"Going on With God and Not Camping Out"
By Sue Towne
For the past several weeks we have been looking at Genesis 26 with a view toward rediscovering or maybe reactivating spiritual “wells.” These spiritual wells could represent different revelations or different aspects of life with God.
Or we could say, these wells could represent different “moves” of the Holy Spirit. In one sense it is good, even desirable, for believers to learn from past generations what they discovered about the ways of God.
But with every new move of the Holy Spirit, the danger is that the “new way” becomes calcified, codified, rigid, predictable, stale--it can degenerate over time into yet another religious form.
We need to let the Holy Spirit blow continually like a fresh wind through our lives and let Him change us and our ways, lest we find ourselves once again merely going through the motions, while He waits outside the doors of our hearts or of our meetings, wanting to express Himself in our midst.
What a painful picture that is. Sometimes we are deceived by the winds of doctrine so that we become blind to the new thing that God is bringing on the earth. None of us wants this to be true of us.
At other times, we get so enamored with the way that God has interacted with us in the past, that we cling to that way and so settle for just a little, when He wants to give us so much more.
As I am writing this, I am remembering a vision that a great woman of prayer had many years ago. This woman is now with the Lord in heaven.
But in the vision I am thinking of, she was walking on a road with many other believers. Along the side of the road were small wooden huts and the occasional tent, occupied by people who at one time had been on the road, but who had decided to camp out or live alongside the road, rather than press on.
The road got progressively narrower as the woman walked on, and more and more people stopped walking in order to pitch their tents or to visit with people living in the huts next to the road.
As the crowd thinned out, the road became less distinct, until it became a mere footpath. It entered an area of tall grasses and finally became so narrow that it was only wide enough for one person to pass. The woman having this vision pressed on alone, walking well into the tall grass.
There in the midst of the grass stood what everyone who had started out on the road came to see: the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.
The Lord interpreted this vision to the woman of prayer like this: many get sidetracked along the way to intimacy with Him.
Many stop along the way and “build a tabernacle” at the place where they were blessed, rather than continuing on the narrow path to seek the Blesser, who hides Himself in the grass.
Many are satisfied with the measure of “spiritual progress” they obtain, never realizing how far they are from the Heart’s Desire--or how close they could be to Him.
When I read about this vision, it really marked my thinking. It often comes to my mind as an encouragement to press on and not be satisfied by the latest new teaching or even by my most recent experience or encounter with God.
Something that a seasoned prophet of God once said also stands out to me: there’s always more, more, more in God! We will never come to the “end” of Him. There will always be more of Himself to reveal to us.
May God deliver us from ever thinking we have “arrived” at anything. Lord, keep us unsatisfied with anything that is less than complete unity with You.
Meanwhile, show us, Lord, where to dig or redig our spiritual wells. And when that water starts flowing, help us to press on to “Completion” (Beersheba), or we could say, “fullness,” and not be content with camping out at the “Broad Place” of blessing (Rehoboth).
May we stay hungry for habitation--for the continuous dwelling of the Presence, so that it can become like a river that flows out from us to touch the surrounding land with life.