Christine Caine - Grab A Shovel, Part 1
Today, I want to challenge us to start redigging the wells, the wells in our hearts and the wells in our lives. Of course I'm not talking about a literal well, but I want us all to know that scripture says that out of our own hearts will flow rivers of living water, and I want to ask us what are the conditions of our hearts today. What is the condition? Have the wells of our hearts been stopped up? Are you ready for God to do something new and powerful in your life? Well, many wonder what the future holds and how we should live in times of crisis. God's word has the answers. So grab your journal and a pen and take some notes and let's dive right in to today's message. There is a way for you to walk in faith and experience the fullness of your purpose, and I just know God has a word he wants to deposit in your heart today.
Hey, everyone. I am so grateful that you've joined us today. I know that God has a word for you. I feel that the Holy Spirit is going to do a deep work in your heart. You have tuned in to the right program at the right time. We're going to go straight into the scripture today to the book of Genesis, chapter 26. So the Bible says, "Now there was a famine in the land, besides the former famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Gerar to Abimelech king of the Philistines. And the Lord appeared to him and said, “do not go down to Egypt: dwell in the land of which I shall tell you. Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you, for to you and to your offspring I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father. I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws”. So Isaac settled in Gerar. When the men of the place asked him about his wife, he said, “she is my sister”"...
Now, listen. Anybody that's married right now, this is what you should never do, so this is what's going on. "“she is my sister,” for he feared to say, “my wife,” thinking, “lest the men of the place should kill me because of Rebekah,” because she was attractive in appearance. When he had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out of a window and saw Isaac laughing with Rebekah his wife. So Abimelech called Isaac and said, “behold, she is your wife. How then could you say, ‘she is my sister’?”", very good question. I just want you to know that. "Isaac said to him, “because I thought, ‘lest I die because of her’”. Abimelech said, “what is this you have done to us? One of the people might easily have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us”. So Abimelech warned all the people, saying, “whoever touches this man or his wife shall surely be put to death”".
Man, if you thought the Bible was boring, you were not reading the right book because this is honestly better than a day time soap opera right now. "And Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. The Lord blessed him, and the man became rich, and gained more and more until he became very wealthy. He had possessions of flocks and herds and many servants, so that the Philistines envied him. (now the Philistines had stopped and filled with earth all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father). And Abimelech said to Isaac, “go away from us, for you are much mightier than we”. So Isaac departed from there and encamped in the valley of Gerar and settled there. And Isaac dug again the wells of water that had been dug in the days of Abraham his father, which the Philistines had stopped after the death of Abraham. And he gave them the names that his father had given them. But when Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found there a well of spring water, the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “the water is ours”. So he called the name of the well Esek, because they contended with him. Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that also, so he called its name Sitnah. And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth, saying, “for now the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land”".
What a passage of scripture. Now, in this Isaiah 26, we know that Isaac is one of the patriarchs. Now, this is the only chapter in all of scripture that is entirely dedicated to Isaac. Now, he's mentioned a little bit in the chapter before and a little bit in the chapter after, but in terms of biblical real estate, he really doesn't take up too much. Now, his father Abraham has 14 chapters devoted to his life and his son Jacob has got 11 chapters dedicated to his life so I don't know how you'd feel. He's got his father Abraham whose got all of this real estate. Jacob's got a whole lot of real estate. In the middle is Isaac, and I read about him as the ordinary son of a great father and the ordinary father of a great son, but I want you to know that Isaac is so much more than a transitional figure.
Isaac does something profoundly significant in this chapter. You know what he does? He ends up picking up a shovel. And in this series, we are going to see the power of what it is to pick up a shovel. In fact, it is time on the earth right now for all of us to pick up a shovel and start digging. That is the theme that we are going to work on through this series. When you think what can I do in a world that is literally gone cray cray? What can I do? And I'm saying we're going to pick up a shovel and dig. You know, there's a famine in the land. Just like his father Abraham had a famine during his time, and he tried to flee to Egypt just like his father. We're going to see a pattern here between Isaac and Abraham. He was on his way to Egypt, but God told him he would bless him in the land where the famine was.
I want you to know today that God can bless you right there. If you're facing famine in some area of your life, in some season of your life, and you think the blessing is somewhere over there, I want you to know that God can bless you where the famine is. God can make a way where there seems to be no way, that we don't always have to leave where we are to step into the blessing of God. Right where the famine was going to be, that is where the Lord was going to bless Isaac, so look, Isaac lied about his wife Rebekah being his sister. You know, remember his father Abraham did exactly the same thing about his wife Sarah. Sometimes we talk about patterns being repeated. We're seeing some of the patterns repeated that were there from his father Abraham that then went on to his son Isaac. They both had a beautiful wife and they feared for their own safety thinking they might be killed, so someone might, you know, could marry their wives.
