Beloved Podcast, How to Start A House Church, Uncategorized

How to Start a House Church #7: Living Water

I just want to do a quick recap on what we have covered so far. Our first post talked about finding out what God wants from His church, to love and obey Him. Our second post talked about insisting on the leadership of God, which led us to talk about the one thing necessary of sitting at His feet and listening to what He says. We then looked at how being intimate with Him clarifies what is in our hearts so that we resolve to only build His kingdom (not our own), and then let His life become implanted, root down, and grow up out of us as surrendered soil. Finally we looked at how the Holy Spirit can be trusted to give spiritual gifts that build and strengthen the church.

Notice that none of these posts have been strategically centered toward growing in numbers or multiplication. We want to focus on the core motivation of seeking the kingdom first because once we do, multiplication automatically happens. It is the natural result of good soil (our soft hearts), good seed (pure truth of the message which is the seed of Jesus), and living water (the Holy Spirit). Today I want to focus on the Holy Spirit as Living Water. I also am including a great video that the Bible Project just put out in that actually visually ties together many of the scriptures that have been so central to our understanding of this theme in scripture.

Jesus Gives Living Water

In John 4, Jesus meets a Samaritan woman. She is at the well at what was an unusual time of day.  Most people went earlier when it was not so hot.  This indicates she may have been avoiding people. And it’s not really a mystery why. She is ashamed. She has had five husbands and the man she was living with now was not her husband, making her an adulteress (John 4:18). There at the well she meets a man, Jesus, who asks her for water. This well was dug by Jacob. The woman questions His motives asking why He a Jewish man would want water from her. He says, 

10 … “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

Here’s what Jesus is saying—“Give me what you think you have that is so good so you can be open to hear what I have to offer you, which is infinitely better and more real.” She doesn’t understand. She asks how He will get water since He has nothing to draw with. She asks if He is greater than Jacob who dug this well. Interestingly, Jesus doesn’t quite answer her questions exactly. Instead, Jesus answers her deepest need. 

He offers her living water instead…

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

So this Jesus says He has the authority to give Living Water, but this woman doesn’t know what that even means, and to be honest, I don’t think most of us do when we read this story. I know I didn’t. I always heard that the living water was Jesus, Himself, but that’s not actually right. Jesus says that it is something that He gives. He is the giver of this thing called Living Water. He is the fountain. The dispenser. The distributor. 

I started asking Him to teach me what this living water is. It turns out that, in both Hebrew and Aramaic, “Living Water” is a term that refers specifically to fresh spring water. This water is filtered by and springing up through the ground (by the soil) that would fill up wells, pure and not subject to the impurities that infected cisterns. This fresh, pure spring water was used for ritual cleansing (Leviticus 14, Numbers 19:17, mayim chayim). The Greek does not have this concept of “living water” as fresh spring water, so the Greek language literally translates this phrase literally to “water that is alive” (hydōr zōn). This is also true. This water is literally alive.

What is this living water that Jesus was offering to give? Jesus never tells us in the story of the woman at the well. He does tell us a few chapters later in John, when He is in Jerusalem at the temple, celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles or Feast of Booths (Leviticus 23:33-43). It serves as a celebration of God’s provision for the Hebrews in the desert where he provided water in the desert (Exodus 17:1-7; Numbers 20:1-13). Included in this celebration was a water pouring ritual, where the priest would actually retrieve “living water” from the well of Siloam for the basin near the altar which would then be poured out on the altar along with wine.

On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. John 7:37-39

There is the answer to the question the book of John left hanging in the story of the woman at the well. Here we learn that the Living Water Jesus is talking about giving is the same Holy Spirit that dwelled in Him. This Living Water, this Holy Spirit was not yet available broadly to the world, because Jesus had not left yet and the Holy Spirit had not been poured out (also see John 16). But one day we will be dispensers of what Christ has dispensed to us! The actual Spirit of God! This is amazing!

