June 29, 2018 • Life for Leaders
Tremble, earth, at the presence of the Lord,
at the presence of the God of Jacob,
who turned the rock into a pool,
the hard rock into springs of water.
Do you ever feel spiritually dry? Does your soul ever seem to be hard as a rock? Do you ever worry about whether you will ever again be tender and open toward the Lord?
Perhaps you’ve never gone through a period of severe spiritual dryness. If that’s true for you, praise God! But most Christians do experience times in which our souls are so dry that they seem hard as a rock. We know we should spend devotional time with God, but the fact is we don’t want to. We know we should want to gather with other believers to worship the Lord. But, when the time comes for Sunday services, we look desperately for excuses to stay home. We know we should work joyfully as though serving God and not people. But, too often, work feels completely disconnected from our faith. We still believe all the things we used to believe about God. But our desire for him has disappeared, and we’re left with stony souls.
If you can relate to what I’m saying, then Psalm 114 has good news for you. God is in the business of turning rocks into water. Verse 8 looks back to the miraculous way God supplied water to the Israelites after he delivered them from Egypt: “[God] turned the rock into a pool, the hard rock into springs of water” (114:8). This verse celebrates how God produced literal water from a literal rock (see Exodus 17:5-6). The Hebrew word translated here as “hard rock” is more literally rendered as “flint,” which is one of the hardest rocks we know. God can get water, not just from soft, porous rocks, but even from those that are absolutely rigid and unyielding.
If God can turn a rock into a pool of water, if God can make water flow from flint, then he can transform our hearts even when they seem to be impervious to his grace. This is good news, indeed. So, if you find yourself in a spiritually rocky place today, at work or at home, turn to the Lord. Ask him to make living water flow from your stony heart. God can do this.
Something to Think About:
Have you ever been in a very dry place spiritually? Are you still there?
In the past, how has God softened your heart toward him?
Something to Do:
If you are in a spiritually dry place, it can be hard to pray. You can mouth the words, but you’re not sure if your heart really means them. If you’re in such a desert place today, let me encourage you to get someone else to pray for you, someone with whom you can share where you are with the Lord. Asking another person for help is one way to begin to become spiritually alive again.
Gracious God, how I thank you for being a powerful, merciful God who gets water even from flint. How I thank you for your patience and grace with me. When I resist you, when my heart is stony, you nevertheless reach out to me in your grace.
Lord, you know the state of my heart today. I pray that however I am closed to you, you will help me to be open. And, in whatever way my heart is rock solid, may your living water flow out from me.
All praise be to you, mighty, merciful God! Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary:
Israel at the Red Sea and on the Way to Sinai (Exodus 13:17-18:27)
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.