The past few weeks I’ve been learning more about water and how very essential it is to drink a lot of pure, clean water because all the functions of the body depend on a continual supply of fresh water. I have always been a believer in the benefits of water but I did not realize just how vital it is.
One morning the thought came to me that the Holy Spirit is called the Living Water and that just as I need to constantly replenish the water in my body, so I need to depend on and be filled with the Spirit, pray without ceasing, and do all things in the power of the Spirit and not in my own non-existent strength.
I already knew that in my head, just like I already knew I should drink more water, but I confess to a head knowledge that doesn’t always work itself out in my actions. I tend to think I can read the Bible, and obey God without the Spirit’s help. The problem with that is that, without water, food cannot accomplish it’s purpose of nourishing and strengthening the body, and in fact will make one sick. Water causes digestion to occur and carries nutrients and other needed chemicals throughout the body. It is not optional for life.
The Holy Spirit does this with the Word of God. He gives us life as He applies the truth to our hearts. Without the Spirit the words go no further than our head; they puff us up from knowledge and make us spiritually sick in many ways. I see in my life, and in many good churches that believe in the faithful preaching of the Bible, that we place a high priority on God’s word but we do not pursue the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives as zealously as we should.
I often find myself reading the Bible and then moving on to the next thing without so much as a short prayer. If I eat my food but never drink water, the food does no good and I die. The Lord has convicted me of my self-sufficiency and distraction from a close relationship with Him. This relationship needs not only the bread of the word but the living water of the Spirit who fills and empowers us for all that He has given us to do as we pursue Him in prayer.
The Devil knows that the best form of attack against me is to distract me from prayer, and oh how I walk right into his trap time and time again. A couple months ago the Lord spoke to my heart and showed me how distracted I really was, especially with the internet, from a passionate pursuit of Him and also that I was not serving my family as I should. So I cried out to Him, asking for His forgiveness, again, thankful that His mercies are new every morning. “Lord, please keep me from distraction.”
So, I started out by leaving the computer off most of the time during the day so I could focus on being a keeper of my home and loving and teaching my children, only turning it on if I needed to do something related to that, like ordering food. Then at night I would spend some time doing e-mail, listening to sermons, reading whatever I was interested in. . .but after a while I would sit down at the computer and I would feel totally disinterested. “I don’t want to be on this thing!” I realized this was a gift from the Lord in answer to my prayer about being distracted. Ever since then I’ve been able to check e-mail quickly and get off without too much trouble.
The computer is a useful tool and I still use it, but I was spending way too much time on it before. I am especially thankful for the wonderful sermons available for free that have ministered to me in countless ways as a part of the work God is doing in my life. In other words, this isn’t so much about legalisticly doing or not doing something as it is about God drawing me, and you, into a deeper relationship with Him that takes time and prayer to cultivate. The Lord showed me that I have lots of time in the evening if I am only willing to give it to Him.
The more time I spend with the Lord, the more I learn not only to talk but to listen and the Spirit speaks to me in ways I would never hear if I were spending all my free time doing whatever else interests me. In fact, I was praying one night and the Lord told me to be quiet and listen–this was simply an impression in my heart that I knew came from the Lord. I had forgotten that the Holy Spirit is a person who wants to get more than a word in edgewise! He is God and should be allowed to do most of the talking. The same night He impressed upon me the need to be still and know that He is God He directed me to an article on prayer that said prayer should be 1/3 talking and 2/3 listening.
The power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in those of us who have believed in the Lord for salvation. That power is God and He wants to walk with us even more closely than Jesus walked with the disciples! He invites all of us to draw near to Him and promises to draw near to us.
What is it that distracts you and keeps you from times of deep prayer with the Lord? Anything you give up to spend time with Him cannot compare with how wonderful the Lord is and all the blessings He will give you as You seek His face. Oh taste and see that the Lord is good. . .at His right hand are pleasures evermore. Take the food of the word of God and feast on it and drink deep from the fountain of life, the living water of the Spirit.