Moving Forward

There is nothing as beautiful or refreshing to look at as a clear stream or babbling brook as it cascades over rocks on it’s way down a mountain.  When you step into the stream, the cool water immediately refreshes you and you feel more alive. The pools that are formed are so clear that you can see fish and other freshwater creatures as they dart about. The water is filled with oxygen and life as aerates itself on it’s way  moving downhill. The noise that the stream makes is so relaxing and fills you with a sense of peace as you sit and listen to it on the bank. You can go to the stream everyday and each day it looks and sounds a little different.

Now compare the stream with a stagnant pond, the water dark green with algae. The water doesn’t move and is only occasionally refilled by rain washing into the depression where the pond is located. The ponds surface is covered with a  green slime along the edges.  When you step in it, the pond becomes even darker, dirty with stirred up silt. The water is warm and there is an ever present odor of decay. The air is thick with mosquitoes and other insects. What little life exists in the water of this low oxygen environment struggles to breath and the fish even have to take an occasional gulp of air at the surface just to stay alive. Standing in that pond waist deep, you feel the heat of the sun, the warmth of the water and it just drains all the energy out of you. When you get out,  things stick to your legs and you feel slimy and dirty. Everyday, the pond looks, sounds and smells the same.

These two bodies of water represent two different types of Christians.

One type of Christian is full of zeal. Always ready to spread the word of God through the Gospels. His or her mind is always working and focused on the will of God in His or her life. They serve in their church with gusto and are always  happily volunteering to help with the next project. Everyday brings a new experience which takes them closer to God on their spiritual path to enlightenment. They see the beauty of creation and are awestruck by it’s magnificence! In all things they are grateful and appreciate their blessings while accepting the negative things in their life as teaching experiences. They praise God all day every day and are always ready to serve Him in any way. They truly are their brother’s keeper. They are always ready to help those in need unconditionally and without judgement. The light of God shines through them and the world takes notice. Many are brought closer to God by their example. This is the Stream Christian.

The other type of Christian is the Pond Christian. He or she goes to church but is constantly looking at his or her watch to find out when it will all be over. ( or worse, constantly texting during the sermon!). They go through the motions of participating in service but never really do anything to help anyone not even themselves. The message of the day is often lost to them and they leave the service feeling unfulfilled.  They are not daily prayer warriors nor do they regularly read the bible. They have accepted Christ and claim him as their  Lord and Savior but have not picked up their cross to follow Him. Like the pond, they are stagnant, spiritually speaking. They are neither on fire for God, nor are they in the world. They are in an in-between place that profits no one, least of all themselves. The more they fail to seek God in their lives, the less they seem to hear from Him. This leads to even more alienation and separation from God and His ultimate will in his or her life. Like the pond, their spiritual life is in a state of decay. These types of Christians often feel depressed and alone, even in the midst of an entire church!

Like a pond, they are neither hot nor cold but lukewarm

Revelation 3:15-16

“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.

This is what the bible says about lukewarm Christians.

God wants us fully on His side. Fully committed and on fire for Christ.

Of course during the course of our walk with Christ, we will have periods where we are more tuned into the will of God than other times in our lives.

We will also have periods where we may find ourselves slacking off and not using the gifts that God has given us to spread the good news of the Gospels.

These ups and downs are a natural part of our growth in the spirit and we should not use them as a source of pride when we are zealous, nor as a source of condemnation when we are backslidden or feel far from the will of God in our lives.

back·slide
ˈbakslīd/
verb
past participle: backslidden
  1. relapse into bad ways or error.
    “converted vegetarians backslide to T-bones”
    synonyms: relapse, lapse, regress, weaken, lose one’s resolve, give in to temptation, go astray, leave the straight and narrow, fall off the wagon

    “many things can cause dieters to backslide”
    antonyms: persevere

    We all want to be Stream Christians, but if you find yourself in the pond, if your find yourself filled with despair even when you are part of a church, you have to seek the living water of Christ Jesus to refresh the spring of your soul.

    The bible says Ask, Knock, Seek. in  Matthew 7:7-12

    Speak to your spiritual leader about your condition. Do not try and overcome this period in your life alone. Arm yourself with the implements of spiritual warfare and put on the whole armor of God.

    Open your heart to God and pray that He have mercy on you. If you do these things my brethren, you will find that the Lord most High will accept you like the prodigal son and there will be much feasting and celebration in Heaven on that day.

    May God bless you and protect you always.