♣ Hindrance or Beneficence?
“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.