|the living water, the consuming fire
i’ve been a little discouraged this week.
i’ve been a little discouraged because we leave for spain in two and a half weeks and i haven’t raised all the money i need yet.
linny wrote in this post that when the israelites would come to know a different aspect of God’s character, they would immortalize that in a new name (ie. Jehovah Jireh), and that she and her husband came to know God as Jehovah of the Last Second. it was right around the time i announced that i was going to spain, and i thought, i know we only have a month and a half to raise all this money, and i know God worked a miracle for me with the last mission trip, but i really do not want to meet God of the Last Second this time around.
ahem. one ought not to pray such prayers, yes?
so i was feeling discouraged this week, and wednesday i was at biggby with a particularly sinking feeling and i thought, i just want some coffee. and then i was arguing with myself over it because i wasn’t really in a position to spend $5 on a latte, but i really wanted one, so i bought it anyway.
the first sip calmed me down.
not in a “yum, coffee, i needed this” way, but more in a “God is faithful to provide, even for this small thing” kind of way. in a “taste and see that the Lord is good” kind of way. and i wasn’t seeing it terribly well, so i guess He figured i ought to taste it instead.
i walked outside into blazing heat – it was almost 100 wednesday, which isn’t terribly hotter than it’s been the past few weeks, but still the hottest it’s been so far – and it was relief, there, too, a soft, sweet reminder that the enticing but damning flames of hellfire that seek to ensnare us are held away from harming us but by the sweet, soft whisper of the Lord.
and i began to wonder if revelation 3:16 lent itself to a different meaning that just being spat out of God’s mouth for being lukewarm.
i wonder if it means something like: when the world hates you, as it will, when it shoots angry words and burns with fury to persecute you and Who you represent, carry the living water and hand it out liberally.
& i wonder if it means something like: when the world turns cold against you, utters icy barbs and turns numb to all that’s good, heap burning coals on its head, burning coals of the consuming fire that hands down us an unshakeable kingdom.
in both those ways, we fulfill the great commission: that as we are going, we disciple. we nudge everyone we meet a little closer to Christ. this may not mean they meet Christ at the point at which you touch their lives. this only means, as one of the missionaries, with whom we’re going to work in spain, said, “if they’re at step seven when you meet them, and at step nine at the end, [you’ve] still discipled them.”
all while the world throws lies your way.
it tells you to pursue everything but Christ. pursue wealth. pursue status. pursue fame. pursue popularity. pursue a designer wardrobe. pursue straight As. pursue relationship.
and we grow cold against the God we claims as ours, turn numb to all that’s good.
next week, annie and erin and nicole and i would like to light you back afire. we know that sometimes we lose ourselves in being married or breaking up or dating or being single, and we want to remind you it doesn’t have to be that way.
so we’re delving deep into what we know – which, granted, isn’t much, but by God’s grace, it’s something – about being married (annie), breaking up and readjusting to singleness (erin), dating (nicole), and being single (me), and pursuing Christ in the midst of that. & we’re taking those small offerings and turning it into this:
monday, june 25: singleness, by annie of what she saw
tuesday, june 26: dating, by nicole of bloom
wednesday, june 27: breaking up/readjusting to singleness, by erin of sweetness itself
thursday, june 28: marriage, by annie of turning pages
in these posts we’re going to attempt to answer one simple question: how do we pursue Christ in the midst of these stages?
we realize we don’t know all the answers to this questions, that we could seek earth for eternity and never find them all. but we know that your experiences will broaden our own responses, so as the conclusion to this series, we want to ask you, too, to open and share how you pursue Christ in the midst of whatever relationship stage you’re in.
we want you not only to share, but to link up with us on friday, june 29. the linkup will be on all four of our blogs; you’ll only need to add your link on one of them, and it’ll show up on all four.
the four of us are excited to see how God sets us all afire for His glory through this series. we’re praying over the words we write, over you as you read them. and we believe firmly that as you seek Him, He will pour Himself into you, and you will be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God, the living water, the consuming fire.
we believe, as you pursue the love stronger than death, you will be set ablaze.