“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. – John 7:37-38
“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:1-2
Learning to be attentive to and join in the Holy Spirit’s work around me has been…
I’m not sure what to say.
Sometimes it’s really hard. I don’t want to surrender. I push away transformation for my own needs and desires.
Sometimes it’s amazing. The Spirit and I click. He urges and I do.
More often than not it is a struggle. I’m not listening. Or when I hear I have other agenda’s that get in the way. Or what He asks makes me uncomfortable.
“I don’t want to help that strange lady with those monstrous boxes. I’m tired and she looks weird. She will probably pepper spray me when I get close so just back off Jesus.”
But when He urges and I follow it is incredible.
Here is what I know. God is at work in the world around us. He is on a mission to restore us to right relationship with Him and each other. He is working on everyone all the time. There are no exceptions.
When Jesus asks is anyone thirsty, he is not just talking about spiritual thirst. What do I crave? Purpose? Fulfillment? Acceptance? Love? Success? Self-worth? All of it is found in Him. That is how I was created – for the needs of my life to be quenched by His abiding in me.
But joining His work demands that I sacrifice. I must lay my plans, my schemes for more, my dreams of grandeur, my agenda, my pride on the alter and put it to death daily. Daily because it keeps growing back. Like the vines rooted in my neighbors yard that relentlessly reach for my flowers, I have to cut my pride back or it will creep up and choke out everything beautiful the Spirit has planted. Constant renewal. With every conversation I need to be asking, “Lord, what do you want to do here?”
My friend Kenny once told me that following the Spirit was like looking for a four leaf clover. He explained that there are approximately 10,000 three leaf clovers for every one four leaf clover. Whenever he walked into a huge field of clover he knew that he was going to be able to find a four leaf one if he just looked hard enough. Finding where God is working and joining Him in it is similar. Whenever he walked into a room he would pray, “Lord, use me however you want in here. I’m available.” Then he would just start paying attention.
He used to drive me nuts. A bunch of us would go out to eat. I would pull out a menu and start pursuing my choices. Once I figured out what I wanted to eat I would look up from my menu to find Kenny in a deep Spirit filled conversation with some stranger in the room. He was like a machine – a Holy Spirit listening, surrendering to Jesus, no fear machine.
So I know that I have this amazing stream of living water flowing from me (the Holy Spirit’s love) that can quench any thirst. Yet for it to flow freely from me to the dehydrated world around me I must get out of the way.
Lord, help me to sacrifice my pride and get out of the way so that I might join your mission today.