Today’s Devotion

In Stagnant Water
Like sheep they are destined for the grave, and death will feed on them. The upright will rule over them in the morning; their forms will decay in the grave, far from their princely mansions.  Psalm 49:14 NIV
I think about the one word to encapsulate what my life has been here, and what came to mind is stagnant.  And once I realized that, I realized how bad it was.  I digress though because my entire time here has not been stagnant and the enemy wants me to keep thinking that.  God has given me so much in the midst of adversity–life, health, sustenance, and even now He keeps blessing me.  Yet some of my life experiences can be qualified as stagnant.  For example, my membership in a church has been stagnant, more because I have not found the one place that I can call home, my fertile soil for growth.  But I thank God that instead He has sought to provide me the spiritual nourishment and nurturing that has allowed me exponential growth in spite of that.  My romantic involvements have been stagnant…and boy oh boy I won't even begin to go there, but just know that God has delivered me from those situations and is teaching me what a true woman of God deserves and more importantly patience until I'm in position, molding me into the ideal wife for my ideal husband.  Even my work life has been stagnant, but God has blessed me and allowed me to grow tremendously in other ways.  But I want to help you understand stagnant water and how it may be affecting you and your walk.  The beauty is that out of stagnancy–out of that decay–can come new life if you are willing to pursue it.
From my own knowledge, stagnant in itself means not moving, not flowing, to the point of a bad smell.  The only things that grow in stagnant water are mosquitoes (which bring us pain and aggravation), germs (which make us sick), decay (which means its time to cut something off), and death.  And perfect that this plague my thoughts…so what waters are you drinking from?  I have drank from both sides, experienced the pain and aggravation of literal and figurative mosquito bites and the soothing salve that takes the sting and itch away.  I have been sick spiritually from battling the truth I know against the reality of the natural.  I have been sick physically and mentally.  I have, or rather God, had to cut off ways of thinking I had, people I used to hang with but in the midst of that God has stepped in and filled those voids in my life with Himself, allowing me to truly experience what living water is and how I can get more and more of it and it never run out, it keeps on flowing.  I have experienced death–deaths of loved ones, relationships, attitudes and dreams…all of that from allowing the foul odor of stagnancy to stink up my thoughts.  But it has been through these situations that God has been filling me with His water, His word, and His plans.
Jesus told the woman at the well that He had living water (John 4:10).  Living waters are like our creeks, streams, and rivers, constantly moving and flowing, brimming with life.  Going to God, getting deeper in relationship with Him, just pursuing and thirsting after Him and understanding of Him causes His waters to rain afresh on you each day.  Dying to self (the decay, the stagnancy), allows God to renew you and give you new life.  However, it is when we drink the waters that look good–self-indulgence, self-gratification, pleasing others, or in my case, always trying to fit in when I knew I never would, that's how you become stagnant and stunted in your growth. 
A thought comes to mind from a conversation I had earlier today.  A close friend of mine will be leaving our job next week, and after talking with her, I kept coming back to stagnant.  This environment is like a stagnant pool of water.  Usually what enters here becomes tainted by the stench of power, racism and bigotry, sexism, and other forms of discrimination.  God allows us to go into stagnant situations because we bring the light, His light in and clear out the odor. We are His light bearers!  What happens when the sunlight hits a stagnant pool of water?  After a period of time, it evaporates!  The light kills everything that grew in that pool because it no longer can exist without the water.  God is that light, and when we thirst after Him even in foul situations, His light shines through us and changes the nature of that situation.  I challenge you today to thirst after God (Psalm 42:1) and His plans for you, so that you can be the vessel to channel His light in foul waters, bringing His life-giving waters to others.  He is the only way!

"Against its will, all creation was subjected to God's curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God's children in glorious freedom from death and decay."  Romans 8:20-21 NLT

"No weapon formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of God and their righteousness is of me," says the Lord.  Isaiah 54:17


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