((( click here to read part one. )))
[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)
One sentence in particular immediately grabbed my attention when I started researching rivers:
“Rivers are a part of the hydrological cycle.”
Most of us learned about the water cycle in elementary school:
Precipitation – condensed water vapor falls to the earth’s surface, mostly in the form of rain.
Runoff – the variety of ways by which water moves across the land as it flows into lakes, reservoirs, or the ocean.
Evaporation – the transformation of water from liquid to gas phases as it moves from bodies of water into the overlying atmosphere.
As we all know, the first step of the process is precipitation, where water falls to the earth. I’m reminded of the prophetic words of Zechariah:
“Ask the Lord for rain in the time of the latter rain. The Lord will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain, grass in the field for everyone.” (Zechariah 10:1)
…as well as the words of Pastor James:
“Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.” (James 5:7)
Of course, the bible isn’t merely talking about precipitation here. The rain we are asking God to shower down upon us is the Holy Spirit, in all His glory and power and awesomeness. We are told to pray for a move of the Spirit to sweep through our barren land and give us desperately needed revival.
We’ll skip step two for a moment, and move right along to Step Three of the water cycle, which is evaporation. Once the water has been collected in large bodies of water, it can finally make the journey from the earth to the heavens.
If that’s not a blatant metaphor for salvation, I don’t know what is. Throughout the bible, bodies of water are often mentioned symbolically to represent large groups of people. And once the rains of the Holy Spirit reach the people, multitudes will be swept into the Kingdom of Heaven.
And finally, what was that second step? What bridges the gap between the rain falling from the clouds and evaporating back into the sky? What brings the Holy Spirit to the people?
Rivers are pivotal to the entire process, acting as conduits to transport rainwater through the barren lands to the oceans and lakes, so it can return back into the heavens.
And you are pivotal to the salvation of everyone around you, acting as an ambassador of heaven who speaks life into this dying generation, so that the lost would be swept into God’s kingdom.
Never underestimate the calling on your life. Never forget the power of the Holy Spirit that flows through your hands and feet. Out of your heart flow rivers of living water. And without you, our world is headed for a drought.