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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: River (08/31/06)

TITLE: Rivers, Streams, And Storm Clouds
By
09/03/06


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In the John 4 account of the conversation between our Lord and the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s Well, we read of living water that perpetually wells up in the heart of a believer. The event was evangelistic in nature and the Lord was using water figuratively to represent the presence and post salvation ministry of God the Holy Spirit in the bodies of born again believers (1Cor.3: 16).

The “we” of John 14: 23 NIV confirms that once an individual is born again by believing (John 3: 18) in the Person (who He is) and the Works (what He did on the cross) of the Lord Jesus Christ, all three members of the triune godhead indwell the bodies of the individual believers.

The ever presence of God, and especially the presence and post salvation ministry of God the Holy Spirit, assures us of our eternal security (Eph. 1: 13, 14).

Salvation, forever determining the location of where the saved individual will spend all of eternity, however, is only the beginning of the post salvation spiritual life here on Earth. The post salvation spiritual life begins at the moment of salvation and concludes when he is called Home as an individual, or when the Church is raptured (1Thess 4: 17) if he is among those who are physically alive.

Once saved, the individual believer is called to the life of discipleship in which he has the opportunity to bring maximum glory to God. The Greek biblical word for disciple is mathetes, which means to be technical student in a teacher-pupil relationship. In the spiritual realm, the teacher is God the Holy Spirit and the ONLY textbook is the Word of God.

In the natural realm, rising and overflowing water must go somewhere and takes the path of least resistance. In the spiritual realm, the quantity and the quality of the water flowing out of the believer can actually increase as it is confronted with resistance.

At the same time, God does not force anyone to be born again; nor does He force born again believers to enter into or remain in discipleship. The fact is that only a minority of each generation of Man is born again and only the minority of those born again believers enters into or remains in discipleship. Even secular history or a casual assessment of the Church confirms that the majority of born again believers become the Luke 8:14 type of believers.

This type of Christian does not lose his salvation, but loses many other eternal rewards and the privileges that go along with them for all of eternity (1Cor. 3: 12-15). Such believers usually are relatively moral and even “religious” individuals, but there is no production of divine good under the filling of God the Holy Spirit in their spiritual lives.

The perpetual source of water that we received at salvation will always provide for the sustaining of our salvation as the passage makes it clear that those who drink of it ONCE “will never thirst [be in need of that water] (John 4: 14 NIV)” again.

The purpose of our post salvation life here on earth is not to labor or to be “good” enough to retain our salvation, as salvation cannot be lost. The purpose of the post salvation has two objectives for the glory of God.

Objective number one is for the individual believer to spiritually mature by developing and applying “the mind of Christ (1Cor. 2: 16 NIV)” to the daily events and circumstances that God engineers. Objective number two is to develop his walk with God to the point where he can be used of God to minister to others (1Cor. 10: 24).

All spiritual activity and labor is the work of God the Holy Spirit who uses Spirit-filled (controlled) born again believers (John 15: 5).

In discipleship, the perpetual living water that continues to sustain the born again believer becomes the source of spiritual enlightenment when it overflows from our vessel to others.

The question that we must ask ourselves is what is the quality and quantity of the water flowing from us. Is the quality of the water coming from us consistent with the purity and simplicity of the Gospel Message or has it been contaminated with religion? Is the quantity like that of a raging river, a trickling stream, or is it like a heavy dark storm cloud on the horizon that impresses many, but produces nothing?


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Member Comments
Member Date
Valerie Routhieaux09/08/06
This is way too deep for me. I lost the sense of this almost immediately.
Cheryl Harrison 09/08/06
Although this writing is a bit heavier than what we normally see in the challenge, it is well crafted. It reads like a discipleship lesson or a sermon. The following grabbed my attention:

First: "In the natural realm, rising and overflowing water must go somewhere and takes the path of least resistance. In the spiritual realm, the quantity and the quality of the water flowing out of the believer can actually increase as it is confronted with resistance."

An interesting picture of how persecution can further the cause of Christ.

Second: "Is the quantity like that of a raging river, a trickling stream, or is it like a heavy dark storm cloud on the horizon that impresses many, but produces nothing?"

Good point. Still pondering it.

Thanks for writing. Blessings.