My search for God's presence and peace in my life.

Living Water

Water has been in the news every day lately: tsunami, flooding, droughts – either we have too much or too little.

But can they swim?

With all of this attention water has been getting, it got me thinking about how important water is in our lives and especially to the life in our bodies.

Approximately 80% of the Earth is covered by water  and around 2/3 of our bodies as well, and while a person can live about a month without food, he can live only about a week without water.

Water is in every single cell of our body, facilitating the breaking down and utilization of nutrients, the removal of wastes and the conduction of the electrical impulses inside our brain cells that become our every thought.

Being dehydrated within our bodies by as little as 2% can seriously degrade physical and mental functions, as water plays a role in virtually every bodily function. Water has been associated  with digestive issues, circulation trouble, liver & kidney function, skin tone, weight loss, headaches, back pain, colds, brain function, and urinary tract infections to name a few.The Holy Spirit: Living Water

In the Bible, the term “living water” is used in conjunction with Jesus, but also directly referencing the Holy Spirit living within us. (see John 7:38,39) The comparison of the Holy Spirit with water is no casual reference. Further study will show that water within our bodies serves virtually all of the same functions as the Spirit within our souls.

  • Water is the “universal solvent” because of its ability to break down substances, allowing our bodies to utilize valuable nutrients: the Spirit within us breaks down the teaching in the scriptures, allowing us to understand and utilize valuable concepts. (1 Corinthians 2:13)
  • Water enables us to rid our bodies of wastes and pollutants: through God and His Spirit we are forgiven of our junk (sins) and cleansed from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
  • Water must be continually replaced: we need to pray and meditate on Scripture daily (Psalm 1:2)
  • Dehydration will lead to death: spiritual dehydration (a sinful life  lived without the Spirit) also leads to death. (Romans 8:6)
  • Water is involved in the physical process of thinking: the Spirit is also aware and involved in our thinking. (Psalm 139:23)
  • Water is in every cell of our body: the Spirit also needs to be in every part of our being. (1 Thessalonians 5:23)
  • Drinking liquids that are not pure water may seem thirst-quenching but can be detrimental to our health (ex. caffeine, alcohol actual cause our bodies to lose water): teachings that are not of the Spirit may seem true but actually lead us away from God. (1 John 4:1)
  • Water suppresses the appetite naturally: the Spirit reduces our appetite for sin. (Galatians 5:16)
  • Water is necessary for life: the Spirit brings life. (John 6:63)

When we are filled with the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of the living God – living water –  not only are our lives able to function the way that God designed, but that same living water will flow out of us and quench the spiritual dryness of others who thirst.

Filtering The Pool

We have an above ground pool in our back yard, nothing fancy, 4′ deep. It’s really there for my daughter, but you can guess who has do do all the work keeping it clean and clear. But don’t get me wrong: I enjoy skimming the pool in the evenings, after the sun has lowered for the day and the air is still and quiet. While cleaning out the pool last night , lost in thought, it occurred to me just how much our lives are like that pool. We are nothing – useless – unless filled with (living) water. Then and only then can we offer relief to those who are suffering.

Even our less-than-perfect pool can bring relief

But keeping that water pure and refreshing is a long-term project, just as is living a Christian life. The skimmer takes out the big things floating on top – our obvious sins – and the pool filter eventually filters out the finer particles – less glaring sins. Sometimes it takes quite a while for the water to circulate around enough to get to all of the impurities. The filter has to run daily, and often as one contaminate  is removed, another falls from the trees. It is a never-ending process: prayer, reading the Bible, fellowship with other Christians. Skimming, circulating, adding chemicals.

Sometimes I look at my pool and wish it was crystal clear, like the day it was first filled. That is my goal, to once again be pure. But for now, I continue daily  to filter out impurities and be thankful that my pool is full of water.

Kerplunk

So I was thinking this morning about how I need to get my faith from my head to my heart. I know a lot about God, about Christianity, Jesus, and a lot of other religious-type stuff, but what I lack is that deep-down know that I know that I KNOW conviction and passion. I’ve been trying to spend more time just being in God’s presence, listening for His voice in the Scriptures and in everyday life. This morning it occurred to me that I am sort of like the game Kerplunk (by Mattel).

The point of the game is to remove the sticks one at a time without letting the marbles fall, but inevitably they all fall KERPLUNK!

So the marbles are all the knowledge and stuff I’ve accumulated in my brain that’s stuck there – my intellectual knowledge of God. The sticks are the obstacles to getting that into my heart – unfortunately I don’t exactly know what they all are, or I could get rid of them all at once. Slowly, as I pray, read the Bible, meditate, listen to Him and to other Christians, very slowly I am removing the sticks. Occasionally a marble will drop and I feel just a little closer to God. I don’t know if one day a whole bunch of marbles will fall and I’ll suddenly “get it” or which stick might cause that to happen, I just know that every day I need to keep pulling out sticks.

First Things First

Genesis 1: In the beginning God created…

Yup, He sure did. I’m not here to discuss the validity of God’s creation vs evolution. If you’re reading this – and I assume you are – you likely believe in the same God that I do, the Creator. But was it 6 days or 6 eras? Were they actual 24-hour long days, or is the creation story just a story to allow our human brains to understand that God had a method to His creation?

Creationism vs evolution. Old Earth vs young Earth. Where do you stand on this issue? If the Bible is wrong about 6 literal days, what else is it wrong about? But which translation are you using? Might the original words have been interpreted in more than one way? But what about dinosaurs and carbon dating and the Grand Canyon? But if our God can do anything, isn’t He able to create something new that looks old?

Thousands – no millions – of words have been written, spoken and argued on this debate. I, myself, have been caught up in it, first believing the Bible literally, then reconsidering, then re-convinced – until I had so much evidence in my head from both sides that I thought I might have a big bang myself. I finally asked my pastor what he thought, and his advice let me release the pressure on my brain like the air from a balloon. He said that it is our duty as Christians to question and seek answers, to own our beliefs, not inherit them. (1 Peter 3:15) Yet at the same time, when we have a question that is not easily and unarguably resolved through scripture, we need to keep our focus on the truths we do know and not let our search for the details lead us away from our relationship with God. In this case, “In the beginning God created.”

Yup, He did.

If you want to explore both sides of the argument, here are some sites that can get you started.

(Thanks to Earthage.org for this list)

 Young  Earth  Creation

Old  Earth  Creation

101 Evidences

 Articles  on  the  Bible  and  Science

Creationwiki.org

Evidence for God from Science

Answers In Genesis

Creation, Evolution and Adam

Christian Answers.net

Faith and Reason Ministries

A Creation Perspective

Christianity and Evolution

Science Against Evolution

Old Earth Creationism 

Creation Evidence Museum

Theistic  Evolution.org

World by Design.org/CRSEF

Answers  in Creation

Northwest  Creation  Network

Reasons to Believe

The  Creation  Research  Society

Noble-Minded.org

The Institute for Creation Research

Christian Geology

Note: Some of the Organizations in the above Links even promote the belief that evolution played a significant role in how we got here: something that is Diametrically Opposed to the Teaching of Scripture and the laws of Nature and Science, and which robs God of the Glory that is due Him: Gen. 2:7, 17; Isa. 40:12-31; 42:8.  However, to allow the reader to make up his or her own mind, I am providing such Links nevertheless.


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