Required To Overflow:
The True Measure of Christian Truth/Faith
- On the last and greatest day of the festival [celebrating God’s providence], Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "Let anyone who is thirsty come to Me and drink. Whoever trusts in Me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this He meant the Spirit, whom those who trusted in Him were later to receive. - John 7:37-39a
Trusting in Jesus is hard work. It requires us to zoom out from our particular frustrations, disappointments, betrayals, inadequacies, and sufferings. It requires us to actively remember and lean on a Power greater than ourselves, a Power which seeks our vitality, freedom, and joy. Trusting in Jesus does not mean denying our particularity, but it asks us to hang our identity on something greater than our unique experience and life. This is made more difficult by the urgent demands of now and our belief in scarcity.
“Urgency” and “scarcity” are foundational lies that capitalism and white supremacy depend upon to perpetuate themselves. They run counter to the basic logic of God and a life of trust. They render us reactive, defensive, anxious, and ultimately easily manipulated. I would go so far as suggesting they are idolatrous beliefs because they are so fundamentally at odds with the God of Scripture. Their goal is simple and clear: focus on yourself and your solutions and your ability to hoard power. These are the goals of Satan my friends (see the Temptation of Jesus in Mt. 4 and Lk. 4).
How do we counter the lies of urgency and scarcity? We must take time to settle, center, and ground in God. We must prioritize an experience of peace and a sense of purpose, both rooted in an abiding awareness of our Creator and the gift of our existence. How often do we pause and remember the myriad miracles that make breathing, thinking, and loving possible? How often do we decide not to take for granted delicious food, warm clothes, and welcoming faces? In the face of broken systems, how often do we acknowledge that it is human creations that are inadequate, not God’s Creation?
I claim Jesus as Lord because I need to remind myself who and what I want to have dominion over my life, mind, and heart. In so doing, I make a commitment to trust that there is enough, that I can have access to the spring of living water, that I don’t have to pour out, but will overflow. If I let Jesus be my personal Savior, He will point me to the well inside myself, and I will be more than able to water the seeds of compassion, justice, mercy, hope, and repentance in my life and God’s world. I declare Him Savior because I cannot do this myself. I am just as vulnerable to the lies of urgency and scarcity as anyone else, and I allow those idols into my heart on a (the ) daily basis. The more I welcome Him in, the more those idols are illumined by His light, and the more they are revealed to be false gods. It’s time to make the first commandment first in our hearts.