Several years ago we drove with a pastor up the Pacific Coast Highway, the 101, in California. It was gorgeous. We stopped at a little park where we hiked into a little side canyon. I remember the hiking got very shaded, and there was this beautiful, crashing waterfall coming out of the rocks over our heads. It was remarkable. Everything was soaked. Even if you were not under the direct blast of the water, it was so forceful that water just hung in the air and soaked into your clothing.
Now, I don*t know what the source of that water was. I only saw the channel, the river that flowed into the ocean. I would suppose that somewhere high up in the Sierras, perhaps, there was a snow pack that melted in the spring. The snow started trickling down the sides of the mountain where it entered into creeks, then into the larger creek that fed into this crashing waterfall, and finally it flowed below our feet into the Pacific Ocean.
There is a difference between a channel, a river or a ditch, and the source. The source is what provides that which fills the ditch. In John 15, the Bible uses the picture of a vine and branches. It is the same idea. The branches carry the nutrients. Jesus says in John 15:4, *Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me…for without me ye can do nothing.*
It is important to remember that whatever things God wants to do in this world and in my life, I am a channel and not the source. Jesus is the Power, the Source, and the Will. I am a channel.
Let me give you an example. Jesus says, *But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.* So the Holy Spirit whom Jesus sent is called the Spirit of truth, and because He is the Spirit of truth He testifies of Jesus Christ in the hearts of people. He is a witness that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.
How does He do that? Is this something that you can see or quantify? How does the Holy Spirit of God work in the hearts of people? One of the ways is given to us in verse 27 which says, *And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.* So, two are bearing witness of Jesus Christ. One is God Himself, God the Holy Spirit Who came from the Father, and the other is people like you and me. *He shall testify of me.* How? *And ye also shall bear witness.*
Here is an example of the fact that I am a channel and not the source. God is the source. He is the One Who gave us His Son, the gospel, and the Comforter, His Holy Spirit. So what do we do? We channel. We are obedient.
There are three things to consider. Be aware. Be obedient. Be dependent. Let*s take this example in particular of witnessing of the Lord Jesus. I don*t have to be brilliant or have great arguments. It is good for me to hone whatever skills I have to communicate the gospel, but, first of all, I just need to be aware. I need to be aware of the people around me and the God within me.
Second, I need to be obedient. When the Holy Spirit wishes to testify through me, I just need to obey. I don*t need to be great. I just need to tell what I know. Third, I need to be dependent. Just as a branch is dependent on the vine for whatever it is that flows through it. So I need to be dependent on the Spirit of Christ for that which He alone can provide.
Today, you have a place of importance, but not a place of preeminence. You are a channel, not the source. The source is God Almighty.