Over the years I have lived in Skye and the North West of Scotland I have met a good number of people, mostly but not exclusive visitors, who have come to pray for “The Opening of the Old Wells”. I am still unsure as to exactly what people mean by that – but the normal course of events is for such people to pray in locations where in the past there has been revival. Some of these location, at least in Skye, are now deserted with no human community.
As well as the above there are a good number of people who, over the years, have moved to remote Highland or Island community under the conviction that God is going to use them to bring revival to such places. I pray he will. However, I have met some such people who will do such things as “Prayer Walk” locations and villages and happily engage in other “spiritual” activities – but who would not consider getting to know their neighbours or engage with their local community at any level other than perhaps those in the church they attend.
I recently attended a conference in Skye where the overall theme was – “Opening the Old Wells”. The weekend event was well attended and I believe that God did indeed open The Wells of the Spirit – many were blessed, released and healed – as those, across the denominational divide but with a shared hunger for God, gathered together to worship and pray. The sense of God was tangible. But what surprised me was how few of the local Christian community supported the weekend – including those who say they have a heart for renewal and revival. There may be valid reasons for this and I am not making a judgement – simply an observation – although one man, who claims to long for revival, told me prior to the event that he would like to have attended but that since the weather forecast was good he would be going camping instead!
The truth is the reason Isaac dug again the wells of Abraham [Genesis 26 17&18], in the land of the Philistines, was because there was famine in his own country and a great need for water. The people were thirsty and without water they would die. It was for such that the old wells were opened.
I was reminded of this in my meditations of the Psalms this week in that place where David cries out in his anguish –
“As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.”
Psalm 42: 1 & 2
Again the truth is God gives of his Living Water to those who are thirsty – not the self satisfied. He opens the well of The Spirit to the longing soul and the desperate heart. Perhaps it goes without saying – but wells are opened for people – not geographic locations. If we are to take a spiritual application from Genesis 26 I believe we should also note that Isaac left his home because of a severe famine and travelled to hostile territory – a place of uncertainty and personal danger – where he lived among his enemies. It was there, in hardship and opposition that he reopened the wells of Abraham in order to meet a desperate need. But not only did he reopen old wells – he also dug three new ones! The first two of these were disputed by the enemy and abandoned – but the third became a blessing! I leave the spiritual application of these facts open to interpretation.
I am not writing any of the above to condemn any group or individual – and it is wonderful to see Christians come to pray in our area as well as Christian individuals and families moving into our remote villages and glens. And ultimately all of us are answerable to God our Father alone for the direction in which we may think he is leading and directing. However we are also called and responsible to rightly divide and discern the Word of Truth and the voice of The Spirit. May God give us a true thirst for his presence in these days – and may our thirst, and the thirst of our communities, be quenched from the deep Wells of Divine Love. And, once again, may He give us the Spirit of discernment in all things.