Go Jump in the River

Psalm 46: 4

There is a river whose streams bring joy to the city of God, the holy place where the Most High lives.

This river is the Holy Spirit and the flow of the Holy Spirit brings many benefits to our lives. Among these is joy. The Holy Spirit is often characterized as a flow in addition to water, rivers and fountains. It is the flow of the Spirit which brings revelation and waters the garden of God. We live in and as part of God’s city right now even as we dwell on earth because the earth is part of His realm too. Because there is great, and I do mean great, profit flowing in and from the Spirit, it is important that we come to know him better and better.

One of the things that is interesting about the Spirit is shown in today’s passage and that is that he is often referred to as some form of water. Think about water for a moment and consider not only how important it is for all life forms but also all of the ways water impacts your life. Try washing clothes, dishes or your face and most often you will use water. Most detergents and cleaners have water in them already or combine with water to do their jobs. Just imagine a week without water even if you had drinking water. I would be using some of that potable water to brush my teeth. We use water in cooking. Besides all that, our bodies are mostly water, as you know.

When you consider the importance of water don’t you find it interesting that God identifies the Holy Spirit as living water? In Jeremiah 2: 13 God said, “My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters.” God calls Himself The fountain of living waters referring to Himself in the person of the Holy Spirit. Do you remember the story of the Samaritan woman Jesus met at the well? In verse 10 of John chapter 4, “Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” Again, living water but this time it was Jesus who reveals there is living water, i.e. water that is alive and which gives life. Later in that same chapter, in verse 14, Jesus describes the value of the living water, “Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” Jesus also said, “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water,’” (John 7: 38).

I find these verses exhilarating but I am also impressed by their significance. Water is vital for life and I think that is the point Jesus is making in these verses. From this fountain of living water springs all of life. Perhaps Jesus is saying that the Holy Spirit is vital for life and he, therefore, wants us to seek this living water. Jesus wants us to become cognizant of the role the Holy Spirit is intended to play in all our lives. We cannot live without water and I believe Jesus is saying that none of us will flourish or grow without the flowing river of the Holy Spirit. This river is meant to spring up from our innermost being. We can ask ourselves if we feel we are living in this springing up flow from our innermost selves. We can ask if the Spirit is welling up within us. Then, we can ask the Father for this revelation about the Spirit to be manifested in our lives whether we are experiencing a little creek or a raging river for there is always more of the Holy Spirit for us to receive.

Make it a point to meditate on and come to know this third person of the Holy Trinity. Think about what these water verses mean. What did the Father and Jesus mean for us to get out of them? What was Jesus trying to get the Samaritan woman to see and do? Most of all, jump in the river of living water and drink your fill.

Immersed in the Flow

Psalm 36: 9 – 10

To know you is to experience a flowing fountain, drinking in your life, springing up to satisfy. In the light of your holiness we receive the light of revelation. Lord, keep pouring out your unfailing love on those who are near you. Release more of your blessings to those who are loyal to you.

Our Christian walk is a journey as the very name implies. One does not walk and remain in the same place. Therefore, the first question is, are we travelling or are we rooted in place? Are we still journeying with Jesus or have we stopped and set up camp? Secondly, if we are walking with Jesus, where are we going? I suggest that today’s verses offer the answer.

We should all aspire to know God as an intimate friend, to know Him at least as well as we know our spouses or our best friend. In truth, He is both; your spouse and your best friend, if you so choose. As we come to know Him more and more, we discover that knowing Him is living in that flowing fountain of which David wrote in this psalm. David tells us this fountain satisfies. In fact, it really is the only thing that will every fully satisfy you. Most of you know that. What we don’t know, sometimes, is how we gain full access to that fountain and how we drink from it.

Well, again, David was way before his time. He is what makes the book of psalms so unique because we could just as easily pluck this book out of the Old Testament and insert it in the pages of the New Testament. Really, we would understand much more of David’s writings if they were being read in the New Testament because we bring a different mindset to our reading of the Old and the New. Therefore, our New Testament mindset would help us understand or better absorb David’s writings because he wrote with specialized knowledge and revelation that typically only New Testament writers had.

Today’s passage screams of the Apostle John who wrote, “If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, “From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke of the Spirit who those who believed in Him were to receive; the Spirit was not yet give, because Jesus was not yet glorified,” (John 7: 37 – 39). From his innermost being living water will flow, said Jesus. This river of living water, he said, is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, then, is the flowing fountain of thirst satisfying water of which David wrote in today’s psalm selection. I hope you see this. The Holy Spirit is to be the flow we live in and that flow is also that which we thirst for and the only thing which truly satisfies. We, like David, must experience this flowing fount of life, light and revelation. To the degree we do not walk and live and breathe in this flow, that is the degree to which our lives degenerate rather than regenerate. Life is in this walk with Jesus. Breath is in the Spirit. Love and light always issue from the Father. He is the flowing fountain from which love, light and life stream. This flowing river, which is the Holy Spirit of God, is Yahweh’s distribution system. Upon its waves ride the blessing, revelation and victory.

