[SW153] 09/16/2014 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2014
(NOTE: These are notes and scripture references. I urge you to watch the video on Youtube, because it is an interpretation of John 4 that I believe will speak to your heart. The video message will be available later today. The link is in the right-hand column on my blog site.)
I announced last time that I would discontinue this video ministry, to make myself available for other ