We who have been redeemed can choose one of two kinds of lives to live here. We can enjoy a life of continual vitality, or we can live in an arid wasteland. The prophet Jeremiah begged Israel to choose life, asking the question, “Why will ye die?”
And this exhortation I am continually burdened to share with my sisters and brothers in Christ as I watch what seems like so many of them just go through the motions without the joy, wonder , confidence, and stillness which are characteristics of the abundant, abandoned life Christ came to give us.
You, my God, are not miserly but extravagant in Your gifts. David records in Psalm 78 that after Moses struck the rock, the waters gushed out – so much water from a rock that all Israel could drink to their fill! You want to take me, a poor, lifeless, and enervated rock, utterly incapable of generating vitality of any sort; and from within, You want rivers of living water to pour forth. You purpose: that others will see and be amazed at Your life forces which are unmistakable within me. Then these will affect them: assuaging their thirsts for the things of God, helping them to trust You better themselves, perhaps answering their questions, refreshing their spirits, and giving them fresh courage and fire. You want me to enjoy a life of such spiritual reality and fruit that it gushes from within me toward all who come my way. This is what we as Your own blood-procured ones are to do for one another: manifest and share Your extravagant and good gifts.
Rather than breaking His legs because He was already dead, the soldier shoved his lance up under the left ribs of the Lamb of God, and “there poured out blood and water.” His broken heart, drained to the last, giving every drop for me. That final gush of His life-blood, given altogether and wholly for Love’s sake, was not spilt so that I might live with a stunning vitality and richness that would radiate from my heart: broken, contrite, and hidden with Christ in God. His wounding, bruising, and chastisement were not so that I could live a wavering, vacillating shadow of a life, ever halting between two opinions; but so that I would live a life of ongoing, resounding victory as my Called Alongside One changes me from glory to glory through the fountains of grace which are continually flowing from Your loving heart over my own.
But as Israel, Your born-ones can forsake the “fountain of living waters,” and we can make instead our own “broken cisterns that can hold no water.” What a horror! That I would, by my wretched life, deny the all-consuming grace of my Maker and Master and present to my fellow pilgrims, as well as those who have never believed, a life that “fails of the grace of God” and propose for their worship a god who cannot nurture and enable those who call him “Father.” Better it were to be drowned in the sea than to be such a stumbling block to anyone.
What is the remedy? How to shun such serious sin? “Come to me” is the invitation from the crucified One who rose from the dead and now sits at the hand of God. “Come unto me, and drink,” “take the water of life freely.” But how? There is no literal fountain for me any more; there is no rock where I can take my jug for filling. How can I assuage my thirst and refresh my fainting, wicked heart? I want to live richly and “abundantly” as the Lord Jesus declared! My soul cries for want of Your water; how to receive it?
So simply is the exchange made that we can easily overlook the remedy. These words of the Savior:
“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”
What exquisite, incomprehensible, but simple reality. I choose life: I choose obedience, and God opens His heart in flooding fountains of grace and glory, showing me Himself, revealing to me His heart, assuring me of His love. So simple: I bend my neck and submit to my Beloved, whom I love before all and beside none, and H e releases those fountains of grace and power; He does all the rest.
Written by an anonymous writer. This article was published in the Summer 2007 edition of The Beautiful Spirit magazine.
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