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Dry, Desolate, & Without Water

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Psalm 63:1 (HCSB)

God, You are my God; I eagerly seek You.
I thirst for You; my body faints for You in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water.

 


This week many of us from Glen Meadows had the opportunity to serve at a Church in El Paso and the Rancho 3M orphanage in Mexico. It is always a humbling experience when we come face to face with wonderful people who are less fortunate than we are. Interestingly enough, what I found to be the most revealing was the joy that they had.

While at the orphanage I was reading Psalm 63. The words that immediately popped off the page was “dry, desolate and without water” …that is exactly how I would physically describe Guadalupe, Mexico…but not how I would describe the children’s hearts. They were beaming with joy.

Then I asked myself the question, “Why do I sometimes feel spiritually dry, desolate and without water?”

The answer that came to mind was my “gaze” ….who am I gazing on? Are my eyes set on God, and also in my praise… do my lips bring glory to Him?

Whether physically or spiritually, we all will experience rough conditions in our lives. Unfair or painful things will always exist the question is who will our gaze be set on and who will receive our praise? I once read, “we are always worshipping, the question is who or what are we worshipping?”

 

Psalm 63:2-4

“So I gaze on You in the sanctuary to see Your strength and Your glory. My lips will glorify You because Your faithful love is better than life. So I will praise You as long as I live; at Your name, I will lift up my hands.”

A Double-Edged Sword

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"Praising and cursing come out of the same mouth. My brothers, these things should not be this way." - James 3:10

I’ve marveled at a chef when she took an extremely sharp knife and put it to work chopping vegetables and preparing meat with effortless chops and swipes. It can be a beautiful thing to watch them work! But have you ever cut yourself with an extremely sharp blade? You can slice into your flesh so incredibly deep - before you even know it, you’re off to the emergency room!

But even as damaging as that is, it pales in comparison to what the tongue can do! I remember a time at another church when I was taking a group picture of the youth group and their parents, when a very good friend of mine walked through the room. With a fun smirk and a playful jab, I commented that she couldn’t be in the picture, because she didn’t have kids.

The only problem with that was, she and her husband had been trying to have a child for years.

What’s worse, I knew about it. I have no idea what motivated me to say those words… But that’s not the point! The point is, my words had cut her so deep I destroyed her. By the time she walked out of the room, she was practically weeping. Though we’ve patched things up since then, I’m sure that moment haunts her, probably more than it does me.

I also have a memory of sitting in a one-on-one discipleship meeting with someone, describing an incident in my life, how God brought me through it, and what He taught me from it… and as I spoke, I watched the light come on inside a friend, and saw their countenance change - to grab the epiphany and have it change their whole life! That is an incredible experience, to see God use my words to minister right where someone needs them to bring new perspective and open up a new avenue to speak to their soul.

I’ve experienced both sides of the double-edged sword that the tongue can be. I’ve also been on the sword-swinging side, having my words not only do something beautiful but also cause pain and destruction.

The Bible is full of wisdom about controlling the tongue: James 3:10 is good, and Proverbs has numerous examples (18:21 and 21:23 are some favorites). But probably one of the best is Luke 6:45 - “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.” The most critical component of your communication is your heart. You have to have your heart filled with the goodness of God in order to use that tongue of yours for His glory!

Today, concentrate and confirm that your heart and your mouth are both under God’s control:

  1. Read large quantities of scripture
  2. Ask God to reveal your heart through the reading
  3. Meditate on those scriptures He brings to light throughout the day
  4. Reflect on how God used your words to bring life to those around you
Posted by Jamey Halfast with

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