During a Sunday morning prayer service, the leader shared imagery of a river overflowing with life. We are rivers of life, she said. The implication is that we have great opportunity — perhaps responsibility — to offer abundant life from the depths of Christ’s love within us. That love enables us to influence situations and circumstances. To bring light into darkness. Life from death.
As we began to pray and worship, my ears started to tickle and I found myself metaphorically thumbing through scripture on my iPhone. I was searching for Isaiah 43:19, where God says
“”Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.”
My focus and ensuing meditation was of God making rivers in the desert, in the dry places. Dry places may refer to the heart, the mind, or the natural and created world. Yet, I kept hearing the words, “open your mouth.” What does that mean? I wondered. My conversation with Father God continued in this fashion: “Open your mouth,” He’d say. I hear you, Father God, but I have know idea how this relates to rivers in the desert! Oh, how God must chuckle with me!
With a little time, a little patience, a little more worship, and a lot of listening, His Word became clear.
I forget sometimes how God has blessed me to see and experience His presence around the world. Not just in my home, my church, or in my neighborhood, but around the world. In my young 11 years as a disciple of Jesus, I have compiled a chest full of stories and experiences of God’s transforming power. My chest is overflowing and God continues to fill it. I forget sometimes the gift I have in these stories. I didn’t play any significant part in transformation, but I am and have been strategically placed to collect stories. Though I marvel and share my collection with close friends, I forget to open my mouth to wider circles and share the majesty and wonder of God’s transforming work in the world. To share the new things, the new creations; the roadways He makes and the rivers He flows through dry places.
I have met Josephs and Daniels who were persecuted for their faith. Sometimes beaten and imprisoned. By grace, they found themselves in the audience of the king and other high ranking government officials planting seed for Christ.
I have met men and women who broke their bindings to other gods and “religions” after dreaming of Jesus or after a supernatural experience of His love.
I have visited some of the darkest places on earth and found the Light of Jesus present and available. In these places, God is transforming lives. He is breaking the influence of anger, murder, rape, violence (despite what we see in the news). He is raising up outcasts named ‘criminal’ and ‘convict’ as light bearers to influence the darkness. Yes, God still uses the foolish to shame the wise, the weak to shame the strong, the base and despised things so that no one may boast (1 Corinthians 1:27-28).
Open your mouth…and share with the world the new things I am doing. Share the new life I am creating. See and tell of the roadways in the wilderness and the rivers in the desert. I am building a garden of life and light; rivers are flowing. Do you see? Will you share?
What the world needs to know — is desperate to know— is that new things and new life outnumber old things. I believe the word God spoke to me is not for me alone. It is for all who know and taste the goodness of God. We have a voice greater than any government, news outlet, or angry mob. And we have the technology to share it around the world. What if we opened our mouths and saturated social media with praise for our great God instead of hatred for humankind? What if we shared stories of transformation in Christ instead of our woes? Could we influence the media, the nation, the world? Could we influence our neighbors?
God has “given waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to [His] chosen people” ( Isaiah 43:20). Why? So we will declare His praise! (Isaiah 43:21)
Open your mouth. Share of the good news and the new things God is doing.