Like most Christians, I begin my day with a quiet time with God. I acknowledge who He is and what He has done for me, pray His Word back to Him and finish with what always seemed to be a harmless request: “Please bless the work of my hands and heart for You this day.”
A few years ago as I was finishing up my morning prayers, I felt a nudging in my spirit that this final statement was not in alignment with God’s will for my life. As I pondered this conviction I realized I was asking God to bless whatever I was going to do during the day. I began to feel the Holy Spirit direction me in a different way – instead of asking God to bless my mess, I needed to ask God to show me how to walk through each day so that I could receive everything He has planned for my day.
With that in mind, I began finishing my prayers by saying, “God, lead me in my day so that I may receive the blessing You have laid out for me.”
God walked into my prayers that day and showed me something that has changed my life. I used to receive God’s daily blessings and then decide during the day who I would forgive, show grace and mercy to, or even share the love of God with. I became a dispenser of God’s light but controlled who received it. God gave me a beautiful example of His love that I will never forget. What is the difference between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea? One has life and the other is dead – that’s easy. But why? Why does the Sea of Galilee have abundant life in and around it, while the Dead Sea is void of life?
The answer is the Jordan River. It flows from the heights of Mt Hermon, over 9000 feet above sea level, travels about 45 miles and pours into the northern end of the Sea of Galilee. The Jordan River then exits the Sea of Galilee some 13 miles south and travels about 90 miles and ends at the Dead Sea. God reminded me that the Sea of Galilee has abundant life because it receives the blessings of the Jordan River and pours it right back out. The Dead Sea receives the blessings of the Jordan River but does not let it exit.
So it is with the blessings of God. We can choose to be the Sea of Galilee or the Dead Sea. We can receive the blessings of God and hold onto them for ourselves and distribute them as we see fit, or we can let God’s blessings flow freely through us and go wherever God decides they need to go. If we are servants of the Most High God, why would we hoard the blessings God gives us? Our role is to make Him known.
Russ Rathier serves as the Vermont regional coordinator for the Baptist Convention of New England.