One of the verses I pray regularly for myself and those close to me is John 7:37-38:
If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ John 7:37-38
I love this great promise and I find it to be a tremendous source of encouragement.
Jesus calls us to be heavy drinkers. He calls us to come daily–better, moment by moment–to him and drink of his life-giving Spirit (See John 7:39).
My confession today is that I have become an extremely heavy drinker from this well, and it is profoundly changing me.
So, by way of spurring you on in your own drinking habits, let me share how I drink and what the effects have been.
HOW TO DRINK
- Heavy drinking requires time reading God’s Word. The Scriptures teach that man cannot live by physical food alone, but rather by every word that God speaks. Those who regularly drink of God’s Spirit have developed the discipline of regular Bible reading. It’s the primary way God speaks to his people. As you read the Bible, the Spirit will fill, teach and cleanse you.
- Heavy drinking involves listening prayer. Prayer is obviously talking to God. We worship him, confess before him, thank him and make requests of him. But if we’re going to drink from his Spirit, we have to learn the type of prayer that involves listening. This takes longer and requires you to be still and quiet. But as you sit before God and wait on him, his Spirit will fill you.
- Heavy Drinking invites the fulness of God’s Spirit. Ephesians 5:18 exhorts us to constantly seek the filling of God’s Spirit. I ask God’s Spirit to fill me at least once a day, but usually several times a day. I close my eyes, take a deep breath, turn my hands palms up and invite the Holy Spirit to fill me. It’s always a powerful, cleansing and refreshing moment for me.
As I said above, I have been profoundly effected by my drinking habit. Here are just a few of the blessings that have resulted from my drinking.
- Rivers. The amazing promise of Jesus is that our drinking from his well leads to rivers (note the plural) of life-giving water flowing out of us. He is referring to his Holy Spirit. It’s really a powerful image: not only do we get filled, we actually splash wherever we go. Those who drink heavily from Jesus have a magnetism, a contagion, a life-giving presence at attracts and blesses others. We should literally, by the power of God’s Spirit in us, leave impressions of Jesus with everyone we meet.
- Joy. Joy is that sense of contentment and peace that trumps circumstances. It comes from deep within a person, and is an obvious fruit of being filled with the Spirit. Heavy drinkers are joyful people. It’s impossible to drink regularly from the deep wells of Jesus’ love and goodness and not be joyful.
- Peace. Peace, like joy, is another fruit of God’s Spirit. Those who drink steadily from the Lord will know amazing peace. In fact, Paul called it peace that is beyond comprehension (Phil 4:7). Biblical peace is not the absence of conflict or trouble, it’s the presence of the Prince of Peace. Those who drink of God’s Spirit enjoy his presence in their lives, and his presence tends to trump or cancel out all the junk that we deal with daily. God’s presence doesn’t prevent life’s chaos, but it does make it much more bearable.
- Perspective. With the fulness that comes with drinking from Jesus’ well comes also the view from eternity. Jesus’ Spirit helps us see things from his perspective. When I am filled with God’s Spirit, I see headlines differently. The world’s troubles and my own problems become much less significant. I’m able to stay much more restful in my spirit and not overreact or panic when things go south. The promise God spoke through Paul, “The Lord is near,” (Phil 4:4), reminds me that God is still in control and hasn’t abandoned me. And when I have God’s perspective on things, I’m able to live from much more of a Kingdom mindset.
I wonder if you need to start drinking more. There is a reason the scriptures exhort us not o get drunk with wine, but to be filled with God’s Spirit.
Jesus’ invitation is for you right now, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink . . . .”