There’s just something special about the sights and sounds of a flowing stream…peaceful, tranquil, refreshing…personally, I could lose myself just watching the flow.
…and Jesus wants us to!
So far in this series, I’ve written about our Thirst, the ‘Broken Cisterns’ we try to dig for ourselves to meet our own needs, and the Living Water (Jesus) that can finally quench that thirst, once and for all.
So, IF Jesus promised His followers, “Life, to the full” (John 10:10), and IF Jesus says, “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.” (John 4:14), then it only makes sense that we ask the question: WHY do so many people who say they believe in Jesus Christ not live like this? Why do we still live as though we are ‘thirsty’ and are responsible for ‘digging our own broken cisterns’ and satisfying ourselves in our own wisdom and power?
I think there are probably several contributing factors, but the number one reason is that we don’t ‘go with the flow’.
The ‘Flow’ I’m referring to is the Holy Spirit.
“On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”(When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)” (John 7:37-39)
Most of us, even sincere, well-intentioned believers in Jesus, live as though we, ourselves, are ultimately responsible for making our ‘Christian life’ more ‘Christ-like’. We tell ourselves that we must ‘pick ourselves up’ and live out our faith in our own strength and wisdom.
Then, as these things fail, we get discouraged, we try harder, eventually we give up trying and assume that the ‘powerful Christian life’ we see in the Scriptures must be for ‘other’ people, or another time–not us.
I think that what Jesus described is precisely His will for you–and myself!
He wants us to be ‘in the flow’ of the Holy Spirit. He wants us to experience the ‘refreshing’ that only He can bring, the power to live it out that only being ‘in the flow’ can do. We were never meant to do it in our own strength.
The Apostle Paul would later write, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23). Paul’s point is that this ‘fruit’ is produced by the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives…not by self effort!
Religious self-effort is simply one more ‘broken cistern’ that many of us have dug.
We need, instead, to walk in the Holy Spirit…to be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). (Actually the wording here means to ‘always keep being filled’ with the Holy Spirit)…the indication is that this is by design. This is how God designed it to work–that I am able to ‘live the Christian life’ in fullness and victory as I walk in step with The Holy Spirit. I am always in need, and will never get over it…but IF I’m willing to yield myself to His influence over me, THEN I can live it out.
That is what ‘going in the flow’ from a Biblical perspective, is.
…and it has always been crucial to the life of a Christ-follower.
Make no mistake: God wants YOU to experience peace, fullness, power and victory!
He will give it to you, as you humble yourself, come to Him constantly, and drink deeply from His ‘Stream’.