Where Steve and I used to live up near Denver, there was a park that I often visited to spend time in prayer. Through the park ran a beautiful river. The river was always moving and rushing over the rocks. I used to love to walk along the river and spend time with Jesus.
Jesus said, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them” (John 7:37-38). Let me give you just a little background: when Jesus made this statement, He was at the Feast of Tabernacles. This was like a huge camping party for the Jewish people. People would head to Jerusalem and set up tents to celebrate how God had led His people through the wilderness under the leadership of Moses. The people were to remember and celebrate how the cloud led them by day and the fire by night. Each day during the feast the priests brought water, to remind the people of the water God miraculously provided from the rock (Exodus 17). The priests brought the water in a golden pitcher to the temple and then the water was poured out on the altar as an offering to God. As the priest poured out the water, the people sang and celebrated. Jesus stood at this exact moment and said whoever was thirsty should come to Him. He is the source of living water. It’s an understatement to say that the priests were ticked. But aside from that, what was Jesus getting at when He mentioned that those who came to Him would have rivers of living water flow from them?
Those who come to Jesus will become channels of the Holy Spirit to bless and refresh others. John, the writer who records this story, explains that the Holy Spirit had not yet been poured out, but would come when Jesus ascended back to Heaven after His death and resurrection.
I love the visual of becoming a channel for the Holy Spirit to refresh others through us. How can you and I be that channel of blessing in the midst of our crazy busy lives?
Let Prayer Flow from Your Life. There are people and neighbors all around you who need prayer. Often they won’t ask until life falls apart or they are dealt a difficult blow. However, don’t wait for that to happen. Start praying now. Make it your practice to pray for your neighbors and acquaintances regularly and then watch for open doors. Let prayer flow out of you 24/7. The only way to do this is to learn to live life on two levels. On one level you might be at work or cooking dinner or helping with homework, but on another level, you are talking to God and listening for His voice. Prayer is simply having a conversation with God.
Let Blessing and Generosity Flow from Your Life. The Holy Spirit is a generous Spirit. He doesn’t begrudge forgiveness, kindness, or mercy. He loves to shower these blessings on us. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, His generosity will flow through us freely. God blesses us to bless others. So, join Him in His endeavor. He wants generosity to be a natural outflow of your life.
Let Joy Flow Freely from Your Life. No one is attracted to Jesus because someone is angry, grumpy or negative. Stop complaining. Grieve your losses authentically before Jesus – weep it out in prayer, but then authentically praise and thank Him that you can trust Him to bring good even out of evil. The surest way to bring about more joy in your life is to learn to live a life of gratitude. Thank God often through your day for every gift both great and small. As you become a person of gratitude, I guarantee that your joy will flow out to others more freely.
Friend, why don’t you stop and ask God to make you a river of spiritual refreshment to others? Ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit so that the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) flows freely from your life.
I am home this week writing and getting ready to speak in Denver on Saturday to the Littleton Algow Lighthouse group. Please pray as I bring a message on the extraordinary power of praise to change your life.
How You Can Pray
Please pray as I continue writing the new Bible study for Moody and we finalize the details of filming the sessions.