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The Keeper of the Spring

2 Timothy 4:3 – “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires. “ Are your ears easily tickled?  I hope not!!

Ears tickled means being tantalized.  Tantalized (def) – Torment or tease with the sight or promise of something that is unobtainable.  The promises of a lost and dying world are weak at best, but very appealing to those whose eyes have lost their true focus.  The writer of Hebrews wrote these words that have to be heeded and followed, Hebrews 1:2 “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  

I believe we are in the Laodecian church age and the condition of apathy is gaining more and more ground in the Lord’s church and among His people.  The warning for Timothy, and us, by the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 4:3 is very real today as we see people who have been saved and regenerated turning a deaf ear to the call of Jesus Christ.  We are in such a poor position right now and the time has come when those who call the name of Jesus are falling away from their faith.  The process looks a lot like this:

1.  A generation quits teaching the truth of God’s call and what it means and the book of assumptions is taught instead of the Word of God.  That ole dead rhetoric is causing a drifting as we take our eyes off the horizon and quit looking for Jesus to return.

2. The following generations inherit the teachings of watered down theology and the drifting continues to the point that those believers are now serving the enemy, satan.

3. The uproar of weak theology and me-centered teaching has taken it’s toil and all the excuses in the world cannot right the ship to the Lord’s course.

4. The lazy condition completes it’s process and once vibrant Christian Faith is replaced with a new  “me first” faith that makes the person their own god in their mind and the teachings of scriptural truths are substituted with scriptural half truths.

5.  The eyes that should be focused on Jesus are now focused on ourselves and we look to  the world for answers to our unhappiness, when deep down inside the Holy Spirit is telling us we need to change or repent.

6.  The cold, dark shadow of apathy has covered the land and all it’s inhabitants and the vibrant, enlightened church is now dark and barely breathing.

7.  Change is needed, but the darkness is now so great even those who are faithful are falling away and defeat has become the norm.

I am not painting a very good picture here am I?   No, I am not.  But, it may be a reality picture if we just look deep enough to see it.  This is no “chicken little” false alarm.  It is the reality of the changing of hearts from serving God to avoiding God.  Where did it all start and where did it all go wrong?  Ears were tickled.  Mistakes were made.  God’s Word was put on the shelf.  The late Peter Marshall tells a story of the Keeper of the Spring. Please read.

The old gentleman had been hired many years earlier by a young town councilman to clear away the debris from the pools of water up in the mountain crevices that fed the lovely spring flowing through their town. With faithful, silent regularity, he patrolled the hills, removed the leaves and branches, and wiped away the silt that would otherwise have choked and contaminated the fresh flow of water. The village soon became a popular attraction for vacationers. Graceful swans floated along the crystal clear spring, the mill wheels of various businesses located near the water turned day and night, farmlands were naturally irrigated, and the view from restaurants was picturesque beyond description. Years passed. One evening the town council met for its semiannual meeting. As they reviewed the budget, one man’s eye caught the salary figure being paid the obscure keeper of the spring. Said the keeper of the purse, “Who is the old man? Why do we keep him on year after year? No one ever sees him. For all we know, the strange ranger of the hills is doing us no good. He isn’t necessary any longer.” By a unanimous vote, they dispensed with the old man’s services. For several weeks, nothing changed. By early autumn, the trees began to shed their leaves. Small branches snapped off and fell into the pools, hindering the rushing flow of sparkling water. One afternoon someone noticed a slight yellowish-brown tint in the spring. A few days later, the water was much darker. Within another week, a slimy film covered sections of the water along the banks, and a foul odor was soon detected. The mill wheels moved more slowly, some finally ground to a halt. Swans left, as did the tourists. Clammy fingers of disease and sickness reached deeply into the village. Quickly, the embarrassed council called a special meeting. Realizing their gross error in judgment, they rehired the old keeper of the spring, and within a few weeks, the veritable river of life began to clear up. The wheels started to turn, and new life returned to the hamlet in the Alps. 

Who is our keeper of the spring?  You are!  I am!!  The trick of this whole thing is to make us believe we have no worth in the cause of Christ.  But we do.  If we don’t guard our hearts against the teaching that has become the norm in the modern day Christian church, then we are feeding and worsening the problem.  It is time for all believers to take a stand for the Word of God and for the gospel of Jesus Christ as never before.  It is time to fight the darkening skies of apathy with sold out commitment to Christ and His Message.  It is time to come back to our first love, Jesus Christ, and once again stand with Him in a lost and dying world.  You may think you are not needed or necessary, but you are the “keeper of the spring” and it is vital for each of us to recapture our first love and once again fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith!!!  Our relationship with Jesus is the spring.

You may ask, “what can I do?”  The first thing we must do is “repent.”  If you hate hearing the word it means you are further into this apathetic condition than you might have realized.  It means you have become a part of the problem, but now it is time to become part of the solution.  Be real to yourself and before your God as never before and He will heal your disobedient heart.  This new heart will be a threat to what is happening and you will face opposition, but it won’t be from God.  In Proverbs 4:23 the Word of God says, “above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”  When you take this stand and  repent you need to put a guard on  your heart to keep you from drifting again and then go forward shining like a light to all who see you.  In Revelation 2:4 it says, “But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.”  God is not happy with what is going on and we need to found serving Him and Him alone during these troublesome times.  Time to rise up O church of God!!

Isaiah wrote in chapter 60 verse 1 and 2 “Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.  For behold the darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples; But the Lord will rise upon you and His glory will appear upon  you.”  It’s time for a glorified Zion to arise and be seen once again in the middle of this perverse generation.  It may only be a remnant, but a remnant with God’s power is enough.  We are the “keeper of the spring” and God wants to use us for His glory, but we must change and line up with His will and His way.

Paul wrote in the book of Romans 13:12 “The night is far gone; the day is at hand.  So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.”  

Time for the army of God to fight the good fight once again and stand in the gap with Jesus Christ, our sustainer, our Lord.  Today is the day to fight!!!

The Pilgrimage continues…

David Warren

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