Living in the Middle of an Ocean of Churches
By Dennis Love
Think about this. Did you know you could die of thirst stranded out in the middle of the ocean, just as fast as you could if you were stranded in the middle of a desert?
Wouldn’t it be terrible to die of thirst out in the middle of an ocean with water on every side of you, but none to drink? Now, I don’t think I need to explain to you that you cannot drink seawater. We know it is too salty. What you may not know is this. With needing water to drink and seeing nothing but water, you will eventually drink that water even though it is very salty. Here’s what happens when you drink seawater. The salt gets into your bloodstream and draws water out of your cells. Your body then tries to get rid of the excess salt by frequent urination. So, you end up getting rid of more water than what you take in and you dehydrate—-rapidly! And rapid dehydration leads to death.
Spiritually speaking, we can easily find ourselves in a similar situation. The prophet Amos said these words; “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.” (Amos 8:11)
Could those days be upon us? We may not think so because we see churches on every corner. We see preaching on TV. We see spiritual videos posted on Facebook and other social media outlets. We also have access to daily devotionals at our fingertips. However, not everything we hear and see behind pulpits, on Facebook, and TV is the true word of God.
There is a lot of good preaching and teaching at our disposal, but there is also a lot of teaching and preaching that is confusing and false. And, sadly, people are dying of spiritual thirst when they are sitting in the middle of an ocean of churches. The good news is that Jesus, our great High Priest, has opened the door for you and me to approach God for ourselves. We can go directly to Him in prayer and find help in times of trouble. We can open His word, and drink from a pure well of water that never runs dry. So, you don’t have to die of thirst even though you are sitting in the middle of an ocean of churches.
The days spoken by Amos the prophet certainly seem to be upon us. If so, we know it is only going to get worse. There certainly seems to be a famine in the land of hearing the words of the Lord. However, we never need to experience that famine personally. We have the word of God, and He has given us His Holy Spirit to help us better understand it. The famine may be in the land, but it doesn’t need to be in us! We can pick up His word at any time and have our spiritual thirst quenched. Praise the Lord that we don’t need to die of thirst even when living in the middle of an ocean of churches!
Dr. Dennis Love is the Associational Missions Strategist for the Blue Ridge Baptist Association in McDowell County. Dr. Love has been in full-time ministry work for 31 years. He and his wife Vicki have been married for almost 42 years, and they have lived in Marion for almost 8 years. They have two sons, four grandchildren and two step-grandchildren. He can be reached via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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