THIS SERIES: LIVING IN THE OVERFLOW
Water is vital to human survival, and in ancient Israel with its seasonal rains it needed to be stored up in large tanks or cisterns against the dry periods, which were subject to the usual hazards associated with standing water. Far more health-giving were the wells which were supplied by the few natural springs in Palestine, and of course these were hugely prized by communities. The water that came from these springs was known as ‘living water’: ever fresh and flowing spontaneously. Naturally in this environment, water also took on spiritual significance, being seen as a symbol of God’s blessing and spiritual refreshment, and God Himself was seen as the fountain of life.
While nobody would choose cistern water over spring water to quench thirst, if there was a choice, often spiritually that is what happens: we try to live by our own efforts, our own resources, rather than from the fresh and flowing ‘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.
Jesus’ mission was to reconnect us to the fountain of life:
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.
Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said,
rivers of living water will flow from within them.’
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
Jesus promised that instead of a life bound by external rules and regulations, His followers would be given abundant Life, Life flowing from within. That life was the Holy Spirit who would come and take up residence in His people, where His desire was to fill each one to overflowing. This would be the baptism in the Spirit that was prophesied by John. [Luke 3:16]
No longer limited to a few chosen ones, the Lord’s intention was to pour out the Spirit on all flesh, young and old, men and women, rich and poor, slave and free [Joel 2:28-29].
The Holy Spirit’s life in us was to be like rivers flowing out. Fountains of living water, watering not just our own lives but the surrounding ‘ground’.
This promise is for you. If you want to live inside-out, if you want that life-giving river to flow out through your life, the Holy Spirit and You page of this website will show you how.
NEXT WEEK: THE WATERS OF LIFE PART 2
‘Freely you have received; freely give,’ commanded Jesus. What do the people in your world need today?
OVER TO YOU...
[Photo credits: Kate Joie (water bottle); Tengyart (stream); Joshua Hoehne (mobile) @ Unsplash, with thanks]
Da Kraplak (type writer);
Merakist (social media)
@ Unsplash, with thanks]
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