When the Brook dries up…

In this post, I want to encourage you to continue to develop and strengthen your trust in God. People who put their trust in God are never shaken or moved by the bad times.

1 Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, 
   which cannot be shaken but endures forever. 
2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem, 
   so the LORD surrounds his people 
   both now and forevermore.
~Psalm 125:1-2

This life is full of ups and downs; good times and bad times; abundance, and scarcity; success, and failure. It happens all the time.

But we have a sure word from God:

“…God has said, ‘ Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you,’
So we say with confidence,
‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?’”
Hebrews 13:5,6

God never fails. When we develop and strengthen our trust in Him, like Mount Zion, we become unshakeable.

His instructions versus His instruments

Another important thing I want to tell you is that the instructions of God are superior to the instruments of God. His instruments may fail, but His instructions never fail.

By His instructions I mean His words, His promises, His commandments – the things God has spoken to us in His word. They never fail.
His instruments, on the other hand, refer to those means by which God fulfills His promises to us – such as, human beings, circumstances, and other things. These may fail.

His instruments may fail, but His instructions never fail.

God chooses His channels, His means, and His vessels for blessing you. These could be individuals, opportunities, businesses, and so on. Some of these will these will be fixed features of your time and space existence. Others, however, will be temporal and seasonal.

The key to enjoying God’s endless supplies is to not get attached to any particular channel at the expense of the Great Source Himself. Never get so attached to an instrument of divine favour that you are no longer able to hear God’s instructions.

Elijah teaches us this important lesson in the following story:

1 Kings 17

1 Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.”

2 Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah: 3 “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. 4 You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there.”

5 So he did what the LORD had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.

7 Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. 8 Then the word of the LORD came to him: 9 “Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food.” 10 So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” 

When the brook dries upSometimes the brook will dry up and the ravens will cease flying in with the bread. That’s ok. It happens. There’s nothing to panic about. It simply means that phase is over, and God is through with using those instruments. It means that it’s time to move on with God to His next plan of provision for your life.

Even businesses need to discern when the time is up on a particular product or program. It was great and profitable while it lasted. But if its time is up, don’t try to perpetuate it.

As Elijah clearly teaches us, God’s instructions matter more than God’s instruments.

Trust God

The reason a lot of people are struggling is that they have elevated God’s instruments above God’s instructions.

They are languishing at the bank of the brook, waiting for the water to return, and for the ravens to come back with the bread. That’s not going to happen. Get up and get moving. God is done with that particular means. He has better means, better people, and better opportunities.

According to the Scriptures, when you elevate the channel above the Source, you miss the blessings.

Jeremiah 17

5 This is what the LORD says:

   “Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
   who depends on flesh for his strength 
   and whose heart turns away from the LORD. 
6 He will be like a bush in the wastelands; 
   he will not see prosperity when it comes. 
He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, 
   in a salt land where no one lives.

7 “But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, 
   whose confidence is in him. 
8 He will be like a tree planted by the water 
   that sends out its roots by the stream. 
It does not fear when heat comes; 
   its leaves are always green. 
It has no worries in a year of drought 
   and never fails to bear fruit.”

His instructions are matter than His instruments. Focus on God’s instructions, not on God’s instruments.

In summary:

  1. People who put their trust in God are never shaken by the negative circumstances of life.
  2. The instructions of God matter more than His instruments.
  3. His instruments may fail, but His instructions never fail.
  4. When the brook dries up, and the ravens cease flying in with the bread, don’t panic. Like Elijah, listen for God’s instructions, act on it, and move on to the next phase of His plan for your life.
  5. Focus on God’s instructions, more than on His instruments.