Monday, March 21, 2016
Have you ever waded in a stream? I have crossed swiftly flowing freezing snow-fed rivers almost up to my waste barely able to keep my feet under me. I have waded in the intense heat of summer seeking relief in a sluggish stream where the minnows nibbled on my toes. But best of all...
"There is a river..."
"THERE IS A RIVER WHOSE STREAMS
MAKE GLAD THE CITY OF GOD,
THE HOLY DWELLING PLACES
OF THE MOST HIGH.
GOD IS IN THE MIDST OF HER,
SHE WILL NOT BE MOVED;
GOD WIL HELP HER
(AT THE TURNING OF THE MORNING)
WHEN MORNING DAWNS."
"And he showed me a river of the water of life,
clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God
and of the Lamb, In the middle of its street."
"Jesus stood and cried out, saying,
'If any man is thirsty,
let him come to Me and drink.
He who believes in Me,
as the Scripture said,
From his innermost being
shall flow rivers of flowing water.'...
But He spoke of the Spirit,
whom those who believed in Him
were to receive..."
Some believe this river is Siloam, a gentle flowing river in Jerusalem. Sheep need a calm water from which to drink. We are the sheep of His pasture. If a city is under siege, it can withstand as long as it has water. Spiritually speaking, the head of this river is from the heart of God. But as Jesus promised, "from his innermost being shall flow rivers of flowing water." As John explains this is the promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit. It is this Holy Spirit which brings constant refreshment of divine grace and mercy, peace and calm, joy flowing.
"And in that day that living waters
will flow out of Jerusalem...
it will be in summer as well as in winter."
He abides in the holy dwelling places making the city glad. Yes, the temple is there with the Holy of Holies where the glory shines, but in the New Testament sense, the church, even we as believers are the temple of God. That is where the Spirit abides, in us. Our very survival depends on this constant flowing source of life, life in the Spirit: a rill, a rivulet, a stream, a river, as long as it is constant.
This Easter it is good to reflect on exactly what we celebrate. Jesus, the Son of God, died and rose again. He died for our sins, broke the power of sin in our lives, taking upon Himself our guilt in order that we can have the free gift of salvation. The difference in His sacrifice was that He enables us to live with this power over sin by the coming of the Holy Spirit: we are empowered to be able to live and walk in the Spirit, to live a life of not willfully sinning against God. This is living in the impenetrable fortress of the living God with the constant flowing of His Spirit in our lives, the very temple of the Holy Spirit. In this sense, it matters not what rages outside these walls. "The nations make an uproar, the kingdoms totter." (verse 6) We have the victory!
"Cease striving and know that
I am God."
This is our perfect rest.
at 9:22 AM