Our Lord is beautiful and so are His ways. For the first time in a long time I have felt a tangible newness at the start of a new year. My heart was fixed upon Jesus the last few months of 2016 and I believe because of this I am able to see Him shaping and putting into place for 2017.
Unbeknown to me I had become stagnant. My heart had dared to stop believing in His promises. The promises that tell me He is doing a new thing (Isaiah 43:29); cleaned I could be a vessel for honourable use (2 Timothy 2:21).
I looked up the definition for stagnant and it said:
- not flowing or running, as water, air etc.
- stale or foul from standing, as a pool of water
These words are in complete contradiction to the word of God. The full verse of Isaiah 43:29 says ‘Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert’ and 2 Timothy 2:21 talks about being a vessel. Definitions of vessel include:
- a craft for travelling on water
- an airship
- a hollow or concave utensil….used for holding liquids or other contents
Both stagnant and vessel use the nouns ‘water’ and ‘air’ in very different ways. My (stagnant) feelings painted a picture without movement; a picture of lack and without purpose. In other words, I had told myself that death is the place where I am at and where I will stay. Yet His words, His precious promises, paint a truth so starkly different. They paint a collage of movement, of purpose and of life.
In John 4:10 Jesus says to the Samaritan woman, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water” and in John 7:37-38 He says to the people, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
Jesus is speaking life here; He is speaking of living because of Him. Stagnant is not found among the promises of Jesus, for stagnant is a lifeless disposition. In John 7:39 Jesus promises me, He promises us, His Holy Spirit. His truth seeps into the parched, empty places I had grown accustomed to, that I had incorrectly begun to identify myself with. For my new identity, the one I received when I repented and accepted Him as my Lord and Saviour, is in Him and His Holy Spirit lives with me and in me (John 14:15-17). I am holding onto this truth, living one day at a time (Lamentations 3:22-23) as He reveals, moulds and moves according to His will.
My OneWord for 2017 is TRY and I did not realise how fitting this word was until I began to write this post. Try means to make an effort, to attempt, and this requires me (commands me!) to be alive. Stagnant is put to death when you try.
“I didn’t know my story, filled with Grace and filled with Glory, ‘til I felt Your heart before me…”
–Steffany Gretzinger & Amanda Cook (Hello My Heart)