Many people claim there are some health benefits associated with the minerals and mud found in the Dead Sea. However, there are also features and dangers in this body of water that serve as illustrations and warnings to all who know, worship, and follow Jesus Christ.
1. The Dead Sea is located on one of the lowest points on the surface of the planet. Many scientists today are fearful that the Dead Sea is dying.
There’s always the danger that we can become like the Dead Sea in our spiritual life and relationship with God.
If we take our eyes off God and only focus on our desires, we are digging a pit of self-centeredness. When our needs and desires circumvent our commitment to and relationship with Christ we become a type of false god that we bow to and worship. The Bible calls this idol worship. If we continue to pursue this course for our lives, we’ll find ourselves in an ever-deepening spiritual and emotional pit that becomes more dry and barren over time. Our spiritual life will quickly begin to evaporate and become more toxic.
The essence of worship is a life in God focused on God and His kingdom work. Think about the lives of the Christians you admire the most, and I’m sure you’ll see their lives are marked by selflessness and service to God and the people He called them to serve.
Although we can’t dig ourselves out of the chasm of self-centeredness, Jesus offers us His unsurpassed power to overcome human selfishness. He can lift us out of the pit if we allow Him to transform our hearts and minds. Jesus’ life is the perfect model of a God-honoring life of service. He laid aside all claims to use His position as God for his advantage to fulfill the Father’s plan for our rescue and salvation. Paul urged the early Church at Philippi to have this same attitude:
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant “ (Philippians 2:3-7)
The antidote to the pit of self-centeredness is a heart and mind yielded to Jesus Christ. He alone can infuse us with a new, Spirit-filled life of service to God and other people.
2. Although the Dead Sea is fed primarily by the life-abundant Jordan River, it has no outlet for water. Consequently, it cannot sustain much life.
An authentic worshipper’s life is like a river, not a holding tank. If we hoard the gifts that God has given, we risk stifling His power and blessings in our life and being.
God has given us so much! He has poured the Holy Spirit into our being and has fed us with His very Word. God did this not just for our benefit, but also to bless, benefit, and serve others, as Jesus said:
“ From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Luke 12:48)
James put it this way:
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22-23)
It’s pretty simple. Remain in a close relationship with God. Then go and share what He has given to you.
It’s refreshing and fulfilling to let God’s presence and gifts flow through us to other people. It’s also an important part of a life of worship.
(Next week I’ll conclude this series on the Dead Sea with two more important lessons for Christ-followers and Churches. Please come back and check it out)