To know you, David wrote, is to experience a flowing fountain, drinking in your life, springing up to satisfy.” Then, roughly 1000 years later, John explained that this flowing fountain is the Holy Spirit.  We are to be baptized in that holy water. In this water is the life of God which is springing up to satisfy. In it is the light of revelation and in it is the unmatched love of God. So, jump in. Immerse yourself in these healing waters. Soak in the revelation which comes only by God’s Spirit. Be blessed, be healed, be satisfied. Get a little wetter each day. Come on in, the water is fine!

Living Water

John 7: 37 – 39

Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

This verse is enlightening, and I believe it brings a certain amount of joy as well. It celebrates both Jesus and the Holy Spirit. What word jumps out at you from the passage? I am intrigued by the word “cried.”

As I read the gospels I perceive Jesus as very cool under fire. When put on the spot, he once simply knelt down and began to doodle in the dirt. This is not the person I think of “crying out.” It is no great leap to conjecture that this message was of keen importance to Jesus. Can you picture this scene? Apparently, everyone was seated because Jesus stood. They were feasting. Who was there? How many people do you reckon were gathered? In the midst of the feast Jesus stood up and cried out with a loud voice. Wow! That must have been a sight. One can certainly suppose that the message was vital for Jesus to interrupt the feast and to make such a spectacle of himself.

Interestingly enough, the message was not about salvation. It wasn’t even about sin. Why didn’t he jump up and say, “Come all you sinners. I will save your soul from eternity in hell.” That is what most of us would expect but only because we don’t know Jesus well enough. Jesus took care of the sin problem. He conquered hell. His real message is displayed in this cry. “Come to me all you who are thirsty. I will satisfy your thirst.”

How did Jesus plan to satisfy the deep and enduring thirsty within us? He already knew about the Father’s plan to send the Holy Spirit into the earth. God made the promise back in Joel 2: 28. Then John the Baptist revealed that Jesus would baptize us in the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3: 11). Now, here, in the early chapters of John we discover that those who believe in Jesus were to receive the Spirit. Right before Jesus’ exit from planet earth he gathered his followers and advised them. He was passing the torch to all who would follow him. He told them not to leave Jerusalem “but to wait for what the Father had promised . . . for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit,” (Acts 1: 4 – 5). Then Jesus was taken up in a cloud of glory. He was glorified in the earth and in heaven as his disciples watched.

So, Jesus’ essential message was come, receive the filling of the Holy Spirit so that you will never again thirst. The living water of the Holy Spirit is a river flowing in the spirit of those who ask and receive. The invitation was simple, “Come,” Jesus said. Anyone who is thirsty is invited to the well. As Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at the well, he says also to you, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water,” (John 4: 10). Receive the living water. Be filled and satisfied.

My Buddy

John 14: 16 – 17

I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

I started to send you scriptures today which show the Holy Spirit as the promise of God, there are quite a few, but perhaps you have already come to that conclusion. This scripture from Haggai spells it out simply enough, “As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt, My Spirit is abiding in your midst; do not fear!” (Haggai 2: 5). This scripture is great assurance that God fulfilled the promise He made. The bigger question, therefore, may be, why is this so important? What does the fulfillment of this promise mean to me? That is the question I would like to attempt to answer today.

Jesus was the first to teach about the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was referred to by many prophets and writers, but Jesus told us about the Holy Spirit’s role in our lives. We find key language in today’s verse. Jesus called the Holy Spirit our “Helper.” If you check this word in your Strong’s Concordance or even in the footnotes, you find the word here which is translated into English as helper also means comforter, intercessor and most interesting of all, one who is called to go alongside. This is the idea I would like you take away from today’s Word of the Day. The Holy Spirit was sent to us by God as a fulfillment of His promise so that we would have a constant companion, someone who will go along beside us regardless of the circumstance.

It is remarkable that God, at the request of Jesus, would send His Own Spirit to be our companion. Even more remarkable, though, is that this cohort, this third person of the Trinity, is called to walk along beside us. This should give even greater insight to the idea of partnership with the Holy Spirit. God didn’t send us a boss. There is absolutely nothing tyrannical in our relationship with the Spirit. At the deepest level of truth, Father God sent us a friend, a buddy. That is the key revelation of the Holy Spirit. That is the revelation that could, and dare I say, should, change your life forever.

There is so much more that he does for us but it all flows from this relationship, or friendship. He is our teacher, an intercessor, he assists us in prayer. He is the Spirit of Truth and leads us in all truth. He is our guide and our confidante. The big revelation, though, is that he is your friend. He is with you every moment of your life. He is the breath in your lungs. There is a scripture which says, “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother,” (Proverb 18: 24). This is the Spirit, the living water which quenches our thirst. This is our friend.