Borrowed Truths

The River

the river
Picture of Borrowed Truths

The River

There are four types of Christians that I would like to show you today, and they all reside in the analogy of a river. The river is the Holy Spirit of God, ever flowing, never ceasing on its travels to the heart of God, His movement is continuous, serving only one purpose, to glorify God, to exalt His name above the heavens. (Psalm 66:7) All of these individuals are saved, none of the lost are allowed near this river, the Holy Spirit is hidden from those who do not know Christ as Lord, but He is open and available at all times to those who call Jesus Savior.

The first born-again believer rarely leaves the banks of the river, the place the world resides in, although occasionally he may dip his feet in for a short time. The world still holds safety and security in his mind, his job, family and possessions, his friends, and acquaintances he will not leave, at least not entirely. His faith is still in himself and his abilities, the objects and pleasures of the world still hold sway over him, and he knows the river to be deep. If he jumps in, he will be taken downstream, away from all he knows and the security of it, and so he remains on the shore, praising God occasionally, but not wanting to serve fully, not trusting enough to give up all for Christ.

He watches as the second of our group of four runs at top speed from the banks of the river, diving in headfirst, plunging beneath the waves, and then coming up from the great depths, gasping for air, floundering, unsure of what he has done. He is dashed against the rocks along the shoreline, unable to swim and incapable of gaining a hand hold. He will not be drowned, but he can grasp nothing, his footing is unsure, and he tries to swim with all his might. This one has found Christ worthy to be served, has found Him to be all that he was searching for, but he has not been taught, has not spent enough time studying the Word of God, and so is unable to control his flow down the river, and tries unsuccessfully to return to the world. He will be safe, for one of the third ones in our group will pull him into their small boat.

These are those who read the word of God, but rarely study it to search out Christ, and vary rarely apply it. They have a paddle in their small craft, and with it they will go to and fro, sometimes down river, sometimes up, over to the shore for a brief respite, visiting the world as if on vacation, then back into their tiny boat, making their own decisions on which direction to travel next.

The last in our group of four also have a small boat, just as sturdy as the third one, but with one major difference, they have no oars. They are trusting completely in the river, the Holy Spirit, to guide them on their way. Sometimes the sailing is smooth, sometimes there are rocks and rapids, but always they trust, knowing it is the Most High that is directing their path. Occasionally a few of those sitting on the shore will see this last group going down the river past them, and they will think about what that would be like, but it all depends on their spot on the river. If they see the ones in the fourth group floating around lazily, they will desire such a craft as they have, but if they watch as they go across the jagged rocks, as the rapids begin to throw them side to side, not so much. If it is calm, if the weather is nice, if nothing dramatic is occurring in their lives, they desire, but when the storms come, not so much, the safety of the known is held fast to, they will answer the call only on calm, sunny days.

Our brother who dove in headfirst into the deep, mighty river is to be admired, and although he may be offered a place in the boat of our fourth individual, the one with the oars may seem safer to him at the moment. A sense of security comes with those oars, a sense of control, and to a degree this is what he needs at this moment, for he has found the water to be deep, and although good and Holy intentions are to be admired, unless we have the wisdoms of the Word of God within us, we will either continue to flounder, stay on the shore, or need the continuing presence of those oars for some form of security.

Often, not as often as we would like to think though, the brother with the oars will come to a life changing decision, he will look at those oars with new eyes, lowering them slowly into the water, and letting go of his grasp on them, intentionally and with faith in his Lord. His hands will immediately find a strong grip on the sides of the small craft, but he has determined to trust, the oars are not retrievable, and he would not bring them back if he could. As time goes on his faithfulness is rewarded, he finds little need to reach for the sides of the small craft even as it plunges over the rocks and rapids, even when the river is tossing him about, for the Holy Spirit of God will release no man who is a treasure to Christ.

He will arrive safely to his destination, none the worse for wear, and will receive crowns and rewards above his fellows. His small craft can be docked permanently, for he is home, and he will hear what not all will hear from the Lord God, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

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