Lake Balkhash in Kazakhstan, central Asia, is one of the largest lakes in Asia.
It is the 15th largest in the world. The lake currently covers an area of about 6,300 square miles and is about 376 miles long. A rather odd feature of this lake is that it contains both fresh and salt water. The western third of Lake Balkhash is fresh water. Its eastern two thirds are salt and brackish water.
There is no partition which divides the fresh from the salt. There is only a narrow strait, about two miles wide, where the fresh and brackish waters merge.
Unfortunately, however, the lake is both shrinking and slowly getting saltier and more brackish. Why? Much of the fresh water inflow is being diverted for irrigation from the five rivers which feed into the lake. If this trend continues, then Lake Balkhash will become like its distant neighbor, the Aral Sea. The fresh waters which flowed into the Aral Sea were also diverted for irrigation. Also, from the farming its waters now support, pollutants from pesticides and fertilizer drain into the once flourishing lake. Since the 1960s the Aral Sea has shrunk down to less than ten percent of original size and its waters are now toxic.
You know, the peculiarities of Lake Balkhash are somewhat like the state of the believer’s heart and life. Within the Christian believer the elements of both light and darkness coexist, the elements of both good and evil. According to the Scripture, the inner person of the believer has been born anew by the Spirit of God. Yet this reborn inner person is a prisoner in a corrupted and unredeemed physical body. Consequently, there is perpetual tension, even a conflict between the good and the evil within us, between the light and the darkness (Rom. 7:14–25; Gal. 5:17).
Which part of us will prevail in this struggle? The good or the evil? It depends on what flows into us. If we starve our spirits, neglect God’s word, and instead fill our minds with a steady stream of this world’s moral pollution, then the darkness will prevail. As Paul the apostle wrote, “You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit” (Gal. 6:7-8).
Therefore, drink daily of God’s life-giving Spirit. Feed freely on God’s nourishing word. Let the light within you shine ever more brightly so that your light will be seen by others in a dark and dreary world (Matt. 5:16).
Dear Father in heaven, please forgive my neglect of the sweet waters of Your Spirit and Your nourishing word. Please, make me hungry for Your word and thirsty for Your Spirit. Help me to nurture myself on them every day as You, O Lord, conform me into the image of Christ. Amen.