November 6, 2011

Delightful Living Water

Are the people of God supposed to be healthy, wealthy, wise and totally satisfied all the time? The child of a pastor once told me, tongue in cheek, if we are not, we should fake it! Such expectations put unrealistic pressure on those who assume they are not acceptable if they do not live up to such standards.

The Bible does say we should rejoice in the Lord, and be wise, and be content with what we have, but it says those things because God knows that these and other commands are needed. We are not perfect people and need to hear what the Lord makes available to us.

This morning’s devotional reading directs me to a passage that has blessed me countless times when I‘ve had a great thirst for God, particularly to act in the spiritual lives of my children. Yet each time this happened, I did not remember or turn to these verses. Instead, God directed me there in some way and surprised me with such direct words to meet my need.

But now hear, O Jacob my servant, Israel whom I have chosen! Thus says the LORD who made you, who formed you from the womb and will help you: Fear not, O Jacob my servant, Jeshurun whom I have chosen. For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. They shall spring up among the grass like willows by flowing streams. This one will say, ‘I am the LORD’s,’ another will call on the name of Jacob, and another will write on his hand, ‘The LORD’s,’ and name himself by the name of Israel. (Isaiah 44:1–5)
Using part of this passage for his devotional reading today, Spurgeon asks if anyone is thirsting for the living God or unhappy because they cannot find Him as the delight of their heart. He asks if anyone is joyless and praying, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation” or conscious of being barren like dry ground, without fruitfulness and usefulness. He says this is the needed promise: “I will pour water upon him that is thirsty.”

God always amazes me. He provides the grace required, even beyond the utmost reach of my needs. As water refreshes the thirsty, He refreshes me and satisfies my desires. As water makes seeds grow, my spiritual life grows by His grace, His living water. As water makes buds swell and fruit ripen, so also does living water produce spiritual fruit in me.

Also, there is that sense of being drenched with it — in that there is more than enough and the blessing from His supply lifts me to a high place. Today, these verses remind me of how the grace of God produces that sensation like a child experiences seeing Niagara Falls the first time, or what is felt in the heart when standing in a safe place watching forty-foot waves pound the Hawaiian shores. Pure awe and incredible joy.

Oh Lord, I know that in context, the last part of this passage is a promise to Israel. Yet as a believer in the Messiah, You invite me to claim status as a citizen of the Israel of God. This promise is for me too, and when I read this section of Your Word, the Spirit says to me, “I do this for those people; I can do this for your people. Nothing is too hard for me.”

No matter the state of my emotions or the level of my faith, when You remind me of Your promises and Your power to keep them, I am deluged with delight.

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