Today’s Oswald is written by Susie Larsen. ENJOY!
Verse: He who believes in Me…out of his heart will flow rivers of living water (John 7:38).
Oswald: God rarely allows a person to see how great a blessing he is to others…Think of the healing and far-reaching rivers developing and nourishing themselves in our souls! God has been opening up wonderful truths to our minds, and every point He has opened up is another indication of the wider power of the river that He will flow through us. If you believe in Jesus, you will find that God has developed and nourished in you mighty, rushing rivers of blessings for others.
My Thoughts: One of the things that excites me most about the promise of forever in heaven—next to seeing Jesus, of course—will be listening to the stories. I can’t wait for the stories! Once we get to heaven, we’ll have an eternity to learn about the countless ways God divinely intersected our lives with others for the very purpose of pouring out His blessings.
The Bible says that our own souls are nourished when we are kind. Can you even count how many times you’ve been kind, or how many times others have been kind to you? Every cup of water given in Christ’s name is written down in His book. Every tired smile offered with grace means something to God.
If we had any idea how many times a day God used even the sparkle in our eyes to speak to another soul, we might grow more self aware than God aware. The thing is, what others see and receive from us, they receive from Christ in us. Christ in us, our hope of glory. God uses us more than we know, and it’s His delight to do so, but our focus must remain on the Source, from whom all blessings flow.
It’s not for us to consume ourselves with how much or often we’re used by God during our time on the earth. We’ll have all kinds of fun in heaven hearing the stories of how God worked through the divine moments of our lives. Ours is the call to become a constant and consistent vessel through which God’s blessings flow to a world very much in need, whether we’re aware of it, or not.
We are on a pilgrimage, a sacred journey, traveling towards the day when we see Jesus face to face. We are saved solely by faith in Christ alone, but sanctification comes through the process of walking with and learning from our Savior. And though He promises never to leave us, He also promises that in this world we will have trials and tribulations.
We’ll walk through seasons when the storms rage and our fears rise. We’ll walk through places that feel like a dry and weary land where there is no water. We’ll wonder at times if there’s more to life than just surviving. We’ll feel quite sure that God has all but forgotten about the thought of using us. But it’s in these places, we find God to be an ever-present help in times of trouble.
We are God’s care and we are also under His charge. In other words, He has promised to take care of us, but, in every situation, He also intends to use us. God is faithful. And once we start to trust Him, our questions will change from “God, what are you doing to me?” to, “God what does obedience look like here? How can I obey you here?” We are under His care (He’ll never leave us) and we are under His charge (He intends to use us for His glory).
When we understand who we are and what we possess in Christ, we will more readily embrace the idea that no season or scenario can hinder God’s mighty river from flowing in and through us. Our only obstacle is our own unbelief.
You no doubt remember the runaway bestseller, The Prayer of Jabez, written by the wonderful Bruce Wilkenson. Bruce unpacked a tiny little prayer from the Bible to make the point that God most certainly wants to use us in ever increasing ways. If you’ve not heard of the book, here’s the prayer straight from Scripture:
Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request (1 Chronicles 4:10 NLT).
I love this prayer and I pray it all of the time. Years ago I decided to internalize the prayer and ask God to increase His territory within me. My prayers often go something like this:
Oh, Father, please bless me with more of Yourself! Increase Your territory within me! Increase Your sphere of influence within me that I may have a greater capacity for You! May Your hand of power be mightily upon me. Keep me from evil and pain, both causing and enduring it. And may I live out the number of my days abounding in holiness and fruitfulness. Amen.
We really don’t need to focus on how much God is using us; we simply need to focus on Jesus. When we cultivate an intimate walk with Him, when we take Him at His Word and do what He says, out of our lives will flow rivers of living water. That’s what the Word says. That’s what Jesus says. So we can know it to be true!
Susie Larson is an author, speaker, national media voice for Moody Radio, and the host of the daily LIVE talk show, Live the Promise with Susie Larson. Susie has been married for 26 plus years, has 3 grown sons, and one beautiful daughter in law. Susie comes with a passion to see women strengthened in their faith and mobilized to live out their high call in Jesus Christ. http://www.susielarson.com/