A Parable

In response to the constant criticism of our Church leaders.

There was a village and above the village a tall hill. At the top of the hill lived an old man.
Each morning the old man would walk down the hill from his house. The man walked down, being careful not to fall, with a large barrel on wheels. He would take the barrel and go to the well in the village centre.

The villagers were proud of the well, as it was the envy of the other villages in the area. Being fed by a small stream, running down a hill, ensured it was always fresh and clear.

The man would fill up the barrel and slowly pull the barrel up the hill, to his house. It was a great weight, but each day he did the same.

Now some in the village would stand near the well each day and criticise him.
“Why such a large barrel, for such a small man?” They would ask.

The man would ignore their comments and continue the ritual each day.

As time went on, the crowd at the well grew larger.
“What gives him the right to take so much of our water?” They asked.
No matter how large the crowd grew or open criticism of his actions, the old man ignored them.

Then one day, as had become custom, the crowd waited by the well for the old man to arrive. Only this day he never came. They waited till mid morning and then went home.

Later that day, when the women went to fetch some water, they found the stream that supplied the well had dried up. The crowd gathered and soon concluded that it must be the fault of the old man. They gathered together and made their way up the hill. When they got to the old man’s house, they found him dead on his porch, with the empty barrel beside him.

“At least he won’t be taking our water anymore.” They said.
Some looked around, to see how the man lived, that he should need so much water. Then they found a rock pond. The pond was empty, apart from a few drops of water.
“No wonder it’s empty.” Said one, “There is an exit, stopped with just a few small stones.”
“Look.” Said another, “The exit leads down the hill.”

They all gathered at the top of the hill and looked down. The stream that had fed the well had its origin in the old man’s pond.

Each day, to keep the water in the well from becoming stagnant and stale, the old man would carry as much as he could to the top of the hill. Flowing from his pond and over the stones, the water going into the well was fresh and clear.

The walk

In my experience God lays down in our path the things He wants us to pick up. God won’t move in our lives unless we move first. To see God move, we must start to walk. As we walk, we will know when we are heading in the wrong direction, as He will make our direction clear; that is assuming we are not stubborn and are genuinely seeking His kingdom.
In my experience, the people that cannot work out what God wants, are not moving in any direction, but waiting for God’s prompting before they move. By moving forwards we can know if the direction we are heading in is the right one or not.

So often we become gripped by fear, unable to decide what direction to take, the longer we remain, the greater hold the fear has over us.
The disciples also found the same when Jesus had been crucified. They feared for their lives and some went back to their old way of life and others hid. Jesus appeared to them and told them to go to Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Spirit. From that point on they were never without direction. Jesus had given them everything they needed.

They had the counselor, power (in the form of spiritual gifts) and clear instructions; “go!” We have to accept that we will make mistakes, we have to make the mistake to know that it is one.
The key then, to taking up our authority, is to first seek His kingdom. I know it would seem obvious, but unless we see the process as a walk, we won’t find what we are looking for. He will lead us (when we walk); leaving the things in our path that we must pick up. These are the plans that He has for us to walk in. If we fail to walk, fail to seek Him or fail to pick up what has been put in-front of us, we will not be taking up our authority.
Failing to move forward will result in stagnation. Failing to seek His kingdom will result in the wrong things being sought and a lost believer. Failing to take up what He has prepared for us will result in a frustrated and unfulfilled believer.
Regardless of the consequences, we must never stay still for long; I can understand that at times we must wait, but let’s not mistake waiting with settling. Waiting is to be poised ready, settling is to set in place plans, that eventually become difficult to move on from.
Regardless of the faith required, we must know that He will supply all that we need, when we move forward. To move forward is not just to randomly pick a direction. This is not about base jumping off a cliff because it feels right. He said “Go and make disciples, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and I will be with you always.” The question to ask, ‘is the direction going to lead to or support any of these; disciple making or teaching others to follow what Jesus commands?’ If so, then know that He will be with you. The rest will work itself out.
Know that as you walk there will be opportunities; we should pause, measuring the opportunity against His calling on our lives. Whether that calling is found within Matthew 28 or something more detailed, take it with caution. Never allow yourself to be distracted from what you know you should be doing and only take up what you know He would want you to add to your life.
Armed with this, you will take up the authority the Lord gives with a wisdom that will mean you stand out as a good custodian of His anointing on your life.
Never allow your fears to tell you when you will move forward, whether you can trust in the Lord or take up the authority He has for you. Know that the Lord does not want us to be ruled by fear; He require faith.

Scars Run Deep

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