What’s Down in the Well…
When I was boy, I remember the topics of conversation in our home covering many topics. School, work, and chores all took their place around the table, in the car, and in the living room.
But very often, spiritual and biblical matters made their way into our conversations: sermons, theological issues, and witnessing opportunities. We heard my Father speak of witnessing on the job, share thoughts on sermons, and articulate concerns about biblical orthodoxy. It was always clear what his concerns were and where he stood.
Lest you think my Father was a pastor or theologian, I will tell you that he was not. He was a trucker. But his love for God’s Word and interest in spiritual things was genuine and evident. Christ and His Word and the need of others for God’s truth were never very far from his conversation. My Dad was a very ordinary man who possessed a hunger for the things of God. And God used that to instill in me a hunger for the Word and a passion for pastoral and preaching ministry. What these things illustrate to us is that spiritual leadership and vision are a matter of the heart. We cannot communicate what is not in our hearts; at least not effectively and passionately. To have a passion for Christ and His Gospel, we must treasure these things above all else, for “where your treasure is there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). Jeremiah the Old Testament Prophet tried to restrain himself from saying anymore about the truth of God: “But His Word was in my heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with holding it in, and I could not” (Jeremiah 20:9).
You do not have to be a Prophet, preacher, or professor to possess a burning passion for Christ, but you do have to know the reality of Christ and His Gospel in your own life. I am not much on clichés, except as a joke, but it is true that what’s down in the well comes up in the bucket. If you are going to pass on a vision for Christ and His Gospel to the next generation, you must possess it in the depths of you soul, “…for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Proverbs 23:7).
Ask God for such a passion and vision. If there is any hint of such in your heart, cultivate it. Practice heart maintenance, and “keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). In the words of the Apostle Paul, “Meditate upon these things; give yourself completely to them; that your profiting may appear unto all. Take heed to the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this you will save yourself and those who hear you” (I Timothy 4:15 &16). Challenge others with these things and pray that God will work in you and them to touch and change the next generation for Christ, “that the generation to come might know [Him]” and “set their hope in God” (Psalm 78:6 & 7).
For the glory of Christ,