Think about the brilliant and agonizing symbolism of this. As the priest are pouring water and wine on the altar, Jesus knows that this symbolic act is prophetic of His life as a drink offering poured out for us.  He is the one who came by water and blood (1 John 5:6) would be the sacrifice that bled out for us (the wine of the new covenant Matthew 26:27-29). And not only did blood flow from Him to cleanse us remember, there would be two substances that flowed from the sacrifice of Jesus’ body when it was pierced by the Roman spear to make sure He was dead (John 19:32-34): blood, the sacrifice that makes worship even possible, for no one comes to the Father except through Jesus, the way, the truth, and the life; and waterThis symbolic and prophetic flow caused by the piercing of Jesus’s side represents Jesus as the source of both the cleansing forgiveness of sins and the Holy Spirit that would come from Him to fill out hearts and overflow to the world. No wonder Jesus stood up and shouted this invitation for to come and drink! 

Jesus was promising to pour out into those who trust Him a sustaining power, the Holy Spirit, that would consistently fill us fresh and flow through us for the glory of God. 

Water from this well of salvation was prophesied from the ancient days.

 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation…“Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth.  Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 12:3-6

He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water. Isaiah 49:10

Not only this, but the prophets predict the rejection of this fountain of Living Water (Jeremiah 2:13; Jeremiah 17:12-13) and also the reality that from Jerusalem there will one day flow a constant fountain of living water (Zechariah 14:8) and this water will come from the Bride (Song of Solomon 4:15). Read the agonizingly beautiful lament and promise of this living water.

“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” Jeremiah 2:13

A glorious throne, exalted from the beginning, is the place of our sanctuary.
13 Lord, you are the hope of Israel; all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the Lord, the spring of living water.
Jeremiah 17:12-13

On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half of it east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter. Zechariah 14:8

You are a garden spring [a fountain of gardens], a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon. Song of Solomon 4:15

All of the sudden, Jesus offering of Living Water to the woman at the well makes sense to us. He is absolutely greater than Jacob! He is going to be the fountain that gives us Living water and we, the church, are going to be fountains that pour it out to others! This is too wonderful!

What’s more, on this particular day of the feast, there would have also been shouts of Hosanna (“Save now”), the very same cry that would accompany the palm branch procession of Jesus into town the week of His death. During the Feast of Booths, Psalms 113-118 would be at the temple and read in memory of God’s faithfulness in the desert (Psalm 78:15-16 and Isaiah 48:21 also talk about this). Look at these references to how He provides for us with salvation and by providing Living Water for our souls. Imagine these verses being recited in the presence of Jesus during this festival.

Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob,  who turns the rock into a pool of water, the flint into a spring of water. Psalm 114:7-8

What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits to me?  I will lift up the cup of salvation (yasha) and call on the name of the Lord. Psalm 116:12-13

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation (yasha). Isaiah 12:3

Note that these last two verses contained the root word (yasha) for the very name of Jesus (Yeshua)! Savior! Jesus is the well of salvation—the access point and outlet of this Living Water! Jesus, whose very name is deliverance and salvation, is Himself the well! He is the cup! The container from which the water is delivered to us! We drink the Holy Spirit from Jesus. He gives it. What’s more, as my friend Harris says, our response to all he gives us in Psalm116:13 is just to lift up our cup and ask for MORE! And then we who are filled will also overflow as a source for others. And so it was in the context of this scripture that Jesus stood up and shouted, yes shouted, John 7:38!

Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, “Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.

And we cannot leave off the next part of verse 39…By this he meant the Spirit

The Holy Spirit is Living Water

This connection between the Holy Spirit and water that John makes in John 7 connects to the prophets of the Old Testament and their visions of a Holy River flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb (Revelation 22:1), from presence of God (sourced from under the altar!) out to the world!

Let’s look at Ezekiel 47:1-6: 

The man brought me back to the entrance to the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar. 2 He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was trickling from the south side. 3 As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. 4 He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. 5 He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross. 6 He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?” 

This River of Living Water flows from the altar of God, from the temple, the spiritual site of worship. This pure, fresh flowing, Living Water would not be found at the temple ceremony anymore (which is good since the temple would be destroyed shortly), but instead would flow out of Him and into the hearts of people worshiping in Spirit and Truth through the Holy Spirit and their worship would be pouring back the love of God received directly at the altar of heaven in pure worship through the sacrifice of Jesus and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. 

