mission Trip

Grief: Mercy in the Abyss

Look to Him

Look to Him

I am a girl who loves to sit with a cup of coffee and daydream. I am most passionate about Jesus, my family, and family ministry. My husband and I live in Oklahoma with our two precious daughters. I spend my days with my girls, discovering and growing alongside them! You can usually find us either in our sunroom, the park, or taking long walks through Target. :)
Kristin J
Latest posts by Kristin J (see all)
this-post-may-contain-affiliate-links-for-your-convenience-and-at-no-extra-cost-to-you-1

Look to Him

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Psalms 121:1-2

Day by day I look for help. I might look to the internet, to a friend, to my oils, to hot black coffee, or to my husband. Ah, but who is the giver of these wonderful gifts? The Lord, of course! Do I remember to look to him? Do I really trust him with the matters on my heart?

Declarations of Faithfulness

David did. The Psalms are bursting with declarations of faithfulness to God in his times of need. 

“O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you. My heart throbs; my strength fails me, and the light of my eye- it has gone from me.” – Psalms 38:9-10

It is encouraging to see how David brought the very depths and grit of his emotions to the Lord. Even through his times of doubt, fear, and sadness, he turned to God for strength and encouragement. Just a few verses later, we read:

“But for you, O Lord, do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.” Psalm 38:15

We really can bring God everything.

He will help us! He wants to strengthen us and transform us. The Lord draws us to him through our longings. Ruth Chou Simons’ words in the last chapter of her book Beholding and Becoming really touched my heart. 

“No amount of finding our place here on earth will satisfy the longing we have to find our place with Him. We can stop looking frantically to our past, our future, our left or right to feel fully at home- we won’t find it here on this dusty earth.” 

Our needs can truly only be met by God alone.

Our problem though is that we want fulfillment on this earth. We strive after success, prime health, and material bounty like it can surly cure this inevitable need we have to feel complete. We starve ourselves of experiencing rest in God because we are so distracted by trying to solve our problems on our own. Only the God who created us and loves us can meet the needs that are anchored deep in our heart. The need to be filled, content, known, and loved. The need for purposeful and fruitful living. 

“Jesus answered him, ‘If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” John 14:23

Oh, to be home with Christ our Lord.

Yes, that will fulfill our need for wholeness. That will make us complete. The great news is that we don’t have to go to him. He comes down to us! Having him reside in us will give us sure strength and offer us the help we need day in and day out. We just have to look to him

Look to him, and behold his goodness and glory. 

When you are burdened by the disappointments this side of Eden, or stressed from the little things, look to him.

When you are overwhelmed, depressed, anxious, insecure, or trapped, look to him. 

When you’ve been wronged, look to him.

When you are facing illness, look to him

When you are unsure of the future or restless with discontent, look to him. 

When you are feeling void of direction and purpose, look to him

Look to him in the majesty of nature or in the sweetness of his people.

Look to him in the gifts he’s given you.

Most importantly, look to him in scripture and in prayer. 

Hope on Earth

Work in itself isn’t bad. God won’t take away our work. He doesn’t take away the realities of this earth, but he does give us fulfillment in a way that no earthly solution can.

He can fill our hearts with meaning and purpose. He can save our souls from selfishness and aimless pattering and give us hope for our eternity. Hope for what really matters on this world. He can take our life and make it good and pure despite the scars we bare. He can make us fruitful in our daily lives as well as in our legacy.  

Our Best Through Him

Through the Holy Spirit, God has actually made his home in us, and our best help will come from him! As we look to him and behold who he is, we will become more and more like him through the work of his spirit.

It’s not our effort, but his grace that fills us and generously sustains us. Praise God! 

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another, For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

Inspiration for this Post

This post was inspired after reading Ruth Chou Simon’s book, Beholding and Becoming. I encourage you to check out her book for yourself! The artwork is gorgeous, and her message offers great encouragement for those of us seeking to become more like Christ. 

Be Encouraged by these Posts as well…

Trees are the Answer: Questioning Adversity

You Don’t Have This: God’s Got This

Flash Flood of the Spirit(Opens in a new browser tab)

Thoughts From the Mom Who Needs Grace

Thoughts From the Mom Who Needs Grace

I am a girl who loves to sit with a cup of coffee and daydream. I am most passionate about Jesus, my family, and family ministry. My husband and I live in Oklahoma with our two precious daughters. I spend my days with my girls, discovering and growing alongside them! You can usually find us either in our sunroom, the park, or taking long walks through Target. :)
Kristin J
Latest posts by Kristin J (see all)

Thoughts from the Mom Who Needs Grace

It was a normal day at home with my girls. Things were getting a little chaotic and needed to change. Instead of stomping my foot and insisting a different mood, I choose to cultivate one. So I ask, “Would you girls like to help me bake some muffins?”

