“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” John 7:38
I was struck by the realization that Jesus chose not to be baptized in a lake, but chose the Jordan river as His place of baptism.
I believe there is symbolic power in Jesus’ choice. The moving water of the river Jordan demonstrates the vibrant and moving power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus went down into the rushing water of a raging river, not into the lapping banks of a calm lake. So when Jesus calls us to come join Him through baptism, He is not calling us into the predictable and tame waters of a lake. Instead, we go down into the rushing waters of our baptisms–it should cause a major disruption in our lives.
But too often we treat our faith and our churches like lakes. Lakes are pretty to look at on occasion, fun to jet ski on, or relaxing to fish in…but we have hushed the rush of God’s living whitewater in our hearts for the serene sounds of lapping lake shores. We have chosen to build a dam so that the once lively, vibrant flowing stream will calm down. We seek to manage this unstoppable force, with floodgates.
In doing so we dam up the powerful river, so we can suck its incredible energy for ourselves. Then we settle down and build beautiful lake front homes alongside the safety of a lake whose water levels rise and fall mostly at our discretion.
The same occurs in our faith. We’d rather play on the lake than feel the push of the Spirit to GO. We’d rather not enter the currents of life where boulders and rapids threaten to pummel us. We’d rather life be predictable, manageable and fun, because then we do not have to trust God with our full selves.
Are you trying to live on Lake Placid, while Jesus is calling you down into the whitewater?
Where in your heart have you built up the hardened dams?
Where can you open that dam so the living water may flow out of your heart?
Jesus is calling you down into the river with Him, so you can step off the bank and join Him.