Not only this, friends, but at the end of the age we see the most amazing picture come into view:

For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’ Revelation 7:17

Again these things we only see partially now, in these broad strokes. We do not know how all this works, but we see here this picture of a Living Water cycle. Starting at the cross (John 19:32-34), flowing from His throne (Revelation 22:1), poured out to us (Romans 5:5). Jesus has authority to give us the Living Water (John 4), and then Jesus is saying Rivers of Living water will flow from our hearts in pure worship like the water ceremonially daily poured by the priests onto the altar at the feast (John 7:38-39). 

image not copyrighted–feel free to use widely for teaching!

Jesus is now fulfilling the prophecies of Zechariah, inviting His people are meant to be vessels containing water for the altar and bears an uncanny connection to the Feast of Booths.

They will drink and roar as with wine; they will be full like a bowl used for sprinkling the corners of the altar (or drenched like the corners of the altar). Zechariah 9:15b

Imagine a priest pouring water and wine out and Jesus shouting this out, announcing to all in His perfect timing—Rivers of living water would soon finally pour out, first from Jesus, the Well of Salvation and then from our own hearts! 

The altar was about to be moved from the physical temple to the spiritual realm. Jesus, our one sacrifice of atonement was the blood that satisfied our sin debt, the wine that fills our cup of salvation and establishes engagement covenant that He would not drink again until He drank it with us. This same lover of our soul who gave Himself for us is also our source of Living Water. Now, the only “sacrifice” we would have left to make would be our lives poured out and flowing continually with Living Water in true worship facilitated by Spirit and Truth. Look back at John 4:13 to see how this works!

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Jesus gives water that satisfies and springs back out of us. Our identity as soil makes this picture in John 4:14 even more beautiful. Remember, “living water” always referred to an underground fresh spring. Imagine by extension then, the effect of an underground stream of life to soil that is dry and unreceptive. Water loosens us up, it frees us from our hardness, water keeps us soft and able to host the seed. Not only that but it springs up from inside of us! From the ground. So again, the soil becomes the conduit for the power of God—first in hosting the seed of Christ and then from being a conduit of living springs of water that will give new life to the world, drawing others to its flow. Our hearts would be filled to overflow with the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. We would then be dispensers too, fountains where others can come and drink!

Flowing from the Inside 

God is stirring up from inside us, from the soil up, a new thing from unexpected and limitless sources that will bring the kingdom of God alive in the world. And it cannot be stopped. Amazingly, we get to be the outlet.   

This reminds me of a story from a missionary friend-of-a-friend in Kenya:

I lived for a month in the Turkana region of Kenya during a drought that had lasted for years. Everything was dead, dying, or drying up. Animals. Crops. Hope. So I prayed for rain. I stared up at the sky day after day praying and believing that God would send rain to that land. I carried around my rain jacked everywhere as a symbol of my faith. It never rained. Years later I found an article announcing the discovery of five large aquifers underground, wells containing 66 trillion gallons of water just underneath the Turkana desert sand. I had spent weeks staring up at the sky wondering why God wasn’t moving when all along the water was just beneath my feet. Just because God isn’t moving the way you hope or expect doesn’t mean He’s not moving. Maybe you just need to look the other way.

This flow of Living Water from inside of the ground, the soil of our hearts, is something the world is not expecting. The media is not expecting it. Thechurch is not expecting it. We need to make way for it to come! We need to encourage this flow, then get out of its way as it floods over boundaries and valleys and mountains. This living water cycle of the Holy Spirit is spillinglike a river out from the throne of God—to the people whose hearts are turned toward Him—and through the people’s hearts back to God and out to the world, drawing others to drink! But that’s only the beginning…where it gets fun is when we recognize what we have received by God filling us with His love by His Spirit.

He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior. Titus 3:5-6

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:5

10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. Romans 8:11

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:13-14

The Holy Spirit washes us in renewal and regeneration (Titus 3:5-6), seals us as God’s possession (Ephesians 1:13-14), moves us from shame and disappointment to hope (Romans 5:5), the one through whom we call God“Father” (Gal. 4:4-7), makes the life of Christ resurrect and come alive in us (Romans 8:11) and builds us up as one body in holiness (1 Cor. 12) springing up righteousness and justice and making us dwell in quietness and trust (Isaiah 32:15-20). And did you notice that it has been “poured out” (Titus 3:5-6 and Romans 5:5)? 

