Pastor Tim Keller twitted recently, “Our hearts are like a bucket of water on a cold day – they will freeze over unless we regularly smash the ice that is forming.”
It got me to thinking, how often do I find that my own heart has frozen over? When that happens, communication (fellowship) between myself and God seems to be cut off. So the question I want to pose is this: How can we keep the water of our spiritual lives flowing without the stoppage of ice blocking communication with God?
One example of a church, a group of God’s people, who experienced this blockage, is the Church of Laodicea in Revelation 3:14-22. This is Jesus’ evaluation of this church. We have this evaluation recorded for all time. What would Jesus evaluation be of our church or our life? Thank God that it is not written in Scripture for all to read for all time! Revelation 3: 15-17 reads, “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing; not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.”
As I read these verses the question that popped into my brain is, “how could they not realize that they were in such a desperate situation?” Then, I remember, how many times do I live in sin and not realize the desperate situation I am in? Sin is the great deceiver; it promises satisfaction and never delivers! One would think that I am spiritually sensitive enough to know when I have fallen in the eyes of the Lord. But we don’t because, as Tim Keller says, the water in our bucket has frozen over.
There are at least 6 principles, 3 negative and 3 positive, that will help us to smash the ice in our spiritual walk to keep the water flowing.
3 things that cause the water of our spiritual lives to freeze
1. Unrepentant sin – Psalm 66:18 “If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.”
2. Lack of Intimate walk with God – we go through the motions of attending church, do what we should but lack the passion that comes from a daily encounter with the Lord
3. Unforgiving attitude toward others – Jesus said in Matthew 5:21-26 that if we know that things are not right between you and another member of the family of God that we are to leave the gift and be reconciled to that person. We must avoid holding grudges. The old phrase that says ‘let’s bury the hatchet’ in regards to repairing relationships is good as long as we don’t remember where the hatchet is buried so we can use it against the other person when they mess up the next time!
What things can we do in a positive way to keep our relationship with God flowing?
1. Have an active, daily dependence in God. The apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:13, “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,” He knew that he needed to live by daily depending on the Lord in order to keep moving ahead to becoming all God desired for him. What does daily, active dependence on God look like? A. Meet with God daily. No Christian can survive spiritually if he is not growing on a daily basis. B. Trust God when you don’t understand what he is up to. There are times when I come to the proverbial fork in the road. At these times we need to follow his clear leading.
2. Find our satisfaction in God ALONE
We human beings tend to blame others for what is lacking in our own lives. This can be true in husband-wife relationships, as well as in many other relationships we have. We can’t understand why our spouse is the way he/she is because he/she is not meeting our emotional needs. Because we are not satisfied in God alone, there is no person on the planet who can meet that need! It is only when I am satisfied in God that I can let the other off the hook for their shortcomings.
3. Keep moving forward one step at a time, one decision at a time.
God is continually teaching us. I remember when summer was over and be back in the classroom in the fall thinking, “Will I ever do anything else in September other than sit in a classroom?” Have you ever thought that? With God, we are always in the classroom; we are always growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 Peter 3:18. The book of Proverbs is all about growing in wisdom to become a person of wisdom through the decisions we make every day. Don’t allow sin to slow you down! Proverbs 24:16 says, “for the righteous falls seven times and rises again,but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.” Confess your sin, ask God to give you victory of it and keep on walking in the grace and victory He has given to you in Jesus!
How are you doing spiritually today? Are you freezing up, as Pastor Keller mentioned, or are you continuing to smash the ice that is forming so that the water can freely flow? May the Lord give us wisdom and grace to keep on keeping on for His glory!