Living Water… Chrissie Kelly writes:
Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’ (John 7:38 NLT)
What does it look like to drink from the source? The invitation is for all who will come, and Jesus refers here to the Spirit of God, available for us all, anytime and anywhere. So why do we struggle on in life, thirsty, when refreshment is available?
Our physical bodies crave water, but instead we often feed them our favourite foods, caffeine, or sugar in the place of what they most need. It is also so true spiritually that we feed our spirits the things that we don’t need in an attempt to find satisfaction, when the Living Water is to hand and promises to provide lasting and deep satisfaction.
Water has so many healing properties, and even more so, the Living Water, the Spirit of God promises deep and lasting healing. Water, as we are painfully learning, isn’t something to take for granted. Too many parts of the world don’t have this life-sustaining essential available on tap, and know so much more than we do, how precious and necessary water is to live. In our busy, comfort-orientated and consumer lifestyles, we have too often lost this very basic human connection with understanding how crucial water is for our health and wellbeing. Likewise, too often we have not grasped the crucial truth that if we don’t daily drink from the Living Water, that is Christ, then we open ourselves up to the effects of dehydration. Our bodies, minds and spirits will too often be vulnerable to sicknesses and struggles. We will lack energy to live the life Christ intends for all who choose to live under the cover of his love and grace. So the invitation is simply this, come and drink from the well of healing, of refreshment. Come and be cleansed, come and be refreshed and renewed. The action here is to ‘simply come’, but for some reason, that action is too often delayed along the way.
God has been speaking to me about decluttering, about making space in my life. So maybe the delays in coming to the Source are mainly due to other things that just get in the way. Think about your days, weeks, routines, ask God to help you clear space. I have had experiences when I have prayed this prayer, knowing that the week ahead is most likely to take me to a place of exhaustion naturally, and somehow the week just opens up to me, and spaces I didn’t know I had just become apparent! And then I learn that the God of time, is able to open up a week so there is time to drink and receive, when it looked like a closed case of ‘too busy to think’!
Clearing space means time to sort! That is, putting it all on the table and asking God to show you what you need for the season you are in, and what is now redundant, from a past season. Then the action that is required, which can be hard, is to let go of what is not for the road ahead.
Maybe you have been leading a team, or running a programme, or attending a group for quite some time, but you sense it could be the time to let go. The letting go, although in itself is hard, is such a freeing thing. We trust God to bring in the new people, leaders, timetables, so that these things can grow, and if we stay in place, we might just be the plug that stops the water flowing in and out.
Clearing space also means desiring a new look! I have been continually challenged in my life from Isaiah 43, verse 19, the new thing that God is doing, and asking myself, ‘do I perceive it’? Am I so comfortable and settled into the old thing with my eyes firmly fixed looking down on it, that I can’t look up to the horizon and begin to see the new thing in the distance. We need to be a pilgrim people, who keep moving, who are not so anchored in the old familiar that our lives become static and we don’t even notice or care about what is to come. This is so easy to do, and often we are even encouraged to do this, so as not to upset the status quo and make more work for our over-tired church leaders! But the effects of being static, are obvious. We get weary of the ‘same old’, we slowly become ‘unfit’ in our spiritual lives, as we aren’t challenging our minds, hearts and wills to move on, and we can loose vision for moving on in God’s purposes, without vision, the word tells us, we will perish, shrivel and diminish!
So don’t be afraid to ask God for ‘new thing’, its good for you, its good for the church, and its good for the world! Coming into our inheritance has to be about continually living in a state of momentum. Your kingdom come, your will be done is about living on the move!
Letting go of treasured and special objects can be so hard. We feel the need to hold on incase we loose the memory of that event, or incase we one day need that object again! Because of our life of living as missionaries and moving from house to house, or country to country, I have often been faced with these hard choices. Too often in the past I have held on to things, only to find that several moves later they are still in the box I packed them into and they haven’t even seen the light of day! But I am learning to live with God, Emanuel, in the present, where he is more than enough. I am learning to continually face forwards and press into the future, as He bit by bit reveals it to me, and blesses me with it breaking out in my everyday. It is so deeply satisfying, that I really don’t need the clutter of the past! In fact it will just get in the way if I keep holding on to it, so I am challenged to be secure with what I have for now, and excited about what is to come, and release what was, so there is always room for the new!
I want my life to be rich in balance, time to drink, time to worship, time to serve, time to enjoy others. But I learn from this amazing scripture of invitation, that there are some things in life that are clear priorities in order to get this balance right! This is one, I need to drink first and foremost. I cannot serve, enjoy life, or even worship well from a place of dryness or even drought. So I choose to make this one clear and deliberate act each day of my life, that is, to be committed to clearing space to drink deeply from the Source of all life and blessing, The Spirit of God.