as we discussed last week, a seed sown in hard, shallow land will not grow much, if at all. the soil must be churned, disturbed and moved in order to make a place for the seeds deep in the ground. the same goes for planting our faith into our hearts. a hard heart is not going to allow for much faith to get in.
once our faith is planted, our work has just begun. as any good gardener knows there is a delicate balance of elements that brings sprouts from tiny seeds. the first is a good watering.
ladies, our faith also must be watered.
as we take on the joy of accepting Jesus' love and work on the cross, we also accept the responsibility to remember this, actively. remembering is more than just knowing in our minds what has been done, but living each day from that place of remembrance. it is the process of making each day and all it entails into a way of glorifying all that God has done for us. difficult, yes, but possible.
daily watering of our faith is one way to stay on track of actively remembering God's promises. you see, just as we know that a packet of tomato plant seeds will yield a tomato plant, we know that faith in God will yield eternal life. we also know that if we simply plant those seeds and forget about them, that plant may not ever grow. in the same way, our faith will also be left in jeopardy if forgotten. note; i said our faith will be in jeopardy, not our salvation. (faith, works, eternal salvation... that is a whole other post someday.. )
there are many ways to water our faith, and i do not think i need to dwell on them for too long. church, bible study, prayer groups, devotionals, prayer time, physical reminders such as a cross or image of Jesus, Bibles left open on the table, etc.. these are all ways to water your faith. what i want to discuss today are the ways we may not know we are being watered, or watering others.
1. we water others' faith as we righteously live
in our day there is a level of access to sin that has never been reached before. our Pastor said it best this weekend; "if you have access to a smartphone, you have access to the world." we are able to view and listen and read a multitude of bits of information that can either help or hurt our righteous living. if people are not being watered, they are likely to stumble into pits of sin. as Christians, it is our duty to live God's word for others to see. works are not what get us into Heaven, but they are a very important part of having a strong faith. by allowing Christ to dwell in us, we become so full of righteousness that we naturally overflow into the world. (Colossians 3:16) even the most wayward believer can see the good acts of a strong Christian and be watered.. and then remember what Jesus did for them, too. no act of faith is ever too small to be significant, and the most thirsty ground will absorb even one drop of water.
2. we are watered by the ungodly
God is so creative, and perfect, and thorough. this is why it is so vital that as believers, we are aware of every person we meet, pleasant or not. faith is built on trials and tribulations. faith is built on trust and obedience. faith is built on things unseen and invisible. so when you encounter a moment with a person who is clearly not acting very godly, it is your chance to learn something. being joyful in these moments produces strength in your faith, for God sends us opportunities, not just solutions. (James 1:2-3) when we pray to be more patient, compassionate and joyful, He will send us people to help us act that way. to disregard that opportunity will be like turning away water in the desert. we are being watered by God even when we meet ungodly people, or moments lacking in righteousness.
3. we water others from the source, not ourselves
if there is one bit of comfort in all of the act of living in remembrance, it is the reminder that God is providing all of the opportunities. we do not need to cultivate moments to water others. we do not need to ask for nourishment (though He delights when we do.) we do not need to stress or worry over whether or not we watered someone sufficiently, or drank enough of the experience He provided for us. He is working all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28), and we are included in that. so as we embark on each day, we do not need to feel limited in our ability. we can instead feel full and able to do anything He calls us to. our strength comes from Him, so we need only fill up and pass it along.
today i challenge you to not only engage in your normal watering, whether it be your journaling, going to a bible study, or partaking in a devotional, but to extend yourself in one of the three aspects of watering:
actively water another through your actions
accept the watering in a difficult situation
go to the Source for a faith fill-up and serve!