September 2, 2016

Live like a garden hose

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ ” (John 7:37–38)

The Lord God intends that His people be like garden hoses. He supplies the living water and we are the conduit by which that water flows through, unimpeded and ready to nourish others.

This image would not work if the water was impure, yet that is not a problem because that living water comes from our holy God. He is the source of all things good.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:17)

However, the image is ruined if the hose was plugged up with sin. Like sand in a garden hose, my overflow is not only hindered, but the water is sullied.

God’s plans for me to bless others can be spoiled or delayed by sin, but He knows what to do. He simply sends a blast of truth through the hose. The force of it clears the flow and restores whatever is needed so I can have a heart that is the vessel He intends.

Chambers has a few rich things to say regarding this principle. He noted that the living water is not particularly for my deliverance or “self realization.” Believing in Jesus is not about what I gain but what He pours through me. I could add up the gains and that would put the focus on me and my accomplishments. Instead, God has so arranged things that I cannot measure the living water or even be aware whether it is flowing or not. That water is not for me, but for others.

Mary of Bethany broke a box of precious ointment and poured it on Jesus’ head. She did not count the cost or the results, just poured out all she had for Him. I am also to abandon myself to Jesus with a heart that is willing to “spill out” for Him, just as He spilled out His life for me.

Chambers says that those who believe in Jesus and become sources of living water shall continually refresh the lives of hundreds of others. I can see that happening through many Christians. I cannot see it in myself. It is a good thing. The Lord knows what I would do with such knowledge — I would swell up with pride and quench the flow, and that sin of pride would immediately produce sand in the garden hose. 

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