Lake Cumberland is a nice place to go in central Kentucky. It’s not a nice place to have come to you. That’s what the Army Corps of Engineers has been concerned about. The Wolf Creek Dam holds back millions of gallons of water from Nashville and other communities along the Cumberland River. Well the Army engineers had expressed some growing concerns about a possible dam break. They said a break could kill many residents and it could cause over three billion dollars in damage. A Corps spokesman said that the failure of the dam wasn’t imminent at that time but that evacuation plans would be a good idea. So they decided they would lower the water level in the lake and try to fortify the dam, because they said that dam was all that stands between a lot of lives and a major disaster.
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “The Dam That’s Holding Back the Flood.”
The Apostle Paul and I have something in common – a dark side that keeps wanting to control my actions. He said: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate, I do…For what I do is not the good I want to do. The evil I do not want to do, this I keep on doing” (Romans 7:19). Then Paul asked, “Who will rescue me?” He found the answer where many of us have found the answer: “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
As Jesus is given control of more and more of our lives, that flood of darkness starts to recede. For me, there’s a dam that stands between me and the flood of my darkness coming in. That dam is described in Psalm 119, beginning with verse 9. It’s our word for today from the Word of God. “How can a young man (or any man, for that matter) keep his way pure? By living according to Your Word. I seek You with all my heart; do not let me stray from Your commands. I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You.”
What’s the dam that holds back the flood of the old you? God’s Word, stored in your heart, answering the temptations, and keeping you pure. The writer of this psalm concludes this section of Scripture with this decisive declaration: “I will not neglect Your Word.” Any more than engineers can neglect a dam that holds back the flood.
My experience has been that my daily time with the Lord in His Word, the Bible, is literally the difference between the old me showing up that day or the new me in Christ. On days when I’ve missed my time with Him, I don’t like who shows up: sinful attitudes, sinful ways of reacting to pressure, sinful ways of treating people, sinful ways of thinking. For all of us, the selfishness, the lust, the anger, the anxiety, the negativity – it’s held back by the strong wall of the Word of God.
But you can’t afford a day without it. Not just running some religious words past your eyeballs, but stopping to think about how what you read applies to this day. In fact, I’ve found that what really helps in growing in Christ is to ask yourself two questions as you read: “What is God saying here?” and, in your own words, put it in a journal. And “What am I going to do differently today because He said it?” That’s reading the Bible, not just for information, but for transformation!
If you’re wondering why the old darkness has been leaking or maybe even flooding back into your life, check the dam that holds it back – the soul-cleansing Word of Almighty God. You’re just going to have to make your time with Him in His book the non-negotiable of your personal schedule. Because when you neglect the strong dam provided by God’s Word, you are setting yourself up for a flood that can do a whole lot of damage.