Friday, November 25, 2011

Finding and Fixing The Leaks

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

John 7:37-38

37 On the last and greatest day of the Feast,
Jesus stood and said in a loud voice,
“If anyone is thirsty, 
let him come to me and drink.  
38 Whoever believes in me,
as the Scripture has said, 
streams of living water will flow 
from within him.”

Not quite a week ago I prayed for a woman and I felt the power of God go out of me. I suppose much like what Jesus experienced when the women touched the hem of his garment and was healed. He said who touched me. He was in a crowd of people, I'm sure he was being jostled and bumped by many people. But it was a woman who touched the hem of His robe with faith to believe she would receive something. In that instant Jesus felt the power flow out of Him.
In that instant as I prayed for that woman, I felt the power of God flow out of me. That woman came to me for prayer believing that she would receive something. Not from me but from God through me.  I after praying with her felt empty and light headed and needed to call out to God to refill me. I have felt drained and tired since that time. So I have rested as much as possible and tried to press into God to be filled yet I have continued to feel drained.

Yesterday I was reading Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest and God helped me to connect the dots. In the November 24th passage called Direction of Aspiration. He says "Only when God brings you to a sudden halt, will you realize how you have been losing out. Whenever there is a leakage, remedy it immediately. Recognize that something has been coming between you and God and get it readjusted at once"

I realized upon reading that that I had a leak of faith in my life. I could not see it when I was full but having been emptied I was able to realize the leak. So today I have been tracing the leak back to its source. There has been something that the Lord told me to hold on to, that I have based upon circumstances, been telling myself that I need to let go of.  As a result of letting go a leak has been growing. It started out small but it has gotten bigger. I've had to go back to the Lord and repent for letting go of something He told me to hold on to. I am thankful that the Lord was gracious to expose the leak for me by allowing me to be emptied by the faith of a person I prayed for recently.
What my leak was, is much like the secret things that Mary treasured up in her heart. Thing that the God had shown her that made little or no sense at the time. Yet she held on to them and waited, and trusted that in time they would make sense. Even now they make very little sense in the light of present circumstances but the Lord tells me that my letting go of what He has told me to hold on to is the cause of the leak. So I take those promises and I hold them. I ask the Lord to forgive me for my doubt and unbelief and I ask Him to seal the leak and fill me back up.

I wonder if you may also have developed a leak in your faith. That perhaps you have let go of something that the Lord has shown you and told you to hold on to. My pastor has a series of drawings that he did of the condition of his heart. In the first there is a whole side blown out of the heart and water pours through it. He said he wondered why his heart could feel nothing. It could not contain the love of God because it leaked out as fast as it came in. He cried out to the Lord to fix it and the Lord took that broken heart and submerged it in His living water. The heart was still broken but submerging it in Gods presence kept the heart full while God worked on healing what was broken.
Perhaps your heart is like that unable to hold the love of God.  Its time to acknowledge that you have a leak that needs to be repaired. Oswald Chambers writes. "Spiritual leakage begins when we cease to lift up our eyes unto Him. The leakage comes not so much through trouble on the out side as in the imagination, when we begin to say - I expect I have been stretching myself a bit too much, standing on tiptoe and trying to look like God instead of being an ordinary humble person. We have to realize that no effort can be too high."

I don't know about you but some of the things that God has shown me and has called me to, at times seem way too lofty for one as broken as myself. Yet he calls me to hold on to those things that He has called me to walk in and to not let go of someday even though it seems far off in the distance at present.  Letting go of the things He has shown me causes many other things of faith to begin spring leaks. If I let go of one thing that He has shown me and told me to hold on then other things begin to leak and my faith begins to un-ravel in other areas. Quite often the things He shows us and asks us to hold on to seem far fetched and down right impossible. That is why it requires faith. Faith pleases God. I don't presume to know how God will work these things out, I only know that my part of faith and obedience is at this time to hold on and to believe that God is working and is able. I see now that moving from that place of holding on, short of being told by the Lord to let go only causes leaks of faith to spring up all over the place in my life. I know that a big part of my purpose in the kingdom is to carry living water to the thirsty,  to be a well of His presence. I can't do that if I am leaking faster than I am able to be filled. So I must allow the Lord to repair the leaks. I must repent of my disobedience, my doubt and my unbelief of trying to shake free of something that He has given me to hold on to.

I don't know who you are who will read this post. I suspect if you are reading it that there are probably some leaks in your faith life that you need to allow the Lord to plug. There are things He has shown you and dreams He has allowed to remain that await His timing.  He as not called you to let them go no matter how impossible they may seem in this moment.  Repent of your doubt and unbelief and for your lack of obedience to His call. Today He wants to plug and seal those leaks and fill you up to overflowing. Today He calls you to journey farther with Him to have faith and to trust Him more than you have to this point. There is a calling on your life and by faith you need to move towards becoming the person he has called you to be so that at some point in the future you will be prepared to walk in the things that now are only little visions of hope that He has called you to hang on to.

Dear Lord,
Help us find the leaks of faith in our lives presently. Help us to repent of those places where doubt, unbelief, double mindedness have snuck in. Help us to see those subtle shifts of belief that have caused us to think we should let go of things that you have called us to hold on to. Help us repair the leaks and then fill us up Lord to overflowing so that we may walk in your plans, purposes and calling at this present time and in the future. 

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