Mark Affleck

Have You Ever Heard The River Whisperer Speak?

April 15, 2017
Spiritual Growth

I’ve always loved rivers!
I love the rivers that snake across the globe and continually gain personal strength from the incredible metaphor they provide for my life.  Rivers are indeed powerful and majestic creatures capable of teaching us myriad lessons. No wonder this word shows up so many times in the Bible.
The most compelling “river lesson” for me came as I was traveling through Northern California’s beautiful mountain country on a road that ran alongside a roaring and magnificent river. As I made my way across the breathtaking terrain, I noticed that trees positioned on the river’s edge were shooting toward the heavens. They were lush, verdant, and shimmering with each glint of sunlight that landed on their broad shoulders. As the road began to veer away from the life-giving water, the landscape began a dramatic color change from green to brown. The trees were less plentiful. They were smaller. And they were much less healthy. When my journey left the river behind, the only thing I could see was a barren and brown moonscape.
It is the same thing in our spiritual lives; the farther we get away from God’s Word, the more parched we become. Conversely, when we sink our roots deep down into God’s Word on a regular basis, we receive a continual stream of wisdom and nourishment from his river of life.
“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.” Psalm 1:1-3
Are your roots soaking in the nourishment of God’s flowing water of wisdom? What one step could you take today that would move you closer to his nourishment.
We need to ask God for his help in drawing us closer to him and his Word so we can be rooted deeply in the Lord’s presence. Help us to commit each day to nourishing ourselves from your spiritual water that gives us true life and breath. May we grow increasingly in our knowledge of you, Lord.
Have you ever felt guilty for not spending as much time with God as you, and he, would like? Of course. We all have…and do.
All too often that feeling has us taking some kind of figurative or literal “God Time Test” to see how we’re measuring up in this regard.
Don’t get me wrong, taking stock in this way is a great idea. But believe it or not, the answers to this “God Connection” question have less to do with quantity and almost everything to do with heart. Our heart.
It would be too easy—and wrong—to focus only on the minutes and hours and activities we spend on “God things” like reading and studying God’s Word, fellowship, ministry and service, prayer…you name it.
No matter how we come out on that evaluation, God is looking at our degree of surrender, our obedience, and our level of commitment to follow him with everything we’ve got.

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