July 18

Ezekiel 45-48, Psalm 44

Corrie Ten Boom said, "Hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise it hurts when God pries your fingers open." As we examine our lives we must all ask ourselves who is on the throne of our lives, ourselves or God. This means every aspect of our lives including our relationships, our places of work, our finances, everything. Are we giving God portions or are we allowing Him to take control of everything. Our pastor, Lloyd Pulley wrote a book a number of years ago called , Under His Influence, Yielding to the work of the Holy Spirit. In the chapter titled, Torrents of Living Water, he provides a powerful example of the total abandonment to the moving of the Spirit that God desires in our lives from Ezekiel 47.

The power needed to live the Christian life comes from the source of the Holy Spirit. In Ez 47:3, we read, "and he brought me through the waters; the water came up to my ankles." Like this, many Christians are satisfied to be saved by grace, but still desire to satisfy themselves in the world. Their walk with God is only ankle deep. In Ez 47:4 they go a little further, "Again he measured one thousand and brought me through the waters; the waters came up to my knees....". Though further along on your Christian walk and experiencing more of the force of the Holy Spirit, there is less self coming through but we can still resist the Holy Spirit in areas and go our way fairly easily. Later in Ez 47:4, we see as they move further, "the water came up to my waist." The force of the Holy Spirit though not overpowering us is now directly challenging our own strength and our own limitations are becoming more obvious. Finally in Ez 47:5 they go further and we read, "I could not cross ; for the water was too deep." At this point in a deep and powerful river a person has no choice but to be carried along completely in the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Pastor Lloyd concludes this section by asking us to evaluate our own lives and ask ourselves what influence we are allowing the Holy Spirit to have in our own lives. Are we dipping our toes in and sensing His Presence. Allowing more of Him in but still ruling our own lives not being fully yielded. Or are we willing to plunge in and allow ourselves to be totally submersed into the river, which is the Holy Spirit, so that we can experience the fullness of life that God desires for us. The Christian walk is a marathon, not a sprint, in which clarity will progress as we progressively move out of the way and give way to the Holy Spirit working within us. He is the Potter, we are the clay (Isaiah 64:8, Jeremiah 18), but are we allowing ourselves to be molded by Him. May we all take assessment of our lives and release anything which prevents us from being everything that God wants us to be.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster