Being in the flow. Webster’s dictionary tells us to flow means to circulate, to move with a
continual change of place among the constituent particles.
Jesus was in the flow.
In John 13:34 He says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
…so you must love one another. Not that we can or should. We must. It is a command from Jesus that what He has given us, we must give to others. Since we know Jesus' love for us is unending, we have no fear that the source could go dry. That is being in the flow.
Jesus’ next statement is “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)
By this—loving others—people will know we are His disciples.
We are known, not by what we accumulate, but by what we give.
The Dead Sea is the epitome of what happens when we hoard something up for ourselves. It is fed by the Jordan river bringing water down from the Sea of Galilee. The Sea of Galilee is a freshwater lake around which much of the New Testament takes place. This lake abounds in life, and in the days of Jesus and His disciples it provided the livelihood of multitudes of fishermen. It is a place of plenty.
This same water flows out of the lake and down the Jordan until it reaches the Dead Sea, but with no outlet, the Dead Sea holds on to all it is given. The water becomes too toxic for life. Nothing lives in the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea doesn’t give.
It is not enough to accept God’s love. We must have an outlet for it.
But not just love. Forgiveness. Encouragement. Hope. Creativity.
Do you want forgiveness? Forgive.
Do you want encouragement? Encourage.
Do you want to be known as a disciple? Nothing defines you as one more than the love you give.
Do you want creativity? Hoarding up your inspiration, even if the reason is that you are too timid to share, is like placing it in a coffin to wither and die and disappear.
I attended a writers' retreat this past weekend where the theme for many of our conversations--about both the past and the future--was release. The room was filled with women in possession of tremendous talent and creativity (and me...I was there too), but each one sought a way to pour out their unique gifting for the glory of God.
To contain that power inside us, to have inspiration that is never released, love never expressed, causes something within us to die. A little piece of our heart or our soul perishes.
To be in the flow, we need to be a conduit. A channel through which God’s love is conveyed. A channel for forgiveness. A channel for encouragement. A channel for creativity. We need to release what we have been given. It must be allowed to flow, to circulate, to move in a continual change of place. Our blessings, our hurts, our inspiration, our failures, our successes. Our friendship, our forgiveness, our hope, our love.
The Jordan river is a conduit that allows the water in the Sea of Galilee to flow down into the Dead Sea. And what shapes the river? It is the power of the water flowing through it that gives it its shape.
I don’t want to just be in the flow. I want to be a conduit for the flow.
I want the shape of my life to look like the love of God and the example of Christ.
In what ways are you serving as a conduit? Or there areas in your life where you feel like the Dead Sea?