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Seeds of the Kingdom

Blockages

by Malcolm Wood

Whoever believes in me…streams of living water will flow from within him’. By this He meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive.
John 7:38-39, NIV

It seems that so often God can only get our attention by confronting us with an issue or circumstance in the physical realm that we can’t ignore. And this happened recently at Blairmore House when, one morning, with a house was full of guests, the cry went up –‘We’ve got no water!’ Sure enough all the taps had run dry.

Water for Blairmore House is supplied from a spring high up in the hills about one mile from the house. What could be the cause of this failure? A broken pipe - a leak in the holding tank in the field - or perhaps, the most unlikely even with the moderately dry period we’ve had, the spring had run dry?

Before the problem could be fully investigated certain measures had to be put in place as a matter of urgency to maintain our duty of care for our guests. Water was brought up from the river to keep the toilets functioning and bottled water was purchased for drinking and cooking purposes.

Eventually time was given to finding the cause of the lack of water. We were very relieved to discover that the spring was still flowing providing lots of water. The problem was that it was not running down to the storage tank - there was a blockage in the pipe! There was plenty of water - it just wasn’t going where it should.

After many hours of hard work by our maintenance team the blockage was located and cleared and the flow of water restored. We understand that the gradual build up of silt in the pipe over the course of time caused the blockage which had eventually stopped the flow of water.

Several lessons can and have been drawn from this incident. Practically - a routine inspection and maintenance procedure will now be adopted to ensure that this particular problem doesn’t occur again. Spiritually - many applications can be made from various parts of this experience. The one aspect I wish to highlight here is that it’s possible for things which aren’t helpful to our spiritual growth and development to gain access into our lives. They go unnoticed and gradually build up until the flow of the Spirit through us is severely restricted, or even quenched altogether. This was the case with Samson who ‘did not know that the Lord had left him’ (Judges16:20).

How important it is for us to be regularly praying the prayer of the psalmist - ‘Search me God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting’ (Psalm 139:23-24). Then as we acknowledge these blockages or hindrances, bring them into the light, and ask the Lord to cleanse and restore us, we can say with the hymn writer:

Jesus, fill now with Thy Spirit
Hearts that full surrender know;
That the streams of living water
From our inner man may flow.

Channels only, blessed Master,
But with all Thy wondrous power
Flowing through us, Thou can use us
Every day and every hour.
(Mary E. Maxwell)

Prayer: Dear Lord, I’m sorry for allowing things into my life which restrict the flow of Your Spirit through me. Help me to have the courage to face those issues and allow You to clear these blockages, so that I may be more effective for You. Amen.

Malcolm Wood and his wife Anna became part of the Ellel family as House Managers at Ellel Grange in 1990. Since then they have been involved with many aspects of the developing Ministry. From 2001 until 2015 they were Directors of Ellel Scotland where they hosted several International Schools and Operation Blairmore and helped pioneer the exciting Creative Inspiration Weeks. They have three sons.

 

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