Water-pumping people

A.J. Gordon was looking across a field from a distance when he saw a man working furiously at a hand pump—one that pumps water into a bucket. He was working and working without slowing down.

When Gordon got closer he realized it wasn’t actually a man. It was a wooden figure painted to LOOK like a man. The arm was hinged at the elbow to make it look real.

Real water was in fact pumping out, but it was an artesian well; water from under the ground was naturally gushing up at that exact point. So someone cleverly constructed a wooden figure to make it look like a man was pumping the water—but really, the water was pumping the man!*

That’s like the Holy Spirit working in and through followers of the risen Jesus. From a distance and from the outside, it may look like we’re working for God; but really, God is working through us, pouring out streams of living water through normal people like you and me in his church.

In 2 Timothy 1:7 Paul says something to Timothy which is an instructive word for us too: “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”

Power, love and self-discipline. Those three together are like streams of living water pumping into a parched land and into parched lives, including our own.

It may look like we’re working for God; but really, God is working through us. What a gift. What an opportunity. And what refreshment for the world.

That doesn’t mean our lives are fancy, impressive or that we always get it right. It means that God is determined to get things done through people who have said Yes.

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”


Notes:

–Today’s devotional is connected to my latest sermon which is based on Luke 2:1-41 and is called “Carriers of the Holy Spirit.” Click here to watch or listen.

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

–*The story is told by Michael Green and quoted in: Alfred E. Mulder, Christian: What it means, why it matters (Grand Rapids: Faith Alive, 2007), 52.

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