“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23
Our first night in our new home came with a new set of realities. New obstacles, hopes and fears accompanied the beauty of having a fresh new start.
Like the Jews who were delivered from the bondage of Egypt, the prospect of returning to the challenges of the past suddenly had new appeal. You don’t realize how confortable you can grow with your problems until they’re replaced with a set of new ones.
I can remember days I preferred a wheel chair over the prospects of walking again because of the pain that accompanied learning how to walk on new knees.
How quickly we forget the faithful hands of our Heavenly Father? How do the trivial matters of a new day dwarf His miraculous work of days past?
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Made for More
Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like the streams in the Negev. NIV
In this passage, God’s people recognize their need for restoration. They’re fully aware they’re Made for More. So the picture of the dry Negev desert gives a very vivid illustration of what we become without God presence. The word “streams” in Arabic is wadi. In the Middle East, a wadi is a riverbed. You can see evidence that it once had water but remains dry most of the year.
We would never view the dusty desert as alive and flourishing. A desert is a place that longs for water. Likewise, we must acknowledge that our collective gatherings of humanity “our dust” longs for a life-giving river to flow through it. God’s people in this prayer view themselves as one of those dry riverbeds in the Negev. For that reason, their prayer is that God will restore them like the streams in the Negev.
Such an amazing picture. At certain seasons when there’s rainfall in the Negev, a dry riverbed transforms in just a few hours. The riverbed becomes an overflowing, torrential stream that sweeps everything before it. In one outpouring of rain, all the dust and broken earth are restored by life-giving waters.
But We’ve Become Less
The two evils of Jeremiah 2:13 are the abandonment of the fountain of living water and the building of broken cisterns. A cistern is an artificial water reservoir. What distinguishes a cistern from a well is its waterproof lining. A cistern without its lining cannot contain water. We build and sustain cisterns with our ingenuity. A cistern can be useful at first but easily becomes stagnated and polluted without fresh rain. A well, in contrast, needs no lining, natural streams supply it with fresh water. Our world doesn’t need more cisterns, it needs more supernatural streams flowing into it.
However, we’ve built cisterns for our lives, we’ve built cisterns for churches. But we’re called to be a river in a desert. We’re more than just vessels. We’re anointed to be channels of living water that both restores and heals, and it also destroys and washes away. It brings new life in abundance. What God brings can be gathered but it cannot be contained.
Yet with all our knowledge, resources and gifts, we’ve become less. We ‘ve become less prepared to pour out His presence, power, and love. We’ve become blinded by visions of enterprise that could never withstand the bounty of His harvest.
God can restore our riverbeds with just one outpouring. Oh that our prayers turn into prayers of restoration. That our dry riverbeds flow again with His anointing and presence and let the dust of our flawed wisdom be swept away forever.
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As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness. (ESV)
What an amazing expectation – it extends beyond the end of this time and out into eternity. It was because of this expectation the fathers of our faith declared all the challenges, persecutions and hardships are worth enduring. To know that one day we will awake and we will be satisfied. We will be satisfied with the likeness of Jesus and clothed with His righteousness. We will finally see Him face to face!
Just own that phrase, “I shall be satisfied.” Nothing else can fully satisfy our hearts but God Himself. Right now we enjoy a fellowship with Him. We serve Him, we do His will. But we are so limited to grasp all that He is. But there’s going to be a day when we awake and there will be no veil. Awake in His righteousness and not in our own.
Together! Forever! Amen!
Following God’s plan for your life will often lead you out of your comfort zone and out into unchartered waters. In a season of prayer, pursuing God’s plan for our family. God spoke to my wife and me about planting a life-giving church that
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