Monday, March 6, 2023
Soon the warm temperatures will accomplish what we all in the north long for – the melting of the snow. All over the landscape there will be streams of water flowing, reviving childhood memories of rubber boots and little toy boats. In some places the rushing water may cause problems, flooding people’s houses and garages because the natural flow of the water is being diverted by stubborn ice and snow banks. But one thing is certain – unless contained water always seeks equilibrium: it always flows downhill and fills every hole until it establishes balance.
When Jesus ascended into heaven following His resurrection, He left His disciples with a promise –“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.”(John 16:7) Jesus had previously used the analogy of water to describe the coming of the Helper, the Holy Spirit in John chapter 7. “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
When Jesus sent the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, a flow of living water began.
Using my analogy of the snow melting, let me point out some practical truths about the Holy Spirit as I promised in my last devotional.
- Living Water always flows downhill. The Holy Spirit of God comes from above. He does not flow up from the earth, but down from the throne of God. Do not seek fullness of life from the world, but from the Word.
- Living Water can be contained. Our bodies are designed as cisterns to hold the Living Water, but we must maintain the integrity of the vessel. Jeremiah the Prophet proclaims the word of the Lord – “for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.” (Jeremiah 2:13) The Apostle Paul calls us “temples” in 1 Corinthians 6:19 – “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?”
- The Living Water fills all the holes of our lives. Given freedom to flow with no diversions, the Living Water will seek equilibrium. By its very nature it must fill in every low spot and create a perfectly smooth and balanced surface. The result of being filled with the Holy Spirit is an abundant life of balance, satisfaction, and contentment.
- The flow of Living Water can be diverted by stubborn sin that refuses to be melted away by the warmth of God’s love. The Water is diverted by ice jams and snowbanks of sin that formed when we didn’t properly remove the sin as it began to pile up. Now those snowbanks of sin are so large and solidified that they cannot be easily moved. The flow of water is diverted and does damage to our lives – not destructive damage, but disciplinary damage, to teach us to remove sin quickly so the Living Water can flow beneficially and productively into our lives.
- Unrestricted flow of Living Water will always overwhelm the limitations of its container and overflow to the low spots around it. Our hearts have a capacity limit, and when filled with Living Water there can be only one result – the Living Water will flow out of us onto others. We are surrounded by people with holes and low spots in their lives. We are to be the unbroken cisterns that not only hold water but remain under the constant downhill flow of Living Water so that it flows out of us into their lives, thus bringing the healing power of Jesus to restore the broken cisterns of their lives.
May these simple truths become profoundly significant to our lives today as we seek to obey the Lord and be filled with the Holy Spirit.