♣ Hindrance or Beneficence?

rivers of living water

“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.’” – John 7:38

MANY OF US don’t often see that not only do we ourselves suffer in our obstinacy, but we actually prevent others we come in contact with from being spiritually nourished. How many times have we been in predicaments when someone has come to us in dire need and we have been in an unfit condition to minister because of a persistence to walk in our own ways? We may give all the time of day to help that person but come to find, to our dismay, that we hadn’t the resources to bring light in their perplexity. Instead, we have been more like Job’s ‘comforters’ – a hindrance rather than a beneficence. There have been other times, when conscious of being in the will of God, that we have been instrumentally used by God’s Spirit to touch the depths – and often times without our knowing – of another person’s most desperate need. Do we believe that when we trust in God – through obedience – He pours His life through us to touch other lives? “…out of our innermost being will flow rivers of living water.”? That isn’t just for ourselves; when we are blessed it inevitably runs over to benefit other lives as well.

Such stubbornness is a refusal to quit living selfishly or to justify a partial separation from sin. We have often heard that our sin affects others, not just ourselves – and this is exactly how it works. It is not only bringing conscious hurt to another but also unconsciously and some of the greatest crimes are those we defraud, unbeknown to them, while God all along holds us responsible.

Of course, God is the only One Who can heal and restore a person’s life, but at the same time, some would do well to study the body of Christ in that God ministers through His people. God can do it without us – and He does – but He has willed and ordained to shine Hislight in the world through the Church and that Christ’s body be built up together. We are all unique personalities but mystically blended into one body; when one suffers, all suffer; when one rejoices, we all rejoice. It is God’s will that we are knit so closely together. When anyone sinned in the camp of Israel, it had to be purged from among the people, otherwise everyone suffered and it is the same throughout the Church-age; if sin is not brought to light and the measure of discipline is not exercised, the whole body suffers – the innocent as well as the guilty.

Moses chose to suffer with his people rather than enjoy the passing pleasures of sin; he saw the eternal and knew that the Better was to replace the temporary. By faith he saw the reward of righteousness. What fruit do we get when we live unto ourselves? Nothing but misery and death (Romans 6:21). Paul knew the spiritual secret that it is more blessed to give than to receive and the reward is seeing the joyful countenance of those whom we positively affect.

Rather than squander our time and energy on ourselves and sin, let us be with God, worship Him and be a channel of His rich blessing to others around us.

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Posted on August 27, 2013, in ♣ Devotional and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hindrance or Beneficence ?
    Wise thought Brother Mark. We need to ask ourselves this question continually. Sometimes we can try so hard to help someone through a trial, at a time when we are unfit and unprepared for the task. I had a young man quote those words from Job 16:2″ miserable comforters are ye all.” after spending a couple of hours trying to comfort him in the midst of his trial. Never had I heard a truer statement than at that very moment. I knew it was God speaking to me and at the same time I could see those words as a tender, loving rebuke from One that loves His Elect above and beyond what we are capable of fully understanding. The following verse, also from Job, came to my mind, and let us always, in all circumstances cling to them with all that is within us.
    Job 13:15 Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him:
    Two rivers of living water burst forth that day after a season of prayer, I was restored by my confession, by God’s Grace, and the young man was also granted the peace and comfort that he came to seek. Mutual edification is a beautiful thing Brother. PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW !

    GOD BLESS YOU & YOUR HOUSE BROTHER MARK,
    Dale

    • You write so well, Dale. I’ve noticed that a lot in your comments and correspondence. You ought to write some devotionals which I know would be worth their weight in gold.

      Amazing account what you shared.

      I remember reading one of Oswald Chambers devotionals that has always remained deep in my heart and how real we need to be with God and with others:

      ““The wife of a murdered missionary in China told me of the blank, amazed agony of those excruciating days. “We did not pray, we did not feel. We were dazed with sorrow,” she said.

      The townspeople showed this woman a golden lock of her little child’s hair. She was told that both husband and child were discovered murdered – beheaded and naked – in that godless Chinese town. Shattered and undone, the widow returned with her other little ones to Britain. She did not doubt God, but she said, “He didn’t answer prayer. Oh, how many thousands prayed for my husband, that good, valued servant of God, but all to no avail.”

      In those days of dull amazement, the people who drove her nearly wild with distress were those who knew the Scriptures well and went to great lengths to explain the ‘why’ and ‘wherefore’ of her troubles and suffering and grief. She said, ‘Oh, how I used to beat a tattoo on the floor with my foot while they chattered, crying in my heart, ‘How long, O Lord, how long?’

      ‘Once as I lay prostrate on the sofa, an elderly minister entered the room softly. The old minister, who knew my husband in the other glad days, did not speak, but he gently came over to me and, kissing me on the forehead, went out. He never spoke. From that moment, my heart began to heal.’”

      When I read that, I was stunned. Oh, how we can miss it. To be made so sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leadings, to speak or keep our mouths closed. Job’s comforters were wise when they remained dumfounded and then they opened their mouths and did the damage.

      I really believe that to minister to the hurting, we have to taste the salt in their tears – “to weep with those that weep.”

      God bless you my friend.

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