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Holy Spirit

the tub pic

The Power of Water

My father-in-law has been going up to his ranch in the country since he was in his mother’s womb, which is over 75 years.  His Dad was an outdoorsman and loved hunting and this passion carried on to his two sons, Joe and Jim.  The two of them had 5 daughters between them but no sons.  I am not an outdoorsman but I am growing to love the wilderness, where so many amazing things happened in the Bible.  I find the wilderness a great place to be with God.

One time during a trip to Joe’s ranch, I was introduced to the “tub” which is an actual tub you might see in an old historic house’s bathroom.  Joe and Jim have the tub set up in a meadow to supply water for wildlife that might visit it…usually deer but sometimes bears as well.  The tub is connected to a natural spring that produces fresh water that you can drink, which Joe and Jim drink from whenever they are up there.

Jim rigged some PVC piping into the hill to tap into the spring and a fresh clean stream of water comes out into the tub. It’s basically a pipe within a pipe.  Over time, sediment in the water begins to pile up in the inner pipe or between the two pipes.  Most every time Joe or Jim travel up to the ranch, they have to perform the task of clearing out the pipes, getting rid of any dirt that has gotten in.  The dirt ends up in the tub.  Though a rigorous pulling and pushing of the inner pipe can take some time to clear the dirt, once it is complete, more clean fresh water comes down into the tub.  Only if the pipe isn’t cleaned or the water stops flowing does the dirt remain in the tub water.  Amazingly, the continuous flowing of the water, over time, cleans out any dirt that has gotten into the tub.

When I first went to the tub, the water was crystal clear, no dirt.  I asked Joe the last time he performed this “pulling/pushing” task and he said a few weeks ago.  He said that even though dirt had gotten in the pipes and goes into the tub, the tub stays clean through the water coming into the tub. I found this fascinating. It appears that the constant water dripping into the tub somehow cleans all of the dirt out of the tub over time.

I believe the Holy Spirit introduced me to the tub to teach me something.  The tub represents our hearts, being open to the dirt and the water. The dirt represents the sin that comes into our hearts,  the pulling/pushing of the world’s agenda (actually Satan’s agenda) onto me…like magazines at the checkout stands, billboards off of the freeway telling me it is heaven to own a Porsche, etc.  Yet just as the continuous dripping of water into the tub makes it clean, over time, so too can “water” in our own lives make us clean as well, if we allow it.  I think of the water representing the reading of the Bible, being still before God, fasting, living out what the Bible says for our lives, memorizing scripture, having an open heart and allowing the Holy Spirit to live, every day, in our lives and to take over our hearts.  The dirt in the tub could do nothing against the power of the water… nothing.  The dirt comes into the tub, and the only thing that could continue to make the tub’s water dirty is if the water is cut off.  This can easily happen in our lives if we quench the power of the the Holy Spirit.  “Do not quench the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19).  In a similar way, if we cut off the Holy Spirit working in our hearts, we cannot expect the results to be the same as when we are allowing the Holy Spirit to flow into our hearts and give us the ability to obey Him.

I pray that I can allow the satisfying waters of the Holy Spirit to saturate my life and my soul.

What are you doing to allow the Holy Spirit to saturate your life and soul?

intrainig

Training

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it”  (Proverbs 22:6)

I got more serious about my faith after I met a girl named Nicole. Not because she was Christian, but because I knew, deep down, that my faith was not where it needed to be. For us to have a great life together Christ was going to have to be at the center of it.

While my faith was stronger, I was still deceived ten years later after my son Luke was born.  I was  working long hours and gaining new business, but this short term success was causing fights between my wife and me. My most important relationships grew weaker—with God, with Nicole and with Luke.

I was doing my part and more, not trusting God to do His part, and going against His word. (Matthew 6:25-34)

I was worried about providing for Nicole and Luke.  It was 2010/2011 and I was running a small, young financial planning company.  I would leave at 5am to workout with the boys at the country club who did not know Jesus but who I thought might be good potential clients or connectors. I’d return home around 6-7pm, never thinking that my primary focus should be to seek first the Kingdom of God, to have Him transform my life. I certainly wasn’t thinking about being around to live it out in front of Nicole and Luke so I could be a Godly example for my family.

I was headed for disaster and did not even know it.

I continued to buy the lie that my life was awesome, that I was working towards the abundant life. I was confusing mediocrity for awesomeness. The enemy is the greatest of confusers.

I began to read the Bible and pray more, to fast, to talk to mentors who truly loved me and wanted nothing from me—only something for me—and then I began to see time and life differently.

I looked down into my son’s dark chocolate eyes and I saw someone who really needed my help.  He would look up to me, arms outstretched, and in my soul I heard him say, “Daddy, help me, I need you. You are the one God created to teach me what I need to know.  Don’t blow it. You have one chance to pour into me, because I am empty now.  Soon I will be full, and it will be too late for you to do your job of training me properly. Don’t buy into the lies that so many other Dads have bought into. Trust that God will take care of you, me, and mom—you just need to do your part, not His.  Know that the only inheritance I need and want is right here and right now with you, and the money will hurt me if I don’t have wisdom. Don’t focus on the Joneses—focus on the Savior who was brutally murdered so you and I could live.”

God has to properly train me before I can properly train Luke. This training takes time and it takes saying no to some very good things, but as we know from Jim Collins, “good is the enemy of great.”

It is going to take God transforming my life into that which I want Luke’s to become. How can I do this if I am climbing the corporate ladder and too busy chasing the things of this world? My legacy sleeps in the same house I do, and what I pour into him he will pour into his kids, and so on.

How can we encourage one another to be trained by God until the day we die?