Saturday, September 18, 2004

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 2:1-5, 9-12.

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.

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 hook up with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

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.

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 through sharing his Gospel and giving to others.

(A series of four images dealing with this theme were posted on September 18, 2004 here, here, here and here. Images based on other water related themes were posted on September 12, October 1, November 6, November 7, and November 10, 2004.
Images about conforming/yielding to God were posted September 12a, 18a, 18b, 18d, and 23; October 3 and 3a, November 6; and 21, December 8, 12, and 15, 2004 and January 10d, February 18, May 11, June 18 and 27; August 21 and 27; and October 3, 2005.
Images about the benefits of eliminating things that distract us from God/His purposes for us were posted September 18d, October 3a and 14, November 21, December 8, 2004 and February 28 and August 3, 2005.
Images about the fact that God blesses us in order for us to bless others were posted September 12b, 18c, and 18d, 2004 and August 27, 2005.
Images about the need for connecting/working with other believers were posted September 18c, 18d , October 3a and 8, 2004.
Images about the importance of exercising the spiritual disciplines were posted September 17a, 18a, and 18d, and October 3a, and 8, 2004 and January 10d and August 27, 2005.)

1 comment:

marciamac said...

This is a wonderful use of visuals and the garden hose. This blessed me yesterday and through the night as I worked.
I had no time to read but was able to bring these hoses to mind as I worked. Though my patients were very nice, not one of them had anything to say about God. That's like 0 and 5; I loaded the bases but no hits; and at least no errors.