With holiday tunes humming, and the afternoon light shinning down on our kitchen counter we made cranberry orange muffins.

You pour the scoop, sister goes next. Will you help me stir? Keep the whisk in the bowl!”

We cheerfully made our muffins and I sent the girls on their way while I cleaned things up. 

“It’s so nice when I take time to draw close to my girls instead of griping at them,

I thought to myself.

God’s Grace in Our Chaos

When Adam and Eve were hiding after their sin, God came to them. When his people were miserably missing the point of their relationship with God, God didn’t stomp his foot, shouting “You’d better get your act together or you’re getting a spanking.” No, he came down to Earth through Christ, and he poured out unstoppable love. He draws us to him through the chaos. 

Psalm 18:16-19 is one of my favorite passages.

“He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” 

Our Families Need Grace

As I was pondering these things, a blog post was starting to form in my mind. Then suddenly my attention shifted to the cries I heard from the other room.

One of my daughters had intentionally hurt the other one. With grinding teeth, I sent one to her room, and fetched an ice pack for the other. I felt tears well up in my own eyes as I cradled my girl. 

“Who am I to write about parenting? I’m such a failure,” I thought.

A little later I shared my experience with a sweet friend. She reminded me about a lot of good things including the enemy’s tricks — the way he derails us from the good we want to do. She told me to write the post anyway.

So here I am. 

The Grace We All Need

It just so happened that my advent study on this particular day was about Rahab. In Joshua 2, we can read about a prostitute in Jericho who hid two Jewish spies and helped them exit the city safely.

She was not a woman of God, but she choose to protect these men, and that’s not all. She choose to believe in God. She and her family are then saved, and as we know she became the great-grandmother to King David, the family line leading to Jesus. Her brave actions inducted her into what many consider the “Hall of Faith”.

“By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.”

Hebrews 11:31

Who was Rahab to be used in such a way? 

Ann Voskamp’s words about Rahab in her book, “The Greatest Gift” left an imprint on my heart that day. 

Rahab, in a godless place with a godless past, believes fully- and so lives fully. She’s steps out not in competence but in faith… Great faith is the greatest equalizer, the greatest eraser, and the greatest definer… No personal choice that muddies your life can ever trump the divine choice to wash your life clean. No situation is more hopeless than your Savior is graceful.” 

Grace Doesn’t Compare

I don’t need to compare myself to others, feeling greater or less than. We are all in desperate need of God’s grace. 

Of course, the good news isn’t that we are all sinners. The good news is that we have a way out. 

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”  

Acts 2:38

Praise Him! 

So I reminded myself once again, that I don’t have to be perfect. He is the perfect one. I am the one saved by his grace. My girls won’t be perfect either. They need his grace too. 

Who am I?

I am the one to whom God entrusted these two sweet babes. I am the one who can be the giver of his grace. It may get chaotic, but I can go to them still. I can find them, and pour out my love over them. 

So once the “talkings” were had, the consequences laid out, and the tears wiped away, I gathered them close. We curled on the couch a read some stories.

Our favorite, The Little Drummer Boy, reminded us that even when we feel we have little to give we can always offer praise. With holiday music humming in the background, and the glowing of the tree shining on us, I knew that I was giving my best to him in that moment. 

Living Our Faith

Rahab didn’t need competence to save those men, she needed faith. The Bible is filled with many more who did great tasks they weren’t qualified for. God did the work. They believed he would. 

So here I am. I’m not a perfect parent, but I serve a perfect God. He has called me to do great work. Right now, that great work is raising my daughters. It’s the greatest work he’s called me to yet.

I don’t feel qualified. Oh, every day I don’t feel enough. That’s okay. He is enough. He will do the awesome part, and I will have faith. Glory to God in the highest! 

“Come near to God and he will come near to you.” 

James 4:8

Prayer Over Our Hearts

Father God,

Oh, help us! The task of raising our children is not an easy one. We love our children in a deep, maddening sort of way. As we look on them and realize that you look on us in a similar way our hearts are softened.

How great is your love, O Lord?!

It’s both a question and a declaration because we can’t comprehend! Thank you for your grace. Work through us and help us to tenderly show your grace to our children. May we offer to them an expression of your love. May our faith be great! Lord, you are the Holy One! 

In the name of Jesus, Amen 

Are You Willing to Be Humiliated?

Are You Willing to Be Humiliated?

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
Avatar
Latest posts by Kristi F (see all)

Are you willing to be humiliated? As the kids and I read through Isaiah 20, this was one of the main questions that came to mind.

Are you willing to be Humiliated?

What would be the most humiliating thing you can think of that God might ask you to do?

