In Australia, we love to do ‘tea’ or, as they say here, “have a cuppa”. If you made tea today you managed the water in a tea cup. You poured in just enough water, added the tea and held it in your hand as you drank. You were able to put it into you in a manageable way.
In the Bible, the Holy Spirit is likened to water and his operation in your prayer life can be manageable just like that. You hold him and contain him in a manageable way. But there is more water to be had than can just fit in a tea cup.
You can put water in the sink to wash dishes in a manageable measure. You couldn’t wash dishes in a tea cup.
A bathtub provides a manageable amount of water. More than a sink – you can put your whole body in a bathtub. Then, in a swimming pool, other people can join you and you can have lots of water but its still water in a confined area.
When Tony and I moved with our girls to Australia we stayed in a hotel across from the beach. I saw something I had never seen in Colorado or even in Italy or anywhere for that matter.
I saw lots of people out in the water – a huge body of water – the ocean! They were out on surf boards. They had used a little of their strength to get out there but they were just sitting… waiting. Then, something they could not manage came their way.
You can manage water in a cup, a sink, bathtub or a pool but you cannot manage the ocean! You cannot manage the waves that come, but you can surf on them!
You cannot surf in a teacup, bath or even a pool but you can ride on the waves of the ocean. In the ocean you don’t carry the water, the water carries you!
God is preparing the Body of Christ for something bigger than you or I can manage. We ask for more and we get more of Him – enough of God to fill a sink, or even a swimming pool. But there is more! There is enough of God to be unmanageable! There is water to swim in!
Our hearts witness to the season we are in – the prelude to the coming of Jesus. In this season there is more to be had of God than we could ever manage. There is a place in prayer where, instead of carrying prayer, prayer carries us!
Here’s an old song we used to sing:
The mercy of God is an ocean divine, a boundless and fathomless flood
Launch out in the deep, cut away the shore line
And be lost in the fullness of God.
But many Alas! Only stand on the shore and gaze on the ocean so wide,
They never have ventured it’s depths to explore,
Or to launch on the fathomless tide.
And others just venture away from the land, and linger so near to the shore
That the surf and the slime that beat over the strand,
Dash o’er them in floods ever-more.
Oh, let us launch out on this ocean so broad, where flood of salvation o’er flow
Oh, let us be lost in the mercy of God,
Till the depths of His fullness we know.
Launch out into the deep, Oh let the shoreline go
Launch out, launch out in the ocean divine,
Out where the full tides flow!
Albert B. Simpson (1843-1919)
Ezekiel 47:5 Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over.