[Next Sunday is Pentecost, the day that the Holy Spirit was given to the church. Christians around the world will spend the next week reflecting on this tremendous Gift as well as its implications for believers, and I felt it was only fitting to offer a few comments myself.]
“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’
But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive…” (John 7:37-39)
It’s an interesting metaphor, really.
My pastor began a series on the Holy Spirit yesterday morning. He read John 7, and as he talked about the “rivers of living water,” I was reminded of the three laws of geography my cousin taught me several years ago.
Law #1: I don’t actually remember the first law.
Law #2: Mountains want to be flat.
Law #3: Rivers want to be straight.
Rivers can tend to be quite windy, but over the course of time they gradually erode the surrounding land and straighten themselves out.
Basically, rivers shape the environment around them. They’re supposed to, anyway.
Think about that for a second. Rivers can carve their way through nature. They tear their way down mountains. They cut out valleys. They transform land, they transform cities, they transform societies, they transform the world.
And Jesus said when you allow the Holy Spirit to flow out of your life, it’s comparable to these world-changing rivers.
I bet when Jesus invented rivers ages and ages ago, He knew He’d one day preach a sermon to a group of uneducated fishermen about the incredible power of the Holy Spirit. And He probably programmed things like erosion into them to demonstrate the sheer magnitude of His intentions for the Spirit-empowered church.
We are supposed to transform society. We are supposed to change culture. We are supposed to have an impact on the world as we know it. As Jesus said, we are supposed to disciple entire nations.
And Jesus told us exactly how to do it.
His disciples were filled with the Holy Ghost, and they allowed the violent torrents of the Spirit to flow out of their hearts and turn the world upside down.
And we have been commissioned to do the same exact thing.
So get going. Let God’s words pour from your lips. Let His power gush from your hands. Let His life flow from your very being. It’ll change the world. There’s no way it won’t.
[Your Turn: What are some other cool things we can learn about the awesome power of the Holy Spirit by talking about rivers?]