So listen, I've been married for 24 and a half years. I just want to tell every husband out there this is not a smart thing to do. Do not try this at home. Don't follow this path. God repeats the covenant promises that he made to Abraham and he extends them to Isaac. So we see that God blesses Isaac and we see that right throughout there Isaac sowed in the land of famine, and God blessed him. God was faithful to him in a place that he should not have prospered. God will be faithful to you wherever you are. It might seem in the natural that you should not prosper here. It might seem in the natural that you should not be blessed here, but God caused Isaac to be blessed in the land that he should never have prospered. King Abimelech had told him to leave because he actually feared his strength.
So what happened is we're going to see that, you know, there were wells that had been filled with dirt all throughout this land. I'd come back from Qatar, and can I tell you that the desert is a very very hot place, and in the desert a well became a lifeline for the community. Wells were absolutely essential for the lives of the families and the flock. Entire civilizations have fallen when the water supplies failed. So water is one of the greatest needs of life, and it's needed to sustain life. Men can live about an average of I think about two months without food, but we can only live for five days without water.
So in a land where water was scarce, wells were absolutely crucial. So when a new well was did you go in an unoccupied area, it was named, and then the surrounding area was claimed. It denoted ownership, so after Abraham's death, the Philistines plugged the wells with rocks, with old wood, dead carcasses and garbage for the sole purpose of ruining the wells for future use. See, they did not want any claim on their land, so they filled this asset of great value so that it would no longer produce. So Isaac had to redig the wells. That's what we saw. The Bible said that Isaac and his men they would have to remove all of the garbage to make the wells fresh again. The dirt stopped the flow of water that represented life. It represented abundant provision for Abraham and for all of his family. But once the well was cleared, the water would start flowing again and the well would become clean and useful for drinking water and, you know, used to water all the flocks and the land.
So Isaac had to do two things. He had to both rediscover and then begin to redig the wells, so today I want to challenge us to start redigging the wells. The wells in our hearts and the wells in our lives. Of course, I'm not talking about a literal well, but I want us all to know that scripture says that out of our own hearts will flow rivers of living water, and I want to ask us, what are the conditions of our hearts today? What is the condition? Have the wells of our hearts been stopped up? Every generation has to dig wells in their generation for their generation. So you and I, we are drinking wells and we've got oil flowing from the wells that were dug years and years before we ever got here. So if you and I want to ensure the flow of the Gospel for generations to come, then we've got to dig some wells for the future generations.
We are living in days where so many wells of faith have been polluted and they've been filled up with substitutes. Rivers of living water have been stopped up in our generation, and we see that. We see secularism and pluralism and post modernism and humanism and individualism and scientific rationalism and legalism and racism and sexism and moral relativism and consumerism and selfishness and greed and offense and bitterness and unforgivenness and lust and envy and strife and gossip and shame and anxiety and hopelessness. There are so many wells that have stopped up, and every generation needs to pick up a shovel and dig some wells for their generation and it is our job to dig those wells in our generation. God creates the water, but you and I dig the wells. So unless we choose the dig a well, we're not going to taste the rivers of living water in our dark world.
If you do not taste and see that the Lord is good, nobody else is going to do that either. Jesus is the prize. Jesus himself is the prize, so once we hit that living water, there's nothing like it. There's nothing like it. What is in you will always come out of you. What you put in you will always come out of you. Scripture says that whoever believes in me as the scripture has said out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. So the place of our digging must start in our own hearts. We are carriers of the revival that we are looking for. The life of God that is in us must flow through us and touch a dry and a thirsty land around us. You and I are carriers of the presence of God, and we are called to influence the world around us. Rivers of living water are not going to flow out of us and into the communities around us if you and I do not make a decision that we're going to redig the wells of our heart. We've got to get rid of some of the things that have caused the wells to be plugged up in the very first place. We have to be honest about the condition of our heart.
So I'm asking today, would you take on the challenge of inviting God to invade the deep inner most recesses of your heart? As I am going to do for mine. Today is a holy invitation to allow God into all of our hearts, an invitation for a deep work of healing, of refreshing, of wholeness. You know, I come from such a broken background. Many of you know I was left in a hospital unnamed and unwanted when I was born. I experienced sexual abuse for many many years. I was full of shame. I was full of guilt. I was full of condemnation. There was so much deep wounding in my life, and I needed deep healing. My wells, the wells of my heart they were stopped up with unforgivenness and with bitterness, with anger and shame and guilt. I had to let God into those places, to come in and to bring healing and to bring life and to bring liberty.
See, sometimes we fear doing that. We fear allowing God to come into those deep recesses of our heart because we've blocked it. We've put double deadlocked padlocks around those areas of woundedness and brokenness in our heart. And we made some silent vows. We said, no one is ever going to do that to me again. I'm never going to trust like that again. I've never going to love like that again. We have made vows I will never let anyone in close again. And in many cases, we have locked God out of very places that he wants to come and bring healing and wholeness, and we wonder why flowing out of our heart is anger and bitterness and resentment and offense and insecurity and fear and doubt and greed and lust and envy, but so much of that is because we haven't allowed the Holy Spirit to bring healing into our hearts. The greatest commandment Jesus says I'm going to take 613 Old Testament mosaic laws, I'm going to sum them all up.
