Few things can compare to how a plumbing issue with clogged pipes can upend our day. Usually there is mess involved and often it happens at the worst possible time − when company has just arrived, we’re packing to leave on vacation, there’s a new baby in the house, or someone is ill − and costs more than we had in the budget.
All of a sudden the flow of fresh clean water that we barely think about stops. And who knows who the best plumber is who can be at our home within the hour?
In recent years many of us have heard about the word “flow” relating to a state of mind. A flow state happens when a person is ‘in the zone’ and fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus while performing some activity. It’s become a popular topic in positive psychology, but I wonder if the experience has been around for a long time and we just didn’t label it as ‘flow.’
Have you ever experienced it in your spiritual life or your daily quiet time with the Lord?
It can feel as if your prayers and the Word fit like a glove with whatever is going on in your life and before you even know it, a worship song is running through your mind as well. You feel righted and refreshed. Even though you didn’t plan to take a lot of time for this daily discipline, you find yourself lingering there.
Perhaps that is when we get most fully immersed in the gospel.
Eventually we start to recognize the gospel is not about us establishing a relationship with Jesus, but about Him establishing a relationship with us.
We see that relationship is not just a consequence of our believing information about Him and accumulating more and more of it as a means to the maturity we hear about and hope for. A dawning revelation points to the truth that Jesus is entrusting himself to us and revealing himself to us in a relationship like no other.
In the letter to the church at Galatia, Paul writes that we know God first because He knows us! He made us and knows us more intimately than we know ourselves. If we know Him, it is because He has revealed himself to us through Jesus.
Our part is to make a choice about what we believe about Him after that.
Once we make that decision, the whole of our life with Him consists of getting to know Jesus better and better.
It’s no wonder that our relationship with Him is sometimes compared to marriage. Once I made the decision that I loved my husband and wanted to marry him, the rest of my life with him has been about getting to know him more and more. (That still happens after 54 years!)
It’s that ‘getting to know you’ that little by little transforms us from who we were before. Until that happens we cannot fully understand that knowing Jesus ultimately changes everything about us.
The gospel is a unique and personal experience, but it is not private. His handiwork becomes increasingly evident in our life to those around us by how we live it (or don’t).
If we fail to give place to developing that unique intimate relationship, the information we have gained will never be actualized. It will be data and as we accumulate more of it, pride may develop about what we have acquired while we may not sense his presence or joy within us. Clogs will develop instead of flow.
What He longs for us to experience is the essence of the gospel in the depth of our being.
The gospel comes to us in order that it might run through us (flow through us).
“ Believe in me so that rivers of living water will burst out from within you, flowing from your innermost being, just like the Scripture says!”
John 7:38 (TPT)