Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Hydroelectric Dam


The largest source of electrical energy in Brazil is hydroelectric power. The massive Itaipu dam was for decades, the world’s largest dam, and continues to be second in the world in power generating capacity. The dam single-handedly provides 90% of the power for Paraguay and 19% of the power for Brazil, which is one of the world’s largest countries. We visited the dam a number of years ago and were amazed at how very big and powerful it was.

Water is needed to run a hydroelectric plant. The water is held behind a dam, forming an artificial lake, or reservoir. The force of the water being released from the reservoir through the dam spins the blades of giant turbines, which are connected to the generator that makes electricity as it spins. After passing through the turbine, the water flows back into the river on the other side of the dam. An artificial reservoir was created to make the Itaipu plant. It took a long time to build up enough water behind the dam in order to have enough force to generate electricity. The reservoir created flooded 1350 square kilometers and is 330 feet deep at the dam (the dam itself is 65 stories high).

As I reflected the other day on how I could see and experience more of the power of God working in and through me and our ministry, I heard God’s still small voice reminding me that a hydroelectric plant is much like how God wants to work through us. Water is representative of the Holy Spirit, and it is essential to have a massive, deep reservoir of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives before we can minister to others. However, the Spirit must be released to flow “downstream” to bless others as well. As the Spirit flows through our lives, we have power (Acts 1:8) to accomplish the purposes of God on the earth. Just as many millions of people have access to electrical power as a result of a single dam, millions can be touched with power through the life of a single person. However, that person needs to have a deep reservoir of the work of the Spirit in their own lives first, which takes time to develop. Without the deep work of the Spirit, there can be no power, and the Holy Spirit cannot flow through us to bless the lives of others.

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