The Holy Spirit will be an advocate for us (John 16), He will come to us to make clear right from wrong, to show us the evil in the world and to prove the righteousness of Jesus in our lives. He will guide us in truth. He will convey God’s heart to us, He will tell us what is to come. He will glorify God and will give us everything that belonged to Jesus, which is all that belongs to the Father! 

But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. 12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” John 16:7-15

The change that the Spirit brings us became so vital and necessary to those who follow Jesus, that the Spirit was soon seen as the new law, the “Law of the Spirit,” (Romans 7 and 8). This new law of the Spirit that Paul talks about was given, as recorded in Acts 2, on the day of Pentecost, symbolically on the very festival that celebrated the giving of the first law when God gave Moses the ten commandments! Oh, this Living Water, the seal of the new covenant with Jesus! Oh this baptism of fire that consumes our hearts with love for Him!

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.  They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Acts 2:1-4

Have you ever thought about the fact that the first act of the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ at-large was to equip the followers of Jesus to engage with people cross-culturally and introduce others to the life that can flow from Jesus? The Holy Spirit was given in part so that we can help others understand the love of God by sharing it in a language and way in which they can relate. The Word/Message is translated, contextualized, and personalized for the listener by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

The Spirit is the deposit and proof that we are in Him and He in us (Eph. 1:13-14, 1 John 4:13). Through the Spirit we are guaranteed our inheritance when we trust Jesus for our salvation, and we become “one” with the Father, the Son, the Spirit and the Church—just like Jesus prayed we would be (John 17), because He is inside us! When we experience relationship, Jesus says we become unified with the trinity somehow in this Spirit-mediated power, love, and life. God’s Spirit is active from creation to the birth of Jesus (the Father sending Jesus), anointing Him for ministry, promised by Him as the ultimate advocate unifying agent between us and the Father, poured into us (through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5)), and pouring out of us back to Himself (our worship in Spirit and truth (John 4)), and pouring out to minister to this world, actively recreating the Kingdom of God with every Spirit-led step we take. In this way, unity with God is made possible through His love contained in this Living Water, this substance that is the life of Christ and now is life in us! Not only that but His power will also give life to our mortal bodies! 

Let’s Get Personal

Now I want to ask a very personal question. Do you ever feel like sometimes you can’t get THAT excited about God? About worship? Do you feel that guilt and pressure that you should be able to get into it faster, to love Him more, and honor Him more constantly, and want him more than you do? Could this be because we keep trying to source our love for God from our own hearts? This is futile. 

Did you know that the person and work of the Holy Spirit is the very thing that makes our worship possible? He is the source. True love, and true worship, comes from the Spirit (Living Water) filling our hearts with God’s love (Romans 5:5). We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). Our love for God actually starts with God pouring Himself into us—His blood which is our reconciliation to God, His Living Water, His love, His Spirit, His life into our hearts. With living water filling us and overflowing out of us, the source of our worship is not even our own love for God. It’s His Spirit in us poured into us and then pouring back out in worship and overflow to draw others (John 7:38-39)! He is our source. He is always our source. We just have to yield to His love and be the soil that gets soaked in His grace and mercy every single day. 

How do we even start wrap our minds around this? Remember the story told by Andrew Murray. Say that you take a cup that is filled halfway with coffee, and I ask you to pour me a glass of water, what will happen if you pour water into the cup half filled with coffee? It is still coffee (just really gross and watered down). If, however, you totally empty the cup and clean it, then pour fresh water, the flavor is pure and tastes like water, not coffee. It’s pure because the coffee is totally gone. We are the cup of coffee, friends. Unless we let go of control and our own agenda and pour out all that remains of us, becoming empty, we will never know the fullness of His Spirit or the delightful experience and satisfaction of His completely filling us. 

