Monday, August 11, 2008

Withering Springs

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. (John 15:4 NIV)

All my springs are in Thee. (Psalm 87:7 KJV)

God will wither up every other spring you have. He will wither up your natural virtues, He will break up confidence in your natural powers, He will wither up your confidence in brain and spirit and body, until you learn by practical experience that you have no right to draw your life from any source other than the tremendous reservoir of the resurrection life of Jesus Christ. –Oswald Chambers*
It is a hard lesson to learn that I “have no right to draw [my] life from any source other than...[from] Jesus Christ.” Intellectually, I’ve known it all my life, but experientially? I keep discovering other springs in my life on which I am depending: My walls of self-protection; the fantasy life I used to have, which keeps trying to spring up again; approval from others and more.

When I accepted Jesus’ gift of salvation for me, and declared that from then on I chose to follow him, I was asking to be grafted into the Vine. I was giving God permission, in effect, to “wither up every other spring” that I had and he’s been doing that in spades. Just when I think they’ve all dried up, God shows me another. I wonder how long it will take for all the springs I depend on, except for that of the Living Water, to dry up in me completely. Is this a lifelong process?

Lord, you are the only source of life; you are the Vine and unless I am connected to you, and you alone, I am incomplete. All my streams, all my sources of life, fulfillment and satisfaction must come from you if I would be whole. Please wither up every other spring in my life—my self-dependence, self-protection, approval from others; my confidence in my abilities, my intellect, my faith and all those hidden springs I have yet to discover and acknowledge. Keep me from creating my own cisterns that crack and leak and hold muddy water. Please fill me with your Living Water that I will thirst no more for anything else.

*”Man: His Creation, Calling and Communion: Readjustment by Redemption,” in “Biblical Psychology,” in The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers, page 149.

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