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Faith Imagined: Insecure Water

Faith Imagined

Alisa Hope Wagner: Christian Writer

June 27, 2011

Insecure Water

Lately, I've been talking about Jesus and faith to people who know very little about Christianity. They live in the deserts where Living Water is scarce. I try to relate to them and honor their strengths. I humble myself and learn from their expertise, but I do drop little nuggets of truth into our conversations.

However, I feel clumsy. I try to communicate the amazing attributes of God and illustrate my personal relationship with Him, but it seems that my words get muddied up in the desert sand. There is a well-spring of pure Living Water in me, but once it pours out of my lips and life, I have no control over its movement and purity. I watch as the Living Water gets tainted and misunderstood as it travels through the minds and lives of people who don't recognize and respond to it. I wonder if I'm not communicating effectively enough.

I prayed about sharing my faith this morning with God. I told Him about my insecurity because I don't feel like I'm doing a good job. If I could express the beauty of the Living Water more effectively, others would see what I see and drink deeply from its healing properties; instead they mock my words and refuse to taste from the drink I offer them.

I opened the Bible and God gave me Ezekiel 47. In these verses, Ezekiel is taken to the Temple, and he watches as water pours from its doors. The water flows from the Temple through the desert and into the Dead Sea. I imagined as the pure water from the Temple gathered debris, sand and dirt along its path. When it finally gets to the Dead Sea, the water is probably undrinkable. The Dead Sea itself is already so ruined that it cannot provide an environment to sustain life.

To my eyes, it seems that the Living Water has no hope. The purity that once existed has entered into the heart of the Dead Sea where life cannot exist. But a miracle happens. The water is healed!

"Then he said to me, These waters pour out toward the eastern region and go down into the Arabah (the Jordan Valley) and on into the Dead Sea. And when they shall enter into the sea [the sea of putrid waters], the waters shall be healed and made fresh" (Ezekiel 47.8 AMP).

God taught me something amazing! I am His temple, and His Living Water pours from me into the desert. Once the water flows from me, I have to trust that God is in control of its movements. Because of God's grace, He allows His Son, Jesus, to gather the sins of humanity, so He can reach into our dead hearts with His love. Once He is able to penetrate our spirit, a miracle occurs: we are healed!

The Living Water brings to life what was dead, and an environment for growth begins! Therefore, I can't worry about what happens when I speak truth, I just need to continue to pour forth the Living Water living inside my temple and trust God with the rest.

"And wherever the double river shall go, every living creature which swarms shall live. And there shall be a very great number of fish, because these waters go there that [the waters of the sea] may be healed and made fresh; and everything shall live wherever the river goes" (Ezekiel 47.9 AMP).

"And on the banks of the river on both its sides, there shall grow all kinds of trees for food; their leaf shall not fade nor shall their fruit fail [to meet the demand]. Each tree shall bring forth new fruit every month, [these supernatural qualities being] because their waters came from out of the sanctuary. And their fruit shall be for food and their leaves for healing" (Ezekiel 47.12 AMP).

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Blogger Amie Borst said...

thanks for this post. it's amazing what we can learn from the lord. he is in ultimate control, of everything. when we place our trust in him, he will take care of the rest!

11:10 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Praying GOD will continue to speak through us and we will be sensitive to HIS lead!

11:38 AM  
Blogger Sharon said...

This was beautiful. And I especially love when God gives a good *word* from the Old Testament. The Bible is God's LIVING Word - and it refreshes.

I have one person in my life (a very close person) who is not a believer. I can't tell you how discouraged I've been over the last 8 years, trying to exemplify, explain, exhort - pick any verb at all - what it means to be a believer. I've tried philosophical approaches, nature approaches, heart approaches - you name it. I've become so discouraged that I hardly even pray for this person's salvation anymore (how bad is that??) I have asked others to have the faith for it that I don't.

I was greatly encouraged by the words you shared - yours and those from Ezekiel. I will ask that the Living Water does a little refreshing in my own heart, and that the Lord will continue to use it in the life of my person.


2:27 PM  
Blogger Kim @ Stuff could... said...

This thought touched me as I question myself all the time. Once the water flows from me, I have to trust that God controls its movement in the dessert....Thank you for this

3:33 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

This is something I've been struggling with myself lately. Thank you for sharing the wisdom God gave you.

5:52 PM  
Blogger Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Alisa -

Wow! Are we on the same page!

The whole subject of water has been on my mind regarding my writing. Thanks for your wisdom.

Susan :)

8:03 PM  
Blogger Karen Lange said...

What wonderful and encouraging words! I like that this idea takes the pressure off; it is He who does it and not us. For me, this is such a good thing. :)

11:42 PM  
Blogger Andie said...