All He wants is all of you poured out so He can be poured into you. It’s the same thing required of Jesus, so He has every right to ask it of us. He emptied Himself to take on our sin for us becoming a servant (Phil. 2:7). We finally pour out the cup of our life to God in total trust. Then we are washed clean of our sin by Jesus—emptied of our guilt, shame, efforts, striving, self-promotion, self-preservation. He pours the Living Water of the Holy Spirit into us and our worship becomes overflow. It is a receiving, recognition, and re-cycling of His glory and power and love. When we are really open to host Jesus, worship becomes a pouring out of God’s Spirit inside us—deep calling to deep. Worship from a heart that is empty and ready to be filled by the love of God by His Spirit becomes pure overflow. 

Here is the mystery. Though we are not God, and we do not desire to be God (that’s where Lucifer went wrong and Jesus went right), we do experience the fullness of God in us by the Holy Spirit given to us by Jesus. Our own lives we lay on the altar, and His fire consumes the sacrifice of our praise until nothing is left of us. We are completely cremated by the fire of His presence, beauty, and glory. Our hearts are now the site of worship—the temple of worship, the container of Living Water, just like Jesus! It’s just dust that remains—We become soil again. It’s just His glory that remains and consumes us. That’s the gospel of the ground. We become nothing. He becomes our everything…our “One Thing.” That’s the invitation. 

Our whole life is now about hosting God, flowing in this Living Water, making His name famous and not our own. We start to get freed up from all the expectations others lay on us and instead we become free to spend our lives in a gentle rhythm, a content obedient following of His way of peace—easy and light. We get to become a part of this living water cycle as we worship Him and flow out to others, priming the pump of their worship too by pouring into them and drawing the thirsty to Living Water. Out of this soil of our hearts springs Living Water! 

“The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst.But I the Lord will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs.  I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive.I will set junipers in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress together, so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it. Isaiah 41:17-20

Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. Ezekiel 47:9

The reason we need to keep a soil mindset in all of this is that His “springing up” new places for life is all done by Him alone and for His glory alone! Hallelujah! When we lose ourselves in God, His glory becomes our only boast (Romans 5:1-5). Scripture foretold this response of this song of praise that would erupt in us and pour out of us. God knows that our greatest enjoyment will be found in letting God’s glory show itself. 

Are You Thirsty?

We have to fully come to terms with our desire, or lack thereof, to be fully filled by His Spirit.  You say you already have this Living Water? Do you have it fresh? Do you have it for today, for right now? Because what happens with old water is it gets stagnant and dangerous. He wants to pour out fresh water in you continually. He already knows what you need. Come to the water. Get it fresh. Are you thirsty? 

Maybe you are not.  There is a direct analogy between physical thirst and spiritual thirst. We all know that humans need a certain amount of water to survive, but to really thrive, we need a lot of water. Last year I had some health issues and realized I was in a constant state of dehydration and did not even know it. I resolved to drink more water. There was only one issue. I never got thirsty. Have you ever gone so long without drinking enough water that you don’t really get thirsty anymore. Going so long without hydration, I felt like I needed it less (or didn’t acutely feel my need FOR it). But the reality is that people need water or we die. I started making myself drink water even when I was not thirsty, because I knew I needed it. Do you know what starts to happen when you drink as much as you are supposed to drink? You actually get thirsty throughout the day again! Your ability to thirst gets turned back on. We remember thirstiness.  

If you have kids in your life, you know this already. Kids get thirsty. And when they do it’s not casual. It’s this immediate, DIRE need for water all of the sudden. I remember when I was little I would get so thirsty. I would be out with my Father and ask Him for a drink and he would hold his had like a cup was in it and offer me an imaginary drink of water.

It’s cruel, right? I know. I used to get so mad! Why would he offer me something but never actually give it to me? Even though my father meant this as a joke, how many of us wonder if our Heavenly Father is somehow withholding the Livng Water of the Holy Spirit from us?

