by Laurie-Ann Copple
Photo by Ursula of Ursula's Weekly Wanders photo blog (It's pretty close to the impression I received, but not quite).
This morning, I received an impression during worship at Worcester Christian Church that we are invited to thirst after God. Psalm 42:1 shares of this thirst in the cry, "As the deer pants for the water, so my soul longs after you." We are encouraged to come and drink the living water. Jesus issued this invitation in John chapter 7.
One of the worship songs touched on our need and our thirst. It was then I had a strong impression of camels in the desert. They were on their way to a deep trough of water. Yet in the vision, this wasn't just a trough filled with water from a hose or pipe, like Ursula's picture above. It was spiritual living water. Jesus announced that he can give the living water. John 7:37-39 goes as follows: On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! 38 Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”[e] 39 (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given,[f] because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.) When Jesus attended the festival mentioned in John 7, he would have been standing by a trough of water that the priest would use for a prophetic enactment. The priest's action was to symbolize the river of life coming from the temple of God in Jerusalem. This promise is shown in Ezekiel 47. Yet Jesus was actually the temple that the waters would issue from. Those waters are the Holy Spirit.
And so, Jesus also encourages US to be thirsty for the living water and to drink deeply. We prayed for physical rain in South Africa - especially the Western Cape, since Cape Town and where we are in the Breede River valley has had three years of no significant rainfall. The concern of Cape Town running out of water was a real one (and water conservation is still an issue in that city). Yet since the Angus Buchan "It's Time" prayer gathering of repentance and prayer (in March 2018), there has been much more rainfall. Due to that rain, we are having a beautiful spring. So God has brought physical rainfall and he is also bringing more spiritual rainfall of the Holy Spirit.
However, some of us have been so used to being in the desert or drought conditions (physically and spiritually). These people try not to drink, except in emergencies. But you can't live like that! When I shared this word with the congregation, the Holy Spirit reminded me of how I used to do this as well. I was then in the midst of the Toronto Blessing revival and I ministered with street people in downtown Toronto, Canada. I gave and gave to them. And one evening the Holy Spirit had me flat on the floor receiving more of him. I was not allowed to get up and serve. I had to stay and receive. I was given an impression that I had brought street people up to a banquet table with all the best kinds of food. Yet I gave myself crumbs and junk food that I would eat in a hurry. I needed to be filled too! Pastor John Arnott used to say that you can't minister out of an empty cup. Heidi Baker also tells people that you must minister out of the overflow. You can't minister in your own power or love, you will burn out.
What is wonderful is that our God gives us more than enough. It is there, and available. We are encouraged to drink deeply, so that living water will flow out of us to those around us. And we need to receive and be hydrated ourselves.
So Lord, I ask that you touch the people who are reading this word. If they are struggling and feel dry, show them that you have given them permission to come and drink deeply of you. They don't need to sip, they can drink deeply. There is always more than enough of you.
May we meet at the fountain together.