Here in Texas, God’s country, we are known for gully washers. A gully washer is simply a torrential rain that causes ditches to overflow creating flash floods on streets and roadways. They have also been known as a downpour, a cloudburst, a turtle floater, a duck drowner or even a toad strangler! Whatever the name given for a heavy rain the idea is the same. There’s no container able to hold the amount of rain that is dropped in such a short amount of time. It runs everywhere and literally floods the area.
How much does God love you and me? So much that it could be categorized as a gully washer. Romans 5:5 expresses this exact idea. It says, “Now hope does not disappoint, because the LOVE OF GOD has been poured out (a gully washer event) in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” God did not give His love with measure or restraint. He gave it without limit or amount. The exciting part about this is that God’s love is to us as water is to a fish—it’s the source of life. Paul, knowing the importance of God’s life-giving love, prayed in Ephesians 3:17 “…that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love….” So, why are we to be securely planted and be given to this love? Because God’s love affects how we hear God’s word when sown into our hearts.
Mark 4 speaks of the sower who sowed the word. In verse 16 and 17 we read, “These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have NO ROOT in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble (or become offended).” Most of the time we leave church happy and excited about what we have just heard, because it is true and we know it. The problem is the devil gives no time for the word to take hold and brings tribulation to take away the word sown. When it’s not mixed with faith and rooted in love we abandon the word heard; we give up on the word’s ability to affect us and manifest results.
We find ourselves thinking and speaking things like, “I know Pastor said God supplies all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus, but even with over time at work I don’t think I can pay this off.” Or “If I’m healed by Jesus’ stripes, why am I still sick?” These are statements spoken from fear, which causes us to stumble or become offended.
We are ultimately saying, “If God really loves me, why has He allowed this to happen to me?” I want you to hear what I’m about to say, ready? Love doesn’t stop the storm from coming, but love will not permit the storm to harm you if you don’t surrender the word you’ve heard. When Jesus and His 12 disciples climbed into the boat after preaching all day, Jesus says in Mark 4:35, “Let us cross over to the other side.” The words spoken by Jesus were the exact will of God, for Jesus didn’t say anything unless He heard it first from the Father. Jesus Himself was so confident of the statement that He rested in the back of the boat, which is a sign of complete trust. The disciples on the other hand were not so sure, for when the storm/tribulation came they immediately woke Jesus and asked if He cared that they were all going to die? Jesus replied, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith? One translation says it this way, “Why is it that you have no expression of or use of faith?” Again, the understanding of love’s width, length, depth, and height fortifies faith’s capacity and ability. Jesus, God’s commissioned love, in the midst of the storm stood up and said, “Peace, be still!” and the wind ceased and there was a great calm.
We must allow ourselves to become swept away by the gully washer of God’s love, for it knows no area of sickness, lack, torment or distress that hasn’t already been washed away leaving healing, provision, peace, and rest in our lives.
I want to leave you with one of my favorite verses found in John 16:33 (AMP) which reads, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trial and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived IT of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]
Is the knowledge of God’s love important? Yes! The greater the revelation of how much God loves us, the greater the volume of God’s word we hold in our lives. The more word we decide not to relinquish because of trial and tribulation, the greater our victory and breakthrough.