I think many Christians are afraid that God is doing the same thing to us somehow, or that we just don’t know how to get a hold of it. When you accepted Jesus, did you know you were simultaneously being promised a gift of Living Water? Most presentations of the gospel that I have heard make absolutely no reference to the offer of Living Water, the Holy Spirit. Have you ever asked Jesus for that gift? Do you know it’s biblical to do that:

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:13

How do we get thirsty? Start drinking up this Living Water by sitting with the One who gives it. Choose the “One Thing.” Sit with Jesus. Ask Him to start teaching you. Ask him questions with your Bible and a journal in front of you(maybe a computer or concordance so you can search the scripture quickly). Ask Him to start teaching you. And wait for His voice. Ask Him to help you recognize it. 

He knows how to give good gifts to his children (James 1:17). He sees you and knows you (Psalm 139). He knows exactly where you are and what you need…fresh. For this season. For this day. For this moment. For this pain. For this brokenness. For this thorn in your flesh. For this question. For direction. We start to drink from the Holy Spirit, little sips at first—maybe, just the simple act of asking Jesus to give us Living Water. This spiritual water does quench our thirst, but when we start drinking this living water, we get thirstier and thirstier all the while knowing we will never thirst for any other answer to our soul thirst. And that’s ok, because the supply is ENDLESS—we are never thirsty again because we are ALWAYS drinking it fresh! That’s the invitation, at least. God, turn our thirst back on for Living Water. Make us thirsty.

He’s still offering this water. Are you thirsty yet? What would it feel like to have this thirst met by the fresh fire and living water of the Holy Spirit that wants to fill you, flow out of you, empower you to contextualize this message to lead others into trust, and make it possible to hear the voice and do the will of the Father in every situation just like Jesus did? 

It occurs to me that actually that some of us don’t ask to flow with the Holy Spirit because we are afraid He might actually come to us in a way that feels scary, or that He will ask us to do something we are scared to do, or show us something that challenges our very frameworks and doctrines of Christianity. Maybe our denomination has place very strict rules around our dealings with the Holy Spirit. What if you just ask Him to give you wisdom in this? Pray a simple prayer like the one below…then wait for Him. Some of you will be praying this prayer for weeks without feeling anything different. But He will always answer us if we keep asking. He wants to make you a spring of Living Water. 

The Overflow

You can flow out globally in the same power that Jesus did. You can walk in the same authority over, sin, death—the schemes of Satan will not overwhelm you. Now it’s no longer you but Christ in you, your treasure in a jar of clay. The curses and oppression of the enemy and this world will not overtake you.

Jesus called out the sin in the woman at the well because although she thought she needed to hide, Jesus knew she needed to be seen. He called out her sin so she would be able to see Him rightly, not as someone able to give her a list of rules, but as the source of a life-giving flow that would eradicate her sin, not by pronouncing judgment of her guilt or demanding adherence to the law, but by pouring out a blinding, all-consuming love from and for Him. In other words, our desire to obey and live rightly can come from two places: it can be based out of fear, like a threat—If you love me “you will obey my commands” because you have to out of obligation…Or it can flow out of a fresh passion that says if you love me, then naturally “you will obey my commands” because you can’t help it…you are so enthralled with me that your love overflows in hearing my voice and following where I lead you. Obedience becomes an adventure! Holiness happens as a result of staying in the flow of this River of Living Water. Through this River, that flows fresh within us, the soil, we can be refreshed, filled, and enlivened by the same things that move HIS heart. 

Why?—because you are constantly drinking from the fountain of Living Water that Jesus gives—His actual Spirit, His source of life in you. How exactly this happens is a mystery. Christ in me? How is this possible? Because we are soil and He is seed. And His Spirit is the water that brings Him to life in us—reconstituting and resurrecting Him fresh in our own hearts and minds to bear fruit. The offer is there. Will you take it?

 “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live.I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David. Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations you do not know will come running to you,because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor.” Seek the Lord while he may be found;call on him while he is near. Isaiah 55:1-6

The Spirit and the bride [us] say, “Come!” And let the one who hears [Jesus] say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. Revelation 22:17

Jesus, I am asking. Give me this Living Water. I thirst for you—Make me thirst deeper. Make me crave you. Give me tastes of your Spirit until I just want more and more, fresh everyday.

More Jesus. More…

Come Lord Jesus! Let your Spirit wash and adorn Your Bride as we wait in eager anticipation. Let your Bride be pure, set apart, ready, and waiting!

from the Bible Project
book on a white wooden table



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