I'm sure that you are wonderful and reaching these people in ways that you can't see. Your sincerity and humility is genuine and this is the best teacher of all.

7:27 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

I know just what you mean, Alisa, when you said, "I feel clumsy. I try to communicate the amazing attributes of God and illustrate my personal relationship with Him, but it seems that my words get muddied up in the desert sand." My daughter-in-law is from China and does not know Jesus. She asks questions from time to time, but I always feel like my answers are inadequate. I just have to trust that God can make sense of it for her. Thanks for the inspiring post.

8:21 AM  
Anonymous Margo (LittleWomen21) said...

Wonderful verses from Ezekial. I know what you mean about feeling like whenever I try to share the truth, it comes out muddled. So lately I have been memorizing specific scriptures to share instead of my own words. Matt 9:11-12 is one and John 7:17 are the ones I've started with. But you are so right, no matter what ends up coming out of our mouths - if we speak with the intention of sharing the wonderful grace God has given us I feel sure the Lord will use it somehow. We speak, He does the rest.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Joan said...

I also feel as if I stuble when sharing my faith...don't have the right words...etc.

Thank you for this encouraging post.


2:53 PM  
Blogger Patti Hanan said...

This post brought great encouragement to me. His living water has supernatural power to restore what is dead and broken. And how encouraging to know that his work does not depend on our efforts, he does the work through us. Thank you for the encouragement.

3:02 PM  
Blogger Shauna Renee' said...

I find it hard that your words are ever clumsy, Alisa; your writing shines with the truth of His word. But I take comfort from your post; I also feel that my words are falling in a desert; but with God's help, they can take root and flower, if the person hearing will allow it. We cannot control the choices of others, nor does He ask us to--He just wants us to share His truth and He will do the rest.

Very well written, Alisa--and definitely NOT clumsy, my friend!

6:23 PM  
Anonymous Ginger said...

That is one encouraging word!!

7:18 PM  
Blogger Ron and Jennie Dugan said...

Thanks, Alissa. Very timely for me.

6:46 AM  
Blogger The Unknowngnome said...

Alisa, you're like the salt of the earth, "when it rains, it pours". Let the waters flow.

8:25 AM  
Blogger Tyrean Martinson said...

Wonderful, encouraging post! Thank you!

9:20 AM  
Blogger K.M. Weiland said...

I've always liked Steven Curtis Chapman's song "Speechless," in which he talks about how explaining or describing God is a task for which we haven't big enough words. I take comfort in knowing that if God can give Balaam's donkey words to make a difference, He can certainly supply to them to me as well. Good post, Alisa!

11:14 AM  
Blogger Beth in NC said...

I often relate to Moses when I think of speaking in front of others, "I can't speak Lord ..." then I think of my lack of faith. If God can make a donkey talk, surely He can use those of us who love Him and are willing.

I'm sure His wonderful Living Water bubbles forth in a lovely way through your life and touches many.

Bless you!

9:12 PM  
Blogger Michael Manning said...

An interesting post. I tend to be a private person with my faith but try to allow my actions to lead by example, particularly in matters of the heart. But that is simply how I serve. I encourage you to continue sharing as you do and to celebrate the unique person God has made you! : )

2:40 AM  
Blogger Alene said...

I love the Living Water. So pure and refreshing. I love being around you because that Living Water spills out of you and on to me. love ya

10:33 AM  
Blogger Warren Baldwin said...

Your opening line caught me. I was just studying this morning about how ministry needs to change from how it was practiced from the 1950s into the '90s, and is still practiced in many respects. Ministry was "for" the church. And we have declining churches all over. We are no longer a "churched" culture. Today, ministry must reach outward. Ministers and members must change their (our) focus.

Think of the first century. The Pharisees were the preachers who ministered within and among the chosen. And they lost sight of their mission - to be lights to those in darkness. Then, Jesus came, and his ministry was one of light to the darkness, and people flocked to him.

So, I encourage you as you reach out to those who do not know Christ. And your article encourages us. Great post.

11:08 AM  
Anonymous tiffany @ tea w tiffany said...

Beautiful writing from a heart after Him. Thank you for using your gift. I too struggle communicating clearly to others about my Source of strength. May God bless you as you share His living waters.

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Marsha Young said...

...and everything shall live where the river flows - thank God from whom all blessings flow.

Bless you for sharing your faith.

5:02 PM  
Blogger Bernadine said...

Thank for for this encouraging post Alisa. I too feel as if I drop the ball at times when I'm sharing my faith. However, I'm grateful that God doesn't place the burden of how people respond on our shoulders He simply wants us to share from our hearts.

Hope you're enjoying your weekend.

8:49 PM  

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