Water

James 3:1

Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening?

Our family moved away from a small city and we are running into the “challenges” of country living. When you live in a city there are certain conveniences available when a group of people live in proximity to each other, for example city water, sewer, and natural gas. When you live in the “country” you need a septic system and a water system. As with any system, you need to do maintenance and occasional repairs.

Something changed the other day; I went to get some water and it was brown. The first suggestion I received was to change the water filter. “Good idea”, I thought. I promptly changed the filter, but water was still brown. “Well, that’s odd, maybe it will clear up after we use more water”, I thought. But it did not, the water was still brown. I gave it some more thought and started looking over the water pipes in the basement. Normally it is easy to trace the flow of water however as I looked over the pipes it just didn’t make sense. I began to turn valves on and off until my hunch proved correct. The water flow never went through the filter! Instead there was another route which went straight past the filter and right on to the tap leaving the filter as useless in the maze of pipes.

I really don’t know what the thought process was plumbing, nor why it waited 2 weeks or more to “show up” but it got me to thinking about how we draw from our “spiritual” water supply. Jesus is always there offering us clean, pure, and healing water (see John 4) but so often we take the dirty bypass that Satan offers, perhaps it’s just a little dirty, or you can’t see anything nasty in the water. Does that mean it is clean?

Just like my water system, everything is available for clean water, but if I bypass it with dirty water, it is dirty water that I will get. James understood this concept when you mix clean and dirty water you always get dirty water. He was making the point that what is in our heart is what flows out of us. Perhaps you can fake it but sooner or later the truth is known. What is coming out of your heart? Are you willing to receive the clean, pure water that Jesus offers in John 4:14b (ESV) “The water that I [Jesus] will give him [you] will become in him [you] a spring of water welling up to eternal life”?

-Tony High

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