Spring Up, Oh Well!

Every morning during the work week, I pace a seven-minute stretch between my downtown office and the parking lot off Charlotte and 10th Avenue. At the insane hour of 6:50 AM, with hands in pocket and face to the wind, I saunter upon cracked sidewalks as the shuffle pumps its auditory caffeine into awakening verve. Ascending the hill to 7th Avenue, the rising sun crafts my sidewalk silhouette with rays of hope that set my spirit dancing. And as the shadow greets a revived chi capering out of motions’ shell, life sings its happy song.

Every now and then, however, the hand meets the head scratch, when I realize how such inner festivals are occasionally submerged beneath the doldrums of routine. Despite the unsynchronized rapport between inner celebration and outer walls, my smile soon slants to a linear line at 45°, when conviction gently reminds me how a “Simply Jesus” mindset should and must be visible at all times. If that which is supposed to be transparent, is translucent, or even opaque, then something is off, and something must be done.

If life is all about Jesus, all for Jesus, and if the essence of existence is entirely God and His love for us, then why burry this truth within the confines of personal contentment? Clearly, the foolish tenant should have no place in any story. Unfortunately, many are hiding their most valuable possession under the sediments of self, neglecting the call to walk in God’s life and godliness and forsaking the privilege to invest abided motto into the hearts and souls of those assigned to them. Why are we so quick to forget God doesn’t take a break from us? Day by day, He fills the wells of our hearts with living water, and day by day, we are all faced with the choice to draw this divinely deposited water out so others may be exposed to the wonder of God. Yet, one must question if the church in America is bottling up the water and storing them in the darkness, instead of digging wells through a network of desperate communities, longing to taste the salt and light of God. Whatever happened to the river of life, clear as crystals, flowing from the throne of God? Whatever happened when “Simply Jesus” was simply enough?

Sometimes, it’s easier to put down the shield and chill out the way the world wants us to. But what happens over time is the chill numbs the spiritual essentials, whether it’s discernment, patience, compassion, joy, a faith that moves mountains or a conquering, selfless love, from being felt by a world who needs to experience these facets of God’s character in a functioning way. When the temptation to coast comes knocking, the voice of truth must have access to answer the door, opening our eyes to the fact that life is too precious of a gift to waste the excitement of holy walk on compartmentalized attempts to rise above blues, lethargies and dejections. No matter how high or low we feel, Jesus should not be exclusively condensed down to the one who helps us make it in life, get through life, etc. Yes, He sustains and maintains. Glory to God! But if we’re not thirsty enough for saturation, then an unauthorized go-between is absorbing delight out of what rightfully belongs to our Savior. Let us encourage one another to eradicate the leeches of misaligned affection.

If misaligned affection is permitted to run rampant, then transformation has no foundation to operate from. And if transformation has no foundation to operate from, then we, as believers, are the epitome of the walking crippled. Yes, God’s grace is mighty to save and is faithful to inspire a desire to conform to righteous standards, but if we are careless to address the cobwebs covering our mantle of genuine hunger, how can we expect freedom to be anything more than a sporadic episode? If love is chained to a comfortable place, then we set conformation to a timer, which in turn, limits both effectiveness and capacity to be the hands and feet of Christ. Regardless of shackle type, only God has the key to set us free from these chains.

Taking a bite out of my own life, I can succumb to the leech of false responsibility, inadvertently taking on tasks that solely belong to God. Although it’s not wrong to love others through responsibility, it is wrong if my love is dependent on responsibility. One could say this stumbling block falls under the mindset of “doing right” versus “being right”. Do I not trust that God will take care of my doing, if I simply submit, yield and take on the challenge of “being”? The truth is I never have an excuse to doubt God, and we never have a reason to question if He will come through for us. He is more than enough to handle every line of fine print of every appointed assignment. And whenever despair is provoked, we have to remember that God fills us with His vision in the same way He fills the wells of our hearts with living water. And vision is not meant to stand alone, but rather, be adjoined to and followed by the mission of the Gospel. Furthermore, by casting our cares upon the Lord, we are proclaiming our trust and hope in the heart of God – that He does care of for us (1 Peter 5:7) and we will find grace in times of need (Hebrews 4:15-16) that triumphs over weakness. The Bible is chalk full of uplifting support that encourage us to channel love to the surface of our lives, so that others can see, feel and sense the presence of God, which can lead to understanding, belief and surrender.

In closing, I offer this charge to you: Sing this song to the Lord and soak in it to the best of your strength. Pray it through and specifically ask the Lord to reveal any obstacles that stand in the way of transparent love.

I've got a river of life flowin' out of me.

Makes the lame to walk and the blind to see.

Opens prison doors, sets the captives free.

I've got a river of life flowin' out of me.

Spring up Oh Well.

Within my soul.

Spring up Oh Well

And make me whole.

Spring up Oh Well

And give to me

That life abundantly.

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