Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Garden Hose as a Metaphor for the Productive Christian Life: Solutions to Those Problems (part 4 of 4)

Fortunately, there are remedies, and better yet preventives, for all the problems discussed in the previous post.

Clogs can be unplugged, and avoided, through regular prayer and time in God’s Word. Those disciplines improve our connection to God, the essential spigot, which in turn increases our spiritual water pressure. And regular time with God tends to keep us out of the dirt that might otherwise clog us. See Proverbs 2; Sirach 14:20-15:6; Hebrews 4:12-16; Philippians 4:6-7; James 1:2-5; 2 Timothy 3:14-17.  

Those same fundamentals—prayer and scripture—also undo kinks. They show us where we should be and inspire us to get there, helping realign us with God so He flows through all parts of our lives. Indeed, that increased spiritual water pressure actually helps push into proper alignment with Him. See James 1:25

We can dramatically increase our usefulness by connecting with other believers. Our overall capacity is exponentially increased and areas we could not reach on our own can be quite easily covered if we connect with our brothers and sisters in Christ. See Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

We can also significantly boost our effectiveness by focusing what God gives us (time, energy, skills, and talents) on the tasks He’s given us. Just as the same amount of water has much greater impact when forced through a nozzle, we are much more powerful when we allow God to channel us into a particular task. We do that by getting rid of the extraneous. For example, cutting back on media alone can have amazing impact, removing distractions and outright corruption. See Proverbs 4:25; Sirach 3:21-23; Sirach 11:20; Sirach 51:30; Luke 9:62; Proverbs 10:5.   

Finally, we have to let God’s living water flow through us. Hoses are meant to pass water onto where it is needed, not to store it. Let water sit in a hose without release and the hose will rot. We are the same way. God blesses us so we can bless others. Holding onto things God gives us to give to others will not only deprive the intended recipients, but will rot us as well. We must instead pass God’s blessings on by sharing His Gospel and giving to others. See Luke 12:16-21; Sirach 11:19-20; Proverbs 11:26; Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 16:9.

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