Tainted Water – The Solution Is Discipleship

Tainted WaterOnce while driving in Ghana – we passed by a water well that had been drilled for a local community and saw some children fetching water. They were pulling together on their rope to get their bucket out – and then came shock – horror! They were fetching the water in a turpentine can! Because we lived here among this particular people group, we KNOW that no one washed the container out with soap and water or bleach or boiling water – they just rinsed it in the local pond until they couldn’t smell the turpentine and then declared it fit for use. We love these people and our hearts went out to them.  We immediately planned a healthy drinking water training for them.  A training that would help them to understand what things would contaminate the water and what was necessary for them to avoid introducing contaminates into their drinking water. They needed to know that if contaminates were introduced – this water would bring death and not life.

Not only is clean water important — but understanding what can contaminate water is important.   

There is a tendency in the Western world to believe that once we have shared the truth of the gospel with people and they have confessed that they believe – we have done our part. But I am a witness that what you leave behind is a person that believes the truth, but has no idea what the truth is, or what to do with that truth. They twist it to fit their circumstance, they ignore the parts that they cannot easily understand, some rise to a position of leadership and then exploit the little that they know to their own benefit – – some minister an adulterated gospel and taint the water for an entire congregation. What is the solution to this issue?

The solution is to teach the complete gospel.

That means that we go beyond salvation. We have to teach people to study the word of God so that they can come to know the person of God. But what if they can’t read?  We’ve encountered this many times where we work.  Then the solution is discipleship.  We have to be willing to give the time and resources necessary to teach them to read or to provide an audio bible. After teaching them to read the word or to listen to the word, we must teach them to interact in the word in such a way that it becomes something that they can apply to their life! When we equip them with these tools – they will know what the truth looks like and are less likely to fall prey to any contaminated word. When we equip them with these tools then we are preparing them to protect the word that is taking root in their hearts. When we equip them with these tools – we ensure that the word will bring them to the abundant life that God has planned for them.

But this takes TIME!! And, be honest, how many of us are willing to give our precious time to another?? I can tell you as one who lives a life of discipleship, that it is a 24 hour a day commitment. The women that I disciple call whenever they need to, they visit whenever they need to, they invite me to delve into places in their lives that I don’t want to go! And I am also a witness – that you might have an 8 week program – but I have yet to disciple any believer in only 8 weeks!

Discipleship is life on life – LIFE on LIFE!! It means loving someone as much as you love yourself. Would you drink tainted water willingly?! I think not!!

Interestingly – our Savior’s last words to us were that we should go, preach, teach and make disciples. He really did not say go, preach, teach, and get them saved! We’ve got to be willing to give our whole lives to the purposes and passions of our Savior and King – He wants them to know Him, He wants them to know the Father, He wants them to be filled with the Holy Spirit. In the words of my husband, “time has come to stop dunkin’ ‘em and droppin’ ‘em” – we’ve got to start counting them as so dear to us that we not only give them the gospel but our very lives.  In fact – we ought to be modeling the life of Christ in view of people even before they know who He is!!  What a change in the world we could make!

so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. 1 Thessalonians 2:8

Peace and Favor Rest Upon Us – REALLY!?!?!?!?!

gods-favorThe peace and favor of God cannot rest upon those who live in opposition to His divine law.

The people of God depend upon the deliverance of God every moment of every day.  When we see the victory of the Lord we proclaim His greatness and our devotion to Him.  But when our lives are peaceful and all is well, we often forget the Lord altogether and go our own way – until the new calamity.  We are His chosen ones – which means His desire is to bless us and to be in relationship with us, but He is a jealous God – meaning He is not to be taken for granted.  We must realize that our lives belong to Him!  He Is Our King!  We Are His Subjects!  We are under the rule of His kingdom.  We must remember that we must honor, glorify and obey Him every day of our lives and that it is unacceptable to only worship and obey Him in the midst of trouble.  When we treat the Lord like a genie in a bottle or like a magic bullet for our problems – we set up ourselves to live in the wrath of God!  He desires to have us live in His peace and He desires that we walk in His favor – but we must understand what it means to be subject to the King every day.   Our lives are not our own, are they?  Our lives are hidden in Christ – isn’t that true? We can’t get to Christ to experience our hidden lives unless we come through the Father (the King), isn’t that true?  If we want abundant life – our devotion to the King cannot waiver.

Father, when I find myself in the midst of calamity that is brought on by my own disobedience, quicken my spirit swiftly so that my heart will be turned back to You.  May my heart’s desire every day be to please You, to honor You and to yield my will to Yours.  Uphold me with Your Holy Spirit and please do not cast me away from Your presence.  Amen

Amos 3:2  “You only have I chosen among all the families of the earth;
Therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.”