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Swamp or Stream?


swamp

Our new President, Donald Trump has talked about “draining the swamp” in Washington, which makes me ask “What’s wrong with having a swamp?”  Here are some of the negatives about swamps.  Swamps and other wetlands have traditionally held a very low property value compared to fields, prairies, or woodlands. They have a reputation for being unproductive land that cannot easily be utilized for human activities, other than perhaps hunting and trapping. Farmers, for example, typically drained swamps next to their fields so as to gain more land usable for planting crops.(info from Wikipedia).   In the earth’s eco system swamps are productive for fostering many number of fish and tree species.  So, stuff grows in a swamp, but it just stays in the swamp.  Don’t be a swamp!!!  Remember, alligators and many other poisonous snakes live in swamps and they are happy there.  You shouldn’t be!!

stream

Streams have great and wonderful characteristics as listed here. Streams are important as conduits in the water cycle, instruments in groundwater recharge, and corridors for fish and wildlife migration. (info from Wikipedia). In particular a stream is something that is moving and refreshing itself again and again over a period of time.  In relation to our spiritual life a stream would represent us in a growing, thriving relationship with Jesus Christ.  A swamp, on the other hand, represents a stagnant, lifeless walk that is just content with what happened in the past and represents believers who live off of their past accomplishments with no new ones in sight.  As people of God, who walk with God, every day is a new fresh start for growth and service.  As we grow older we come to realize more and more how God works and that wisdom gives us a fresh approach to life.    So the older we get, the more we embrace change right?  Not so fast my friend.  We are in a time now where the old, outdated ways of doing things in the past have become swamplike because we have not kept current in our walk and work with God.  The good thing about realizing that we have become that way is ‘we can change.”  The bad part about it is this has caused some knee jerk reactions by some, and some methods that are temporal, have crept into the ministry model we should follow and they are actually just doing change for the “sake of change” and that is not good.  What makes change good and right?   Change that is based on God’s Word and the direction led by the Holy Spirit.  Just coming up with a good idea is not enough to initiate change in ministry.  it has to come about through a God infused burden, that is prayed over and purposed from God’s word.  Here is a natural progression of good change.

  1.  Identify the present way of doing things is ineffective and stagnant.

  2. Realize that God has to be the focus of what we do.

  3. Pray to God for a vision for change.  Here is how this looks in 2 Chronicles 7:14 and My people [a]who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

  4. Be willing for God to make changes in my perspective and attitude.

  5. Recommit and accept this new way of thinking.

  6. MOVE

Change is a scary thing for some people, and a welcomed action for others.  We have preconceived notions about how things should be done and changing that upsets our reality.  But God is a reality changer and we can look at the attitudes of the religious leaders and their reaction to Jesus when He shook things up.  They missed Jesus because they would not accept change.  May we never miss Jesus when He is trying to change things for the best.

The Prophet Isaiah tried his best to get the people of his day to receive the Word of the Lord and change.  In Isaiah 43:19 he said this “Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.  God was going to take the swamp they had made and refresh them with new water that was going to spill over and make rivers in the desert.  Talk about impossible!!  Rivers in the desert?   If you will just let God do some house cleaning in your life and ask Him to give you a spirit of receptivity what my seem impossible and improbable to you will become a reality.  Just like rivers in the desert…  The God-sized change that needs to take place NOW is impossible without God leading the charge as Jesus said in Mark 10:27 Looking at them, Jesus *said, “With people it is impossible. but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”

I know change is possible and I know change is good, so drain your swamp and let God’s rivers of living water flow again as you approach your daily life and just see how God directs your paths.  It will probably be toward something that is new and exciting.  SWAMP OR STREAM?  I’m going with STREAM!!!

The Pilgrimage continues…..

David Warren

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