But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.
Jeremiah 17:7-8

A promise written over 2,650 years ago by the Prophet Jeremiah and one that stands as true today as it did then. When we trust the Lord, our roots going deep into Him we shall always draw freely from the water of life.

Water symbolizes so many things in the bible but ultimately you will see that they fall under two broad headings. Sustenance for life (1. Deuteronomy 11: 11-16) or a force so powerful that life is destroyed. (2. Genesis 7:4) Our obedience and faith leading to the first – blessings, and disobedience and rebellion to the latter – judgement. This is a choice that we are given, do we wish to enjoy the Lord’s blessing or face His wrath? As believers, praise God, we have made that choice. We have chosen to believe and repent, to follow Jesus and receive the Holy Spirit and therefore we can say we are children of his blessing. Last month we looked at how our heavenly Father would craft us as we emptied ourselves of our own desires and will and yielded to His molding, allowing Him to fill us with new creation power, the Holy Spirit … Living Water … God Himself.

This month let us dig deeper and try to internalize this awesome gift that God has given us through His Son Jesus. We have a future more glorious than we can comprehend but we also have a present more extraordinary than we can express.

Firstly God has called us to be a peculiar people. I love that word peculiar because it makes me sit up and take note. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9 KJV )

That word peculiar was used to denote absolute possession and in more modern translations it will say … people for God’s own possession or God’s special possession. We belong to Him and all that we are, our identity is found in Him. We are daughters of royal descent, we have a priestly calling and are chosen to show the wonder, the might, the glory of our heavenly Father. Just as the heavens declare His glory we too are called to reveal something of His wonder.

How is this possible when we consider our human frailty and what we perceive as our powerlessness or inadequacy. God sees otherwise and says “Believe ! Trust !” What may seem to be reality in our eyes, in God’s eyes is not. Reality is found in the word of God, not in our perception. It is also found in your calling, for God will equip you for the task. He is gracious, He is merciful in all His dealings with us and asks only that we trust and obey. That we do not quench or grieve the Holy Spirit as He flows through us, refreshes us and inhabits us like life giving water.

Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22)

I stress the need to listen and do as the Lord asks, for so many miss out on the best because they choose to do it their own way. Instead of flowing in the Holy Spirit, the water of life, we strive in our own strength and determination to achieve and do it our way.

Moses taught us a very real and sobering lesson about this. He was God’s friend, he met with Him face to face, was God’s spokesman and he led the Israelites out of bondage, but sadly he never entered the promised land. Why? What went wrong? It all happened as the Israelites finally came to the Desert of Zin, staying once again at Kadesh and everyone was complaining. There was no water!

Moses and Aaron went before God and asked what to do. Moses was told to take Aaron and his staff and call the people to assemble before them. Moses was then to speak to the rock and before the eyes of the whole assembly water would pour out of it and there would be enough for all the people and their livestock as well. (Numbers 20.7-11) That was a lot of water that God had promised, and it would come gushing out of the rock. All it required was a word! But Moses was angry with the people, and he took his staff and struck the rock twice and water came gushing out. Yes the time before he was commanded to strike the rock (Exodus 17.6) … but not this time. God works differently at different times; we need to hear and obey.

God was not pleased and His words to Moses say it all. “Because you did not trust me enough to honour me as holy in the sight of the Israelites you will not bring this community into the land, I give them.” Because you did not trust me enough !

God was not angry with the people, He wanted to graciously meet their need. Just a word and the water would flow, but sadly Moses reacted in anger and struck out revealing a God of impatience and anger and not a Holy, merciful God. Moses did it his way.

If we desire God’s blessings in our life and want to live a life that is pleasing to Him we need to be obedient. Not only do what He says but do everything as unto Him so that our motive and attitude are pleasing to Him. We are called to follow in His ways, to imitate Jesus and in that way reveal the Lord to those who are floundering in their ignorance and rebellion. Obedience to God, putting Him first has always carried the promise of blessing.

Sometimes as believers we are afraid of the word obedience because we know how easily we fall, slip up and get it wrong. We may even defend ourselves saying something is legalistic when in reality the Lord is calling us to search our hearts. As His children He will discipline us and keep us on the straight and narrow path, in His mercy broadening it so that we do not turn our ankle (2 Samuel 22:23) but He demands an obedience to His ways. To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. (John 8.31) A disciple is one who follows and obeys the word of God for the law is written on his heart and his obedience is not the rigid following of laws, but obedience fueled by trust desiring to honour God and reveal Him as Holy.

More than ever, I am challenged to trust … to trust and obey. My obedience is a blessing to myself and often a blessing to another. As I trust, the Lord gives me opportunity to reveal Himself to others. He may heal, He may offer words of encouragement, words of knowledge, help but each when offered will point to Christ. The supernatural power of God will naturally flow and He will be glorified, but I know that when I try in my own strength it is as if I block the flow of the Holy Spirit and everything becomes dry and mechanical. Jesus promised rivers of living water to flow out of us … not a trickle but “rivers!’

“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 them.” I could find no specific scripture reference in the OT relating to what Jesus has said here about living water but look at Ezekial.

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. (Ezekiel 36:25-27) So much promised as we come to Him … cleansing, renewal and strength from the Holy Spirit. He will move us, stir us to obey. May we read that verse slowly for it reveals a life’s work as God works in us to remove all that is not of Him so that we may become a clear, free channel through which the living water may flow, bringing life to the deserts, to dry ground … to the lost and the hurting.

The Apostle Paul prayed for the Galatians, I have taken it out of context but it is my prayer for myself and for all of us who want to follow Jesus more closely. He said “My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you. (Galatians 4.17) Paul agonized in prayer. Transformation is not automatic but a process of change, of birthing the new as the Holy Spirit reveals Christ in us. Christ in us the hope of glory. We are told to drink, to taste and see that the Lord is good … to drink for the water of life is beside us, He is in us and how much more shall our heavenly Father give us this water, the Holy Spirit when we ask Him.

What does that mean practically, how can I apply it to my everyday life? For me it is time spent with the Lord. In prayer, in fellowship and quietness with Him as I speak to Him, listen and often “just be.” I love to read the scriptures, speak to Jesus about them and let the Holy Spirit fill my mind with understanding.

I have been so blessed when I have prayed with a friend or someone I know to be full of the Holy Spirit and they have prayed for me, often laying hands on me. How wonderful is the tangible presence of God as He ministers through our prayers pouring out His Holy Spirit like warm anointing oil. Pray with and for each other, as daughters of our King He will not hold back but refresh and equip you as you come to Him … pouring out His life giving water, His sweet, living water, water that satisfies, and of course I am speaking about the Holy Spirit. The Lord commands us to be filled with His Holy Spirit … to be filled and filled and filled. Let us obey and ask and receive and ask and receive.

Father Let Christ be formed in us !!