Here is the greatest commandment, love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and the second is just like the first, love your neighbor as yourself. Now, here's the deal, many of us do love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind. The only issue is that we love him with our broken heart, we love him with all of our wounded soul, and we love him with all of our tormented mind. And we love our neighbors as we love ourselves. We just don't really like ourselves. So what flows out of us is not life. It's the brokenness of our broken heart, the woundedness of our wounded soul, the torment of our tormented mind. And God said, would you let me come into those places to bring healing and restoration?
In fact, John 1: 14 in the message, I love how Eugene Peterson says it, he says, and the word became flesh and moved into the neighborhood. God is saying today would you let me move into the neighborhood of that brokenness? Would you allow me to invade that place that's been wounded, that's been tormented? That place that's been broken because I can bind up the broken hearted, I can heal the wounded, I can bring peace to an anxious and tormented mind. And if we allow the Holy Spirit to dig up those wells that have been clogged up through pain and through heartache and through woundedness and through abuse and through betrayal and through hurt, then we'd flow, we'd see rivers of living water flow out of us.
A lot of us we wondered why did that come out of me, why did I react that way, why is there so much anger, how did that come through me? It's because the wells of our heart have been stopped up with so much pain and so much brokenness. And so we have to make a decision that we're going to allow the Holy Spirit of God to come in and move into the neighborhood.
See, a lot of us what we're really good at is we are really really good at visiting God like on Sunday we're going to go to church. I am going to visit God. It's almost as if God's got visitation rights, so you only have visitation rights for someone like that's in prison. God is not in prison. He's not looking for like visitation, but we think God, I'm visiting you. So we go and we visit God. And you know what? When we visit God on Sunday, we can put on our best behavior. We are just all in our best absolute behavior for like one hour, and we can be in church. We can smile. We can be kind, but have you ever noticed sometimes that you can be on the way to church and you're driving on the way to church, and your family is in the car and you're having like a full on fight.
Now of course not you but your neighbor, a full on fight on the way to church, but as you pull into the church parking lot, that spirit of hypocrisy it comes upon us all, and we get there, I mean, we have just almost killed the children. We've nearly killed our husband, but you know, we get into the parking lot, and then suddenly we're all just like super Christian, and we go into the church foyer, and the greeter is there and the greeter is like, how are you today? And you're like, bless God. I'm blessed. I'm feeling sanctified and justified by the blood of the lamb, and in fact here is my cherubim and my Seraphim, and they're going to go to kids church.
And I mean, you were saying lots of things in the car that are not in the Bible and it wasn't all glorifying and there was just so much contention, but now we're in church and we're worshipping God in church and we're all being so holy. And the pastor is preaching the sermon, and we're taking notes and we know this is for our spouse. This is of course not for us. I mean, we barely get back into the car after church, slam that car door, and we start hitting him, did you hear that message? That was for you. And off we go and whole other fight, world war 3 on the way home.
Now, sometimes we can be a Christian, maybe Sunday afternoon on a good week, even Monday, but by Tuesday our evil twin comes back out, and suddenly we just are flying out of control saying things we shouldn't be saying, doing things we shouldn't be doing, and by Wednesday we get into this guilt, shame, and condemnation trap. And we just don't even like ourselves anymore. And then we start all over again this endless cycle, and God says, you know what? You don't have to live with this endless cycle. You can allow my spirit to come in and begin to do a healing work on the inside of you. And instead of like three good days and five bad days and just this endless cycle like a yo-yo up and down, up and down, let me move into the neighborhood.
I don't want to just visit. I don't need you just to visit me on Sunday. I want to invade your life, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Saturday. We're going to dig out some of that dirt. We're going to dig out some of those unresolved issues in your life. We're going to start to dig deep some of the pain, some of the heartache. We're going to start to dig and start to deal with the woundedness of your past, and I'm going to bring rivers of living water and life and hope and healing into your life. And guess what? As we receive those rivers of living water from God and we allow God to take out and start to dig up all the junk from the inside of us, then we become clear vessels for the life of God to flow through us into a lost and a broken world around us.
See, Isaac had to start redigging every single one of those wells. He had to start taking out all the junk that would clog up those wells so that new life, new water, new resource could come through those wells. You know what? Of course I'm using that as a metaphor for the condition of our spiritual hearts. Of course it's a metaphor, but some of us have got to make a decision that we're going to allow the Spirit of God to start digging up some of the things that are clogging up the life of God from flowing out from within us into the world around us. Jesus said to the woman at the well, out of you will flow rivers of living water. In this series, we are going to discover how to declog and declutter our lives so that the rivers of the living water of God will flow through us and bring life and healing and hope and liberty to the world around us in Jesus name.