My garden desperately needs rain. I didn’t say it needs water. It needs rain. Up until this year I didn’t see the difference. I would hear people in the dry summer weather say that we need rain, and my thought was simply that it’s a lot of work to water the lawn/flowers/garden and the water bill goes up.
This year I realize how naïve I was.
Water delays plant death. It sustains a meager, stunted growth existence. Fruit of vegetation is limited, and not all that healthy.
Rain promotes life. It causes vegetation to flourish, to thrive, to grow vigorously. Fruit of vegetation is abundant, beautiful, and healthy.
As I was contemplating these realities while I watch my city water sustain my garden’s existence at the moment, I started thinking that it’s all too common for our Christian lives to survive on water, when we need the rain of the Spirit.
In our first-world country, water is available. It’s relatively cheap. It only requires the turn of a faucet, not prayer or faith. Essentially, water is easy.
Spiritually speaking, water is available. It’s everywhere! Sermons online, sermons at the local church, blogs from theologians, blogs from everyday joes like me, published books, self-published e-books, you name it. And I’m not only talking about the “Every Day’s a Friday” nonsense. I’m talking about genuine, biblical truth.
The problem is, I’m not going to grow on someone else’s filtration of pure spiritual water. I need that pure spiritual water directly!
Oh and how I long for it!
Church, I think we’ve gotten lazy. We expect to grow without praying that the Spirit will come to us personally, without praying that the Heavens will open FOR US and rain down!
We try this new Bible study and that new program and wonder why it simply isn’t working. Our lives aren’t being changed. Others aren’t coming to a saving faith in Christ. And because we get in that cycle, we cease to long for the real thing. We become content with second best, with that which simply sustains us.
God doesn’t simply want to sustain us. He wants to provide His living water so we can GROW, and I’m not just talking about personal growth, though that’s part of it. I’m talking about kingdom growth, where lives are changed and people are being saved.
Are you longing for the heavens to open and the Spirit of God to rain down on you? On your church? I am! So where do we start?
I’m not saying ditch the sermons or the blogs or the books. I’m saying seek the Father, who will in turn use the sermons and the blogs and the books in your life, in ways the preachers and authors have never even dreamt of.
Let me give you an example. When I’m home alone I like to listen to sermons. This morning I was listening to a sermon about Isaac and Jacob. Out of nowhere in my mind a truth in that account of the patriarchs hit me that I had never heard or thought of before. And you want to hear what was so amazing about that? The preacher never even touched on that truth, not even close. His sermon was on an entirely different aspect of the Scripture. But that truth went along hand in hand with something I had seen in a different part of Scripture the day before. I hope to blog on it soon but my point is, God is teaching me some very real truths about His Son, the entirety of the Scripture, and the Gospel, and he used a sermon that never touched on the subject to teach me.
When the Spirit touches us as individuals, as churches, in ways that are unexplainable, that is rain from the Spirit. Oh how I long for that for my personal walk. How I long for it in my local church. How I long for it for our nation, for our world.
I didn’t always long for it, though. I was content in the cycle second-best. But not anymore.
What about you? Have you been subsisting on water and you long for rain?