"Redigging the Ancient Wells: Part 3"

By Sue Towne

 

For the past several weeks we’ve been looking at Genesis 26, where Isaac redigs the physical (and in some ways, the spiritual) wells of his father, Abraham. This week we are finishing this study.

When we left this topic last week, we were about to take it to a personal level, to talk about our heritage as 21st-century New Covenant believers.

At one point when I was studying this passage several years ago, I sensed the Lord posing three questions to me.

“What is your inheritance?”
“What is your heritage?”
“What are the distinctives of your history?”

He paused between each one of these. When I didn’t answer one question, He would pose the next one. I thought at the time that He was just rephrasing the question so that I could come up with an answer. But now I think that each of these questions could be answered separately and distinctly.

“What is your inheritance?”

All of us could answer this from the Word by saying that we are “joint heirs with Messiah.” (Romans 8:17) So whatever His inheritance is, that is what ours is. We really don’t have time and space here in this column to fully explore all that we inherited with Him.

But, for example, Psalm 2 tells us that He has “the nations” as His inheritance. Chapters 6 and 15 of I Corinthians speak about the righteous inheriting the Kingdom of God. Hebrews 6:12 says we are those who inherit the promises of God.

In Hebrews 1:14 we are told that angels minister to us as the heirs of salvation. And in Revelation 21:7 the Alpha and Omega says that we inherit “all things.”

Pretty rich stuff. Deep and powerful, right? But we can’t be passive about that inheritance. If you or I inherit something in the natural, there’s always something we have to do to receive our inheritance, even if it's to sign a receipt or to cash a check.

So digging around these wells of our inheritance probably includes, first, finding out from the Word and the Holy Spirit what our inheritance consists in, and then finding out how to get access to that inheritance--or how to activate that promise in our lives. .

“What is your heritage?”

Part of our heritage is found in the various saints of old whose lives are depicted in the Old and New Covenant scriptures. I think, for example, of the “Faith Hall of Fame” in Hebrews 11. Or of the great cloud of witnesses of Hebrews 12.

But our heritage as 21st-century believers includes more than this. It includes many believers of old, many “saints” in the scriptural sense of that word, who have lived in the centuries since Yeshua ascended to heaven.

For example, we can read of the lives of the martyrs of old (and indeed of the martyrs of recent times) and take such encouragement from their faith, knowing that they are in that great cloud of witnesses, cheering us on to victory.

And there is so much wisdom in the writings of the saints of the past as well as much human error!. If we ask the Holy Spirit to help us discern the wisdom from the error, we can dig around the wells that have watered the lives of these saints and be refreshed ourselves.

(It’s always important when reading anything that is not scripture to consider what you’re reading from the standpoint of what scripture says about the topic.)

We have a rich heritage of faith from which to draw wisdom and inspiration. And many of us have a personal heritage of faith among our families or within our denomination or our congregation.

Many of us know older saints who continue to encourage and inspire us by their very presence in church, for example. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to water us through their lives also.

“What are the distinctives of your history?”

What are the distinctives of the people of faith in the Word of God? I think especially here of the book of Hebrews once again, which takes the lives of the Old Covenant believers as lessons and examples for us in the New Covenant--of both what to do and what not to do. These are some of the distinctives of our history together.

But it can become even more personal. What are the experiences and people who have shaped your life--maybe even before you were born? Here again, maybe the history of the denomination you grew up in was rich in certain areas that have become a strength to you.

Or maybe the Lord would have you connect in some way again with those distinctives that really were a strength from heaven, which you walked away from when you left that denominational stream. I think many of us could identify with that.

In recent months, and in fact within this past week, we have heard of the passing of several men who probably mentored many of us through their books and tapes. People like Bill Bright, Larry Burkett, Kenneth Hagin--and just this week, Derek Prince, We have drawn some good water from these wells.

What are the distinctives of your spiritual history? If you have been walking with the Lord for a number of years like I have, you may have let some of your “wells” get covered over by the drifting sands of life.

I know that I have. Sometimes I think I have forgotten more than I now am practicing as a believer. Only recently I have been redigging some wells that watered me in past years, but I had forgotten about them. I really need that particular water in my life now.

What do you think? Has this stirred your thinking? What things have you let go of that you need to reconnect with?

What parts of your spiritual heritage have you perhaps thrown out, not knowing that there was something in there that was really from the Lord and is valuable for you to walk in now?

What parts of the vast wealth of your inheritance in Messiah have you not tapped into, either because you didn’t know it was yours or because you didn’t know how to access it?

The Church is in a time of transition. Some say it is heading toward a transformation so great that it will be called a “reformation.” The Reformation that occurred about 600 years ago was in many respects, a redigging of ancient spiritual wells.

Lord, show us the wells of our inheritance. Show us the wells of our heritage and our history. And let us know which ones You want us personally to redig!

Thank You!

 

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