Welcome to your morning coffee! May our Heavenly Father call us near to him today. Father, reveal to us how much of our lives we're trying to live apart from your presence. I am so bad at this. Father I need your help to live more of my life with you, acknowledging your presence and providence over all I do, instead of so often just trusting in my own abilities and opinions. Father, in the name of Jesus and by the power of the Spirit in me, call me to meet with you in prayer and reading your word, and let me live out of the overflow of that space, that time, that place with you.
Your Morning Song: "Multiplied" by Needtobreathe
Your Morning Scripture: Isaiah 58:11
"the Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."
I heard this image given today, and cannot get it out of my head. It sticks for all the best and all the worst reasons. Perhaps you are something like me, and can relate...
There are two sponges. They are both put into a bowl of water, each pulled out full and dripping. And then they are each squeezed. What happens? Water comes pouring out. And then one sponge is put back into the bowl of water, then pulled out full and dripping. Pause. Now both sponges are squeezed again.
Water comes out of both sponges. But the one that was put back into the bowl gives out just as much water as it did the first time. But the second sponge gives only a trickle.
The first sponge, soaked again, pours out again. The second? Only a few drops now.
Continue this pattern and pretty soon the second sponge will begin to dry up, give no water, and eventually tear and break. But the first, continually re-soaked, will always pour out water.
Church, God's child, which sponge are you?
It is not only possible for us, saved believers in Jesus, to be the second sponge, it is also very, very common. Living our daily life is a pouring out. How much more so if you have any relationships at all? A job? Leading others? Teaching others? Interacting with others? Doing, striving, choosing? Most of our day to day life is pouring out. How much worse do we make it, as God's children, when we turn our worship, prayer, and fellowship into things done only FOR God, and not WITH him.
Church, brothers and sisters, open your well-spring hearts to be filled to overflowing by the Spirit. Unlock the gates to the garden of your thought-life, and welcome in the Gardener of all Gardens.
As we do what God commands us to do, we must be mindful of the fact that he is with us in each and every moment. Our prayers should be full of the sort of things that you would say to someone who is in the room with you, even more so to the one who lives within you! Our time spent in God's word should be guided by the incontrovertible fact that the one who wrote it to us reads it with us, in the very same room, even more so within our hearts and minds!
Do you soak yourself in God's presence? Do you live out of a heart and mind overflowing with God's Spirit? Are you living, thinking, doing, and saying all things by the power of God's presence? Or are we trying to do this on our own?
Which sponge are you? When you are daily squeezed, does anything come out? Or are you dry, torn, broken, lying to yourself that perhaps this next squeeze will be different?
I am in the midst of learning to run back to my Heavenly Father to soak in his loving presence. I still daily try to do most everything by my own power. We can't live like this.
Church. If you are fully and completely the second sponge then my greatest hope for you is that you would fully and completely fail, and soon. And in the wreckage I hope you would cry out to your Heavenly Father to come and soak you with his love, his grace, his trustworthy goodness.
My greatest fear is that you would not fail. My greatest fear is that you would be just successful enough to think that you can live your daily life dry, denying the need for desperate dependence on Jesus.
Soak yourself desperately and daily in the presence of our Heavenly Father, in the name of his son Jesus, by the guiding power of he who lives within us.