There are two major bodies of water in Israel– the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. (Okay, I know the Jordan River that connects them is pretty important and the Mediterranean Sea is pretty big. Work with me here!) These geographical spots can be instructive to our spiritual vibrancy.
The Sea of Galilee is a fresh water lake and is vibrant. Cool waters flow from Mt. Hermon and the surrounding hills, bubbling up from a spring at Caesarea Philippi. The water leaves the Sea of Galilee to form what we know as the Jordan River.
The waters of the Sea of Galilee abound with life. Fishermen still ply their trade there just as Peter and Andrew did long ago. Sea birds gather to catch minnows (and bread from tourists) in the rich waters. Water flows in and water flows out.
The Dead Sea (or Salt Sea) is much different. Water flows in from the Jordan River but never leaves except through evaporation. The salinity level is so high (much higher than the Ocean) that there are no fish swimming in her waters. Water flows in but never out.
These two bodies of water illustrate for us the need to both receive and give. If we only take in and never pour out, we are like the Dead Sea. It is not enough to learn about ministry; God made us to minister as well. Listen and learn and grow. But don’t stop there.
The Sea of Galilee does plenty of receiving. Water is consistently pouring into her boundaries. But the Sea of Galilee also gives her water to the Jordan River. This keeps her waters fresh and alive and vibrant.
If we give as well as receive, we find spiritual life and vibrancy. God did not bless you just to be blessed. He also blessed you to bless others. He doesn’t give for you just to have. He also gives for you to give.
Stop taking in the truth of God’s word and you will become a parched desert. But only receive the truth without ministry and service to others and you will be wet but as dead as the Dead Sea.
Spiritual vibrancy involves learning. And spiritual vibrancy involves going. Take in and give away. God made you and saved you to do both.