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You are a spring in the garden, a fountain of pure water, and a refreshing stream from Mount Lebanon. Song of Solomon 4:15 (CEV)

Stagnant water.

Just reading those words conjure up the rancid odor, the slimy film, the repulsiveness of it. It could have been on a walk through the woods on a stifling summer day or while cleaning up some deserted lot full of tires and other ‘water catching’ containers.

Stagnant water breeds disease. Stagnant water squelches life. Stagnant water pushes us away. Stagnant water never satisfies. Stagnant water puts within us a desire to find fresh water.

Sometimes life can be like that stagnant pool we try to avoid. You can’t put your finger on it really, the source that is. You just feel flat. For a writer or speaker it can be those times when you stare at the computer screen or paper for what seems like hours wondering what comes next.

Stagnancy of the spirit. It’s tough. It takes away your creativity. It can make you irritable, impatient, restless. Stagnancy of the heart drives us to look for more in our relationships, more in our job contentment, more in our spiritual walk. At its worst, stagnancy of the heart can drive us to lose the will to live at all.

You rarely see condominiums built next to an ugly bog, or see people gather to take pictures in front of a swamp. On the other hand, people yearn for the freshness of a mountain stream, a shooting fountain or a waterfall plummeting over a cliff. These are signs of life, of beauty, of freshness!

In one of the greatest loves stories of all time, the ‘beloved’ is described as a spring in a garden, a fountain of purity, a refreshing stream from the loftiest mountain. As one scholar wrote, Though the fountain is lowly, the source is lofty; fed by the perpetual snows of Lebanon, refreshingly cool, fertilizing the gardens of Damascus. It springs upon earth; its source is heaven. It is now not “sealed,” but open “streams”.

It’s easy, during those ‘stagnant times’ of our walk to forget the source of our vitality. The follower of Jesus Christ need never fret those times of occasional stagnancy for we know that the freshness of our souls, the vitality of our hearts, doesn’t rest on our own abilities or on the environment we live in.

May we always be the conduit of freshness from heaven. May our hearts overflow with the fresh water of God’s Holy Spirit. May others see in us a fresh mountain stream with its source in heaven and not a stagnant pond intent on focusing on ourselves.

PRAYER: Father God. I confess that there are times in my life when I allow the cares of life to cause me to be stagnant. Fill me to overflowing with the freshness of your Spirit so that I can feel revived and others can benefit from your love. Amen.


I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Revelation 3:18

How we perceive something affects our entire outlook on life. Years ago ‘magic eye’ pictures were very popular. These mosaic design pictures had hidden pictures among the dots or squares. Some people could see the message in the picture right away. Others had a hard time seeing the message, or couldn’t see the message at all. It is all a matter of perception.

Spiritual perception can work the same way. In Revelation John writes to the church in Laodicea. The church in Laodicea was well established. They had been doing the same things for years and had become very stable. The trouble is, sometimes stability leads to stagnancy and Laodicea had become stagnant. In today’s terms they may be referred to as being ‘politically correct’.

The Laodicean’s knew what they stood doctrinally. They believed all the right things. The problem was that tradition and leniency had seeped into the church so that it was really hard to tell the difference between traditional and doctrine. In a word, they were comfortable. Jesus didn’t call us to grow comfortable and stagnant. He called us to be vibrant, alive members of society. Like salt adds flavor and preservatives to food, the Christ follower is to be a positive change agent in their world.

Jesus issued some harsh words to the Laodicean’s about their spiritual perception. Perhaps the biggest concern was the fact that the people didn’t even realize how far they had strayed. Like the frog in boiling water they had become so accustomed to the gradual straying from God’s ways they didn’t realize how far they were from the truth. It was as though the people in the Laodicean church had cataracts. They no longer saw their mission and purpose clearly.

As a follower of Jesus Christ we need to constantly check our spiritual eyesight to make sure we are seeing life through Jesus’ eyes and not the eyes of tradition or denominational dogma. The best way to do that is to, first of all, go directly to the source. Spend time reading the Bible on a daily basis, not just reading books about the Bible.

Secondly, talk to God about your questions. Prayer is not just you talking and God listening. It’s voicing your concerns, needs, etc. and then meditating and giving God a chance, through His Holy Spirit, to direct your thoughts in the direction He wants you to go.

Lastly, build your life around a core group of believers that you can trust to tell you the truth, pray with you and encourage you through the tough times.

Jesus wanted to clear up the eyesight of the people in Laodicea because He knew that clear eyesight leads to clear direction. In the same way He wants each of us to see how we can best change the world around us.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I come to you today realizing that my view of you and of what you want me to be is in danger of being affected by society, tradition and denominational dogma. As David prayed, I ask that you would search me and see if there is anything in my life that is keeping me from being salt to those around me. Show me through your Word, prayer and fellow believers how I can be the vibrant person you want me to be. Amen.

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