Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Clear Water Revival

When I am in prayer, I endeavor to quiet my mind so that I may apprehend the mind of God. For the Bible clearly tells us, "We have the mind of Christ." The mind of Christ refers, of course, to the indwelling Holy Spirit who takes up residence in our human spirit. My clouded thoughts get in the way of the clear thinking of the Holy Spirit, so I submit my mind to God.

Sometimes I imagine my mind as a body of water churned by the winds of my thoughts and the waves of my emotions. As I let the water calm, the silt settles to the bottom, and the water become clear. At such times it seems as if I can see through the veil of this human condition. With my heart still before God, I can get a little glimpse of heaven. "Be still and know that I am God."

That is how I interpret the meaning of Jesus' words, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." But I am under no illusion that this spiritual discipline can purify the waters of my soul. Though my mind may sometimes be relatively clear, the impurities are still there.

When we lived in New Hampshire, we enjoyed excellent drinking water drawn from our private well. Then the underground storage tank of the little general store across the street began to leak gasoline into the groundwater. It seeped into our well.

The benzene was eventually removed by an elaborate filtration system, but the additive known as MTBE could not eliminated. Our water looked perfectly clear, but it was unfit for human consumption. We had to have bottled spring water delivered to our door, paid for by the state of New Hampshire.

So is it with my heart. The spiritual filtration systems of my religious practices and spiritual disciplines cannot purify my heart enough for me to qualify as "pure in heart." I need pure spring water shipped in.

"And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.... And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely."

Such is the grace of God. He makes the bitter waters of Marah sweet.

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