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“WALKING THE DITCH BANKS” – Mar. 9

March 9, 2013

“Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”  John 4:10

“Jesus sad to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty forever. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”   John 4:13-14

Owyhee DesertI live in a land of insatiable thirst.  It is a place marked by a strange geometric patchwork of green in among sprawling expanses of the brown and gray.   It is a land of great potential that lacks an essential element to sustain a fruitful existence.  The fruitlessness of this unaltered environment attests to the fact that this essential element does not naturally occur here.  It has to be imported.

I live in a desert.

Water is king in the desert.  Water is essential for a fruitful existence.

K-Line Irrigation SystemThe land that I call home is known for its production of potatoes and many other agriculture products but all of it is due to the importation of water.  This land truly has been reclaimed through the construction of a labyrinth of irrigation systems.  Water flows from behind dams, through large canals, diverted into laterals, measured into ditches, to flow onto the desert soil through sprinklers or corrugates.  If one were to remove this imported water, valuable farmland would soon revert back to unproductive desert.

This makes water king.English: Old Counter Wall, ditch and bank With... There are times in the growing season when the normal rushing flow of irrigation water will slow to a trickle.  This is disconcerting for a diligent farmer.  He will immediately begin the investigatory task of “walking the ditch” to discover where this essential element has gone.  He may meander along irregular grassy banks; he may move rapidly along concrete channels; he may stand befuddled at diversion structures; he may have to climb into the mountains and investigate the source.

As long as there is water to be had, a farmer with water rights will always get his water.  It may come to him in a different channel.  It may flow to him from an unfamiliar diversion box.  It may be restored after repairing a breach.  A good farmer will be relentless in the search of his water because there is no farming in the desert.

The natural condition of every man is a desert. 

Our natural existence is that of insatiable thirst.  People will spend their entire lives in search of that which will satisfy their thirst.  No matter what they try, this insatiable thirst will return.

The greatest reclamation project ever completed is reclaiming the fruitless soil of sinful human hearts.

The essential element needed to forever alter the condition of man is water – living water. This living water has to be imported.  This living water flows to us through the cross of Christ.  It is the living water of Christ and only this living water that will satisfy our insatiable thirst.  Everyone in the desert will die because they will not find the eternal life-giving water of Christ in any place other than the cross.  Every person who comes to the cross is given this free gift of living water and they will never thirst again because they have water rights; rights as children of God, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, to the never-ending living water that bubbles up to eternal life.

Brothers and sisters, do you feel like you’re in a desert?

A good farmer will always seek out why his water has flowed to a trickle.  Jesus said that the living water that He gives us will never run out.  That is a promise.  We can claim rights to God’s promises as His children.  We have rights to the living water of God.  He is the one who gave them to us.  He intends for us to have them.

Maybe, it is time to walk the ditch bank and investigate why you are feeling parched. 

Maybe, the cares of this world have grown into your ditch and clogged the flow.  It might be time for spiritual cleaning and repentance and turning once again with all of your heart to your Savior.

Maybe, neglect has resulted in cracks and leaks in your concrete ditch.  It might be time to get back to diligence and consistency of the spiritual disciplines.

Maybe, your water is being diverted from a new ditch.  It might be time for patience and trusting in the Lord that His water is coming.

Maybe, you are in the off-season.  It might be that you are in a winter. “It is foolish to plant corn in January. It’s foolish to transplant shrubs in July.  Each season has its suitable tasks, its required duties, its necessary constraints.” (Mark Buchanan, Spiritual Rhythm, p.29)  You may be in the bleakness of a winter season when God’s presence seems to have slowed to a trickle.  It might be time to hunker-down to the winter tasks of prayer, pruning, and waiting, not because you feel like it but because your hope is not in this world.  It might be time to be reminded that you are not made for this world. (Mark Buchanan, Spiritual Rhythm, Ch.2)

Maybe, you need to climb the mountain and make sure that you are being supplied from the true origin of living water.  It might be time to examine yourself, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourself. (2 Cor. 13:5)  Jesus told us in Matthew 7:21-23 that there will be many who come to Him on that day and claim rights that they never had.  There will be many people on that day who will have made confessions of faith, they will have called Jesus, “Lord,”  but He will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”  You must examine yourself and make sure that you have the rights to God’s promises.  You must be a child of God to receive the living water.  You must truly repent, receive Christ’s atoning sacrifice for your sin, and be born again as a child of God.

We have been promised the gift of living water.  This water will never run out.  It will become in us a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

Let’s go get our water, drink deeply, and be amazed at the fruitfulness that the Spirit can produce in reclaimed hearts such as ours.

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for allowing me to even know the free gift of your Son.  Thank you for giving me living water.  Thank you for saving me from the desert of my own soul.  Lord, flow into me.  I want all that you will give me in whatever form and from whatever avenue that You have chosen for me.  You are so good to me.  Teach me how to drink deeply of your living water.  Thank you for making it so that I will never thirst again.     Amen

9 comments

  1. Hi there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my myspace group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content. Please let me know. Cheers


  2. This site is truely a work from God. Thank you for allowing Him to work through you.


    • Thank you for the encouragement. It is all to God’s glory.
      God Bless!
      JD


  3. What an excellent parable! I thank God for being always ready to supply this dusty little speck that He has set His love upon with the Living Water. God bless you and yours.


  4. I like the way you spun out the analogy of irrigation. Nicely put!


  5. Thanks JD for this insight. I have spent many seasons “walking the ditches” and finding my spiritual disciplines (like getting into the Word deeply” have become shells of what they should be.


  6. Thanks for this post, J. D. I have known the spiritual dessert for years, but God has seen fit to turn the water back on once He had dealt deeply in me, killing my religious hang-ups. Then I found that there were still seasons to my walk even after that. I still have times of winter when the “irrigation ditch” is not flowing, but at least these cycles are shorter than my time in the wilderness was. Thanks for the reminder.

    Also, I see you are living in southern Idaho. I live up here just north of the Palouse country in Coeur d Alene. Good to see another Idahoan and brother on the web. Up here the farmers rely on the rain for their crops… more like God’s promise to Israel (the former and the latter rain) in the Promised Land than like Egypt where they watered thier crops through irrigaiton from the Nile. The wonderful thing about this kind of irragation is that we rely on God to come through with the rain or our crops are toast. God used this very thing to keep Israel from wandering too far away from Him as well (remember Elijah’s proclaimed 3 1/2 year draught caused by their sin?). I think God does the same thing spiritually with us as well.

    If you ever get up in this end of the state, look us up.

    Michael
    http://www.awildernessvoice.com


    • Hey Michael – It is so good to hear from a fellow Idahoan. There are not a lot of us out there in this big old blogosphere. I appreciate your comments. They are right on target.
      God Bless!
      JD


  7. Wonderful post!! A great comparison to things seen to things unseen:) God Bless



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