In my wildest dreams I would not have thought God would ask this of anyone, but as I read it out loud to my kids, I realized that what God asks us to do is often for the benefit of others and can put us in an earthly humiliating position.

How was Isaiah Humilated?

[God] said to [Isaiah], “Take off the sackcloth from your body and the sandals from your feet.”

And [Isaiah] did so, going around stripped and barefoot.

Then the LORD said, “Just as my servant Isaiah has gone stripped and barefoot for three years, as a sign and portent against Egypt and Cush, so the king of Assyria will lead away stripped and barefoot the Egyptian captives and Cushite exciles, young and old, with buttocks bared – to Egypt’s shame.

Those who trusted in Cush and boasted in Egypt will be afraid and put to shame. In that day people who live on the on this coast will say, “See what has happened to those we relied on, those we fled to for help and deliverance from the king of Assyria!

How then can we escape?”

Isaiah 20:2-6

3 years of Nakedness? Really?

I’ve been to topless beaches in Europe, where I kept my suit on, and even then I couldn’t fathom being uncovered.

But without hesitation Isaiah took of his shoes and his clothes. Yes, it was sackcloth, and I’m sure he was relieved to not be wearing that itchy, old, uncomfortable piece of clothing, but naked for 3 years!

Isaiah exchanged his sackcloth for nothing that would protect him from the sun, insects, or the chapping wind!

For 3 years, he boldly walked in what others would consider humiliation. This was surely a sign that did not go unnoticed by the population of people he passed by.

Although he may have seemed like the emperor with no clothes, he knew he didn’t have any clothes. However, he had a calling and his crown is definitely waiting for him in heaven. He obeyed even in the midst of earthly humiliation.

Will we be as willing?

Will we be as willing as Isaiah to go through with what God asks us to do?

I pray so, if it comes to that. If so, then we truly will be following in Jesus’ steps as earthly humiliation followed him being beaten and nailed to the cross.

“Remember what I told you:

‘A servant is not greater than his master.’

If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey your also.

– Jesus, John 15:20

Humble ourselves to God

Although, I do believe that God won’t call many followers to replicate Isaiah’s physical act of obedience in order to warn others, I do believe God expects us to humble ourselves to Him every day.

For the Sake of Others

Most definitely, Isaiah streaked across the countryside not in fun as a college student who is trying to get into a fraternity but as a man of God who was trying to turn the attention of others back to their Creator and true Savior.

You see, what was happening was any time God’s people were in trouble or scared, they would run to others instead of running to the only One who has ever truly delivered them, the LORD.

Who Do We Run to In Times of Trouble?

This is a question that we must ask ourselves. Because if we don’t have the courage to ask this question, we stand to be humiliated but not by choice.

Isaiah made the choice to humiliate himself to the world by humbling himself to God.

If we choose to not humble ourselves to God and put our trust in others, we will be humiliated for all the world to see. It may happen in this physical life or it may be the ultimate humiliation that leads to damnation and destruction in the next.

Prayer Over Our Hearts

Lord, you suffered the ultimate humiliation for us on the cross. Physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally, you sacrificed your whole self to save us!

Lord, we pray we will lean into your courage and strength and trust you above anyone else on earth. May we hold your opinion and your truth in it’s rightful place and seek your approval over the approval of man.

In Jesus’ powerful name we pray – Amen!

Flash Flood of the Spirit

Flash Flood of the Spirit

Jayne Michener has been married for over twenty years to a "son of thunder" and is mother to two adolescent daughters, one delightfully immersed in nature and another humorous, artistic girl who is devoted to cats.The better days are spent developing Christian culture and character with the educational principles of Charlotte Mason in mind.The worse days are spent with lightly held sanity, tightly gripped coffee, and semi-vocalized prayer.She is on a journey depending on the Holy Spirit to guide her into all truth, whether unseen spiritual realms or earthly ventures, such as education, healing arts, nutrition, neuroscience, and art.Oh, and her children would be horrified if she did not mention that they live with two cats, Blacksmith and Beauty.
Jayne M
Latest posts by Jayne M (see all)

Flash Flood of the Spirit

Like the rising flood waters of Noah’s time, water rises again and again as a prominent character in the epic biblical tale. 

The Role of Water

In the beginning, the Spirit of God hovered over the waters, the water teemed with living creatures, streams came and watered the ground and the garden.  Later, water swallows the Egyptians as liquid walls rush into a torrent of destruction, saving the Hebrew people.  Then, water gushes from a rock when Moses strikes it in anger.  Elijah’s jars of water, poured out in the legendary contest between the Lord and Baal, prepared the way for the Spirit’s fire, a prophetic act.  Naaman’s leprosy was cleansed by the wet hand of the Jordan. 

In these instances, we see water involved in creation, destruction, preparation, and restoration.

Flood Waters in the New Testament

The New Testament opens with a Hebrew hippie bursting onto the scene, eating organic bugs with a side of honey and sporting leather-belted camelhair.  This second Elijah baptizes with water and prepares the way for the Lord. Then Jesus opens his ministry with a little water to wine transformation. In the background of these scenes we see the Jordan river, the Sea of Galilee, the Pool of Bethesda, and more. 

The action comes to a climax when Jesus offers access to the highest water feature of all—living water that wells up to eternal life, vanquishing death like a haughty Egyptian and quenching thirst forevermore:

On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and cried out,

“If anyone is thirsty, he should come to Me and drink!  The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.” He said this about the Spirit.  Those who believed in Jesus were going to receive the Spirit, for the Spirit had not yet been received because Jesus had not yet been glorified. (John 7:37-39)

Intimate Acquaintance with Water

While some have experiences with more exotic bodies of water such as the Amazon or the Nile, my most intimate acquaintance with water is a charming neighborhood pond within sight of our home.  This unobtrusive little pond is framed by tall families of cottonwood trees hung with oriole nests, while gossiping cattails fuss over bullfrog tadpoles and adorable turtle hatchlings. Baby ducks paddle close to their mothers, peeping their tender dependence, while turtles crawl onto floating tree branches to fully stretch legs and necks in the buttery warmth of the sun.  This is living water. 

Holy Power of Water

Earlier this year, Oklahoma’s spring storms highlighted the trinitarian nature of water, from the moody clouds and torrential rain, to the misshapen globes of hail. 

A shallow creek flows into our duck pond, but when heavy rains come, we witness the vigorous power and intense energy of water. What is benign in a drop, and refreshing in a shower, suddenly has the power to completely reconstruct a landscape when it grows to violent rapids.  We witnessed a heavy railroad tie that had been grounded for several seasons in a muddy marsh be lifted with ease by the deluge and go sailing off to distant lands unknown.* 

And this is what water does when it moves.  It transforms with ease what is arduous or impossible with human strength.

A Cleansing Flash Flood of the Spirit

Without the cleansing rains, however, pools of water can become stagnant, rank and putrid, emitting noxious odors and growing harmful microorganisms. 

Similarly, without the cleansing of the Spirit, people can become toxic bogs, filled with such parasitic organisms as jealousy and resentment, or contaminants such as hidden sins, shame, fear, or even unrelenting sorrow.  Whether it is willful sins or innocent wounds, long-standing, death-filled pools cannot be flushed clean with a drop of water here or a touch on the tongue there. Water’s strength to transform is found in vigorous torrents.  We need a flash flood of the Spirit to lift dead material from the depths of our souls.

The Power of “Living Water”

Jesus said that those who believed in him would have, “streams of living water flow from deep within him.”  And deep within is just where we need these streams to flow, in order to reach those places that may be obscured even from our own eyes, but are dripping with pernicious poisons, nonetheless. 

Jesus also clarified his figurative language, explaining that the streams of living water were the Spirit, which Jesus later poured out at Pentecost (Acts 2:33). Peter then preached that those who repent and are baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins would receive the Holy Spirit.  Later, the apostle Paul said that we were redeemed through Jesus so we might receive by faith the promise of the Spirit (Galatians 3:14).  

Continual Cleansing

Although our repentant faith in Jesus results in immediate forgiveness of sin, the work of cleansing and transformation is an ongoing work of the Spirit. 

Unfortunately, many of us, even having received the Spirit through faith and baptism, still build dams and close the floodgates. We receive the Spirit, but we are still thirsty. 

Apparently, the Spirit’s flow is released like a spigot, and we are not supposed to turn off the faucet. As Paul admonished, “Do not quench the Spirit,” (1Thes. 5:19) and “be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).

The process that removes the sludge of the soul seems simple. 

The outpouring of the Spirit is a natural consequence of faith, repentance, and baptism, but the continued flowing of the Spirit is a matter of choosing to turn on the faucet, or if we really want to move some gunk out of our souls, then opening the floodgates. 

Ultimately, God honors our choices. We can choose either to quench the Spirit or to be filled with the Spirit.

This much is certain: no soil is richer than that deposited by floodwaters, and once the Spirit has flooded the soul, it leaves rich, fertile soil—ideal for planting the seed of the Spirit.  The resulting fruit of the Spirit is recognizable and sweet: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23.)

*This was written before we saw whole houses swept away on the Cimarron River.  That’s the power of water!

Be Challenged & Encouraged with these posts…

Is My Dedication Really to Christ?

The Sparkle Box: A Christmas Tradition

When Prayer Doesn’t Come Easy

 

 

Pin It on Pinterest