The Dead Sea

 

We praise God for the gifts he has given us.Gifts instilled by the hand of God that He will never apologize for (Romans 11:29).God was pleased to give us these gifts, gifts He wants us to learn to use for His glory.Sometimes we canít understand why these gifts are not being used in the manner we would like.We think these gifts are drying up inside of us, or that we are running in circles trying to understand how we can best use these gifts.In this interpretation, I will help the reader understand how God uses a certain process to hold back or refine our gifts in order to sanctify us, humble us and to form within us a subservient heart (Sorge, pg. Introduction, 43).

 

In the land of Israel there are two basic seas.The Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea.These are two very different seas.The Sea of Galilee is vibrant and alive.It produces and has vegetation.Many fish exist in the Sea of Galilee because it is a fruitful sea.The Dead Sea, on the other hand, is well, dead.It doesnít produce much of anything.Nothing can survive in the Dead Sea because its mineral content (salt) is too high to sustain marine life.There are no fish in the Dead Sea, thereís no vegetation, and the sea has no fruitfulness.

 

There is a big reason why the Dead Sea is so salty and the Sea of Galilee is vibrant and alive.The Jordan River runs in and out of the Sea of Galilee.There is a natural flush created by this river flow that keeps the sea clean.The Sea of Galilee is both giving and receiving water constantly.This give and take process is why the sea remains healthy.The Dead Sea, on the other hand, is the complete opposite.Below is a scientific reference explaining why the Dead Sea is dead:

 

Öbut why is it (The Dead Sea) so salty? All roads lead to the Sea when it comes to the rivers in the area. The Dead Sea is continually fed water from the rivers and streams coming down off the mountains that surround it. But the kicker is this.... no rivers drain out of the Dead Sea (Keller). †††††††††††††

 

The Dead Sea receives but does not give.This is why it is dead.There is water flow in but not out.The only thing that keeps the Dead Sea from overflowing is that it deepens every year, 13 inches per year (Keller), and because the water evaporates at an extremely fast rate:

 

The only way water gets out of the Sea is through evaporation. And boy does it evaporate! This part of the world gets plenty hot. When the water evaporates, it leaves behind all the dissolved minerals in the Sea, just making it saltier. In fact, it's through the dual action of; 1) continuing evaporation and 2) minerals salts carried into the Sea from the local rivers, that makes the Sea so salty (Keller).

 

I hope I have clarified why they do indeed call it the Dead Sea.But I would like to take a step back and take a deeper look at this.I believe if we are to search deep enough we can see the heart of God working intimately in this process.

 

Godís Intimacy through this Process

 

The Dead Sea has no outlet.It doesnít give, it only receives.Is this you?Right now are you only receiving from God but you have no outlet (ministry).Are you in an area of testing and trial where God is pouring (speaking) into you?Is He teaching you and growing your gifts and faith but right now you are frustrated because you have no outlet in which to release these understandings or gifts (Proverbs 13:12)?Let me ask you a question?As God continues to do this (fill you) are you dying through this process?

 

Colossians 1:24

 

Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his bodyís sake, which is the Church.

 

The process of God pouring into us or working into us certain wisdom that will eventually become beneficial for the Church, yet at the same time leaving us no avenue in which to release these understandings or gifts, becomes a very painful process.Itís a dying process in which our motives and desires become exposed then crucified.Just like the Dead Sea we are now in a dying process because there is a constant flow in, but thereís no flow out.

 

Galatians 5:24

 

And they that are Christís have crucified (killed) the flesh with the affections and lusts (Desires).

 

God is allowing this process, along with our participation within this process, to crucify us.Not only is this process essential for drawing closer to the Heart of God, but the process will also teach us how to use the wisdom and truths we are receiving (Isaiah 50:4, Proverbs 15:23).Below the prophet Jeremiah wrestles with the Word of God festering in his heart.††

 

Jeremiah 20:9

 

Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name.But his word was in my heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.

 

Jeremiah had determined not to speak the Word of God but he couldnít, Godís words were burning up his heart (Psalm 39:3, Job 32:18).The above passage demonstrates the pain and frustration involved when someone has the revelation of God within them, but consequently that revelation is held back and is not poured into others.If God is churning into you wisdom and understanding (through the revelation process) and is not allowing you an avenue to pour out into others (minister) then the Lord is doing two basic things through this process.He is lowering you (Psalm 34:18) by killing your ideas about how you think your gifts should be used, and he is also refining and salting your gifts so that when he does decided to use them theyíll be well seasoned and efficient for his use (2 Timothy 2:21, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4).

 

Mark 9:49-50

 

For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltiness, wherewithwill ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.†††

 

This process is describing how the Lord will salt us with fire (Sorge, pg. 19).For this particular process the fire can be likened to our uncontrollable situation of being constantly filled by God but at the same time not being able to minister to others.We are like the Dead Sea.We have an abundance of revelation (minerals), but no place to reveal it (river outlet).This process burns within us (Psalm 39:3, Jeremiah 20:9) and the fact that we are obedient to the Lord throughout this process (not easy) becomes our sacrifice tested by His fire (salt) (Romans 12:1).

 

Remember, itís not the Dead Seaís fault it can only receive but not give.It has no control over the situation.Like the position you might be in?You have an abundance of revelation and gifts from God but you have no ministry outlet.But understand this.Because the Dead Sea has no outlet, itís now incredibly seasoned (Mark 9:49-50).It has such a mineral deposit built up after years and years and years of receiving that if it were ever to give, it would have an unbelievable supply in which to offer.The water in the Dead Sea is considered the saltiest water on the planet.This water is so rich in minerals there have been disputes over which government has the rights to this sea because everyone wants to be a partaker of what it has to give.If this were not enough, there is another aspect of the Dead Sea that is interesting.It is the lowest lake on the planet, 1293 ft. below Sea level.When God does this seasoning process within you not only will it bring about a death within your members (Colossians 3:5), it will also lower you to a place of total submission and reliance upon him.You will be so low by the time God decides to use you that you will be like Moses after his 40 years in the desert.The bible says he became the meekest (lowest) man in the earth (Numbers 12:3).

 

I wrote this interpretation to encourage you.We all want to be the Sea of Galilee.It gives and it receives.It is fruitful and it has a certain attraction to it.Nevertheless, the Dead Sea is ripe for irrigation.Imagine if the Dead Sea were to be irrigated and its water and mineral deposits were to be channeled into different areas throughout its region.Those mineral deposits would feed and nourish.They would give nutrients to the soils which in turn would sustain plant life.These plants would then thrive and would become food for animals and humans.Basically, this process would breathe life into the regions (Ezekiel 47:9, Proverbs 13:12).This is what the Dead Sea is capable of becoming, a life giver.†† After years and years and years of receiving the mineral content in the Dead Sea is so strong that it could nourish the surrounding land for years to come (Colossians 1:24).

 

Do you want to become a life giver?Do you want what is stored up in you to feed thousands?Then hold on!!!God knows about your gifts and talents and He knows how to perfectly season them for His uses.Just be patient and know that even though this process is killing you, thereís a reason for it.WaitÖ (Isaiah 49:23) for God to irrigate you so that you will become a life giver to many who are in desperate need of your deposit (Matthew 25:14-30, Daniel 11:32-33).

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

 

Keller, Elizabeth.http://www.extremescience.com.Extreme Science.Sunday,

April 18, 2004 5:16:32 PM.http://www.extremescience.com/DeadSea.htm.

 

Sorge, Bob.The Fire of Delayed Answers.http://www.oasishouse.net.

Missouri: Oasis House, 1996.