What kind of Christian are you? It is easy in our day to think the primary purpose Jesus rescued us was to fill our minds and hearts with the knowledge of God, and the blessings of heaven. How great it is to have the Word, and our Christian friends, and all that great worship music! But are we really supposed to be the "end users" of God's blessings?
I think my first experience with bottled water was when we moved to Southern California in 1993. Having grown up in Spokane, WA I couldn't believe people actually paid for water in bottles! Our Spokane tap water was amazing and no one ever though of going to the store and buying it.
But, in SoCal it was apparent that everyone needed to have their own water bottle. Since then the water bottle industry has exploded. Most folks won't leave the house without their wallet, keys, and fancy water container filled with store-bought water. Weird!
But, let's think about that water bottle for a few minutes. We all have them. And we all fill them up and carry them around all day. When we need hydration, we take a drink, and when we run low, we fill it up again. We see it as our own personal way to stay healthy and refreshed.
I find many Christ-followers are like that water bottle. They treat their mind and soul like containers for the healthy refreshment of God's truth. They read their Bibles, and fill up a bit in the morning. They go to church, and the worship music and preaching fill them up as well. Bible Study provides another opportunity to fill up mid-week. They are intent on keeping their bottle full! But sadly, that's their goal. They believe these "fill up" times are primarily meant to give them the refreshment and spiritual health they'll need to live for Jesus in a broken world.
How misguided they are. Here the point: They have become water bottle Christians who think their lives are to be the "end users" of God's blessings. They actually believe spiritual growth comes when they bottle up God's truth, and the blessings he has granted them, for their own personal benefit. They have become their own spiritual cul-de-sac. God's blessings come in, but they never flow out.
There is no other way to say it. Water bottle Christians who fill up for their own benefit alone are both selfish and ignorant. They are ignorant of the full message of Jesus, and selfish in remaining in that ignorance.
Water bottle Christians have never personally appropriated the fact our Lord Jesus Christ calls his people to be conduits, not cul-de-sacs. We were never called to put caps on our containers, but rather to be pipes and sprinklers through which the water of life can flow out to a sin-intoxicated world.
So enough with the metaphors. What kind of Christian are you? It's fine to have a thirsty soul, and it's right to fill up your soul with the things of God. But don't become the final resting place of God's blessings. Don't ever think you've been rescued by Christ for you, for your personal health and refreshment alone!
Jesus Christ didn't save us for so we could feel good. He saved us so he could look good. And here's the greatest part: When he looks good in and through us, we'll feel the best!
So, don't lose your water bottle. Keep filling up with God's truth. But go further in that truth and become a water fountain, offering the water of life to all those around you.