One of the good inheritances Abraham bequeathed to his son Isaac was some wells of water. In those days wells of water are very significant and are enviable possession. After the death of Abraham, the Philistines stopped the wells and filled them with dust. But, when there was a famine in the land, Isaac remembered the wells he inherited from his father and dug them again, calling them by the names which his father had called them (Gen. 26:18).
In these days of spiritual famine, it is indeed wisdom for us to rise up, like Isaac, and begin to dig again the wells of words of eternal life, spiritual truths, and sound doctrines passed down in the Church by the early apostles of Christ.
There are spiritual wells bequeathed to the Church by the early apostolic fathers, but unfortunately during the dark ages of the Church (period when the Church completely lost her spiritual identity, purpose and power as a result of her unholy marriage and alliance with the world), these wells became filled with all sorts of spiritual dirt and dust such as vain religious rites and regulations, useless human traditions and doctrines, human philosophies and ideologies that cannot impart life and spirit to the people.
However, at the dawn of 16th Century, God began to stir up the hearts of men like Martin Luther and John Calvin who then began to dig again the spiritual wells bequeathed to the Church by the early apostolic fathers. In spite of severe opposition and persecution from “the Philistines of their days”, yet like Isaac they dug with much tenacity and drew out words of eternal life and truth for their fainting and perishing generation. God is again stirring up the hearts of a new generation of spiritual wells seekers and diggers.
It is sad but true that many of the spiritual wells the past reformers sacrificed their time and lives to dig and preserved for us have again become filled with spiritual dirt and dust by “the Philistines of our days” (carnal men). Consequently, the Church today is mostly serving polluted spiritual waters which cannot revive or sustain perishing souls in this generation.
If we fail to rise up at this crucial time of spiritual famine to dig again those spiritual wells, then, many fainting souls in our generation will perish for want of words of truth and eternal life, sound doctrines or teachings of Christ.
No doubt, God is already stirring up the hearts of some believers today to rise up and dig again the old spiritual wells and draw out pure waters of eternal life for thirsty souls in our generation. However, anyone who desires to be a spiritual well digger in this generation must understand some basic spiritual truths and principles. Let us consider them.
First, digging the old spiritual wells is not a child’s play; it requires diligence, devotion, focus and persistence.
The spiritual wells bequeathed to us by the early apostolic fathers and early reformers have been filled and contaminated with subtle religious rites and deceits, human traditions and philosophies by carnal men and women in the Church who are desperate and greedy for wealth, fame, position, and pre-eminence among the brethren.
It will therefore require much labouring in God’s word and prayer to discern, expose, counter and overthrow all the heresies, lies and deceits that carnal and greedy ministers of God are propagating and broadcasting to thirsty but undiscerning souls in our generation. Men of old dug wells of life for us by giving themselves continually to prayer and labouring diligently in the Word (Acts 6:4).
The past reformers or spiritual wells diggers were studious students of the Bible who laboured tirelessly in God’s Word to dig and draw out pure words of life and sound doctrines for their generation. They spent their energy, strength and resources on translating the Bible from the original languages to those languages we can easily read and comprehend, and paid a huge price for its wide circulation.
They were also men of prayer who wrestled and prevailed on their knees. Unless we also are willing to sacrifice or pay a huge price like them we might never be able to dig again the old spiritual wells and serve our perishing generation the pure waters of eternal life and sound doctrines.
Second, spiritual warfare is very crucial in digging the old spiritual wells.
Just as the Philistines contented with Abraham and Isaac over their physical wells, we should also expect spiritual contention over our spiritual wells. There are deceiving spirits and spiritual forces that are always seeking to suppress and repress spiritual truths and sound doctrines (1 Tim. 4:1, Rev. 2:20).
The god of this world is striving tirelessly to veil the gospel and blindfold the minds of men to God’s Word. How then do we expect to dig the old spiritual wells, draw out and broadcast words of truth and eternal life that would save and restore perishing souls without any opposition or contention from the devil and his cohorts?
Although the Philistines contended against Isaac while he was digging the wells his father bequeathed him, yet he prevailed and succeeded in digging those wells again because he would not give up, knowing that his life and that of others in his care depended largely on the pure waters from those wells.
The Church today needs men with much tenacity like Isaac to dig again the spiritual wells of our apostolic fathers and serve us words of life, truth and sound doctrines.
Like Isaac, we also must be resolute, resolved or determined in digging again all our spiritual wells bequeathed us by the early apostolic fathers, knowing well that our lives and that of people entrusted to us depend on the pure words of eternal life and truth we draw and serve them from these wells.
Surprisingly, after Isaac had succeeded in digging up again the wells his father bequeathed him which the Philistines had stopped and filled with dust, he did not change their names but still called them by the names which his father had called them.
The Scripture testifies, “And Isaac dug again the wells of water which they had dug in the days of Abraham his father, for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham. He called them by the names which his father had called them.” (Gen. 26:18 NKJV).
There is a vital lesson here for those God is stirring up their hearts in today’s Church to rise and dig our old spiritual wells.
By retaining the original names of those wells, Isaac was in a sense preserving the identity and nature of the wells for his posterity. More so, his action portrayed humility. He did not want to arrogate to himself any glory and honour for the wells.
This is certainly a caution, lesson and wisdom for the rising generation of reformers in the 21st Century Church ordained of God to dig again all the spiritual wells the early apostolic fathers had passed down in the Church which were stopped and filled with all sorts of religious junk and filth during the dark ages of the Church.
We must be careful not to tamper with or alter the truths in God’s Word in any way to conform to our personal experiences, feelings or philosophies. We must resist the temptation of seeking to add to or subtract from the apostle’s doctrines passed down in the Church.
God warns, “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.” (Deut. 12:32 NKJV).
They are perfect and complete revelations and teachings of Christ; not ongoing or progressive (Jud. 1:3).
Moreover, as we diligently dig and draw out words of life, truths and sound doctrines from the old spiritual wells, like Isaac, we must not arrogate to ourselves any glory for these wells of life.
Beloved, God is calling you today to put on the whole armour of God and contend earnestly for the faith of old (the body of teachings taught by Christ and His early apostles and passed down in the Church) which was once for all delivered to the saints of old.
It is time again to labour diligently in the Word of God and prayer like the reformers of old to dig out and serve our generation pure words of eternal life and sound doctrines. It is time to ensure that you are drinking from the pure wells of life and not from the wells that greedy and carnal men have polluted with their subtle lies and deceits, vain traditions or human philosophy.
The Scripture admonishes: “Test all things; hold fast what is good.” (1 Thess. 5:21 NKJV).