The Flow of the Holy Spirit
“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. But this He spoke concerning the Spirit…”
John 7:38-39 (NKJV
One of the great pleasures in my life is walking in the countryside. Frequently, my walks take me beside a brook which flows on the edge of our property. It always has water in it and it’s always moving, it’s never stagnant. The volume of water varies with the seasons of the year. In the summer there is not a lot of water in it, but in winter it is full, close to overflowing.
Other changes occur. Grass, reeds and other vegetation grow on the banks and on parts of the bed. Nettles and briars flourish in some sections. Sometimes silt builds up. Parts of the bank can collapse. Trees whose roots take its water sometimes shed boughs into it, forming a barrier which collects smaller branches and leaves, impeding the flow. Litter dropped by people – cans, plastic bottles and bags – build up. Debris appears. Large stones hamper the flow. The brook still functions but less effectively as it makes its way around the obstacles and the flow never stops but it is sluggish.
This process continued over time, for months and years. Then one day I noticed an unusual sight in the distance – a mechanical digger slowly and carefully working its way along one bank, scooping out all the rubbish, stripping away vegetation, smoothing the sides, straightening silted-up parts. After the digger had passed, the brook flowed much faster and was now capable of dealing with a larger volume of water.
We are all familiar with the analogy of water and the Holy Spirit. The Bible uses the expression “filled with the holy spirit” when God is using someone to say or do something special, often something he or she may never have done before. It’s worth asking ourselves if we ever allow “debris” in our own lives to impede the “flow” of the spirit?
We live in a time of increasing pressure and distractions from many directions. The “cares of this life” can and do intrude. It’s easy to get priorities mixed up. I am not implying that we are actively resisting the Holy Spirit but sometimes we put other things first which stop us yielding ourselves to His guidance. What sort of “channel” do we provide for the work of the Holy Spirit? The clearer it is, the more God can use us.
Father in heaven, thank you for the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Please help us perceive and set aside anything that prevents the Spirit functioning effectively in our lives.
Study by Harry Sullivan
About the Author:
Harry Sullivan is an Elder and Pastors the Congregations of Grace Communion Church Luton, as well as Worldwide Church of God Cambridge and Peterborough.
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