Living Water – Part 1
Have you ever felt like your spiritual life is dry? Perhaps you’ve been a little distracted in life and haven’t made the time to really connect with the Lord? You hear of people having an amazing relationship with Him, but you feel like that’s not possible for you.
It’s amazing what the Holy Spirit can do in you if you decide to commit to having a more intentional relationship with Jesus. He tells us that “the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” –Hebrews 4:12
I struggled for years to spend time in the Bible each day. I heard that it was good to do, but I could not find a good time or good study to get me interested. I even prayed about it for quite a while. I was so caught up in serving the Lord through various ministries and in day to day life that I didn’t have time to sit and read every day. I was too tired. I was too busy. I had too many responsibilities to take care of and too many people to help. I would burn out, get frustrated, and get right back up to do it all over again. I was getting so overspent in the things that I was doing, that I was growing tired of it and becoming miserable. I was dried out.
However, God found a way to reach my heart and actually get me to spend time with Him. The thing is, God isn’t going to force you to take time with Him. He doesn’t want to sit you down and make you read the Bible. He wants you to want to do that with Him. He wants you to desire that time as much as He does, so He’s going to allow you to do that when you’re ready. When I first started praying that He would help me read my Bible more, it was because I was striving to be that ‘perfect’ Christian. I wanted to have it altogether and to help save the world. Yet, that is the very last reason He wants anyone to do it. So, as I prayed, He softened my heart to understand the real reason. He wanted my heart and an intimate relationship with Him. Everything else would naturally flow out of that love for Him.
During this time, I went to a women’s leadership conference on how to run an effective women’s ministry (hah!), at which Beth Moore spoke. I remember telling a friend that I was tired of serving everyone and being pulled in so many directions. I was burnt out and just wanted Jesus to myself. It was then that I truly and deeply prayed that He would help me be diligent in being in His word every day because I knew that it was what I was most thirsty for. [I knew that I couldn’t serve others well because I wasn’t filling up my own soul with what I needed to flow out of me. My own resources were tapped, but I knew that God’s never are.]
So, ironically, in Beth’s conference, she spoke on Isaiah 55. The very first verse says, “Come, everyone who is thirsty. Come to the waters; Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good. …Pay attention and come to Me; listen so that you will live…For just as rain and snow fall from heaven and do not return there without saturating the earth and making it germinate and sprout, and providing seed to sow and food to eat, so My word that comes from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do. You will indeed go out with joy and be peacefully guided.”
Come to what waters? How does His word accomplish what He pleases? How does the Bible have power? I knew that I needed to be in His word each day to tap into His strength and resources, but I didn’t understand the full implications of what that daily time really meant. So, He and I went on a little adventure in His word.
I decided first that I needed to let go of some of the ministries and other responsibilities that took my time. I felt the Lord ask me to wake up earlier to get that time in with Him each morning, to start fresh each day. I am not a morning person, so that was a big request! I decided a half hour earlier was good to start. It took me a bit to wake up enough to read, so I would try to get ready first and not have a cozy blanket wrapped around me! I began studying Isaiah since that’s where the passage was that inspired me. I was intrigued by the things I was reading.
Then I heard a sermon about the Holy Spirit. I was reminded about the power we have in Him, and wanted to explore this further. It was in this study that the power we have in Scripture began to click. It wasn’t in the words per se that I was reading; it was that the Holy Spirit was making the words come alive to me and in me. It was my daily decision and discipline in spending time with the Lord that allowed the Holy Spirit to put the Scriptures into action in my life. He was teaching and guiding me, opening up my soul to see more of Him. It was a willingness to be obedient, to surrender myself, and give each day to Him. I became more in tune with what He wanted me to do, not what I felt I should be doing for Him.
We’ll take some time next week to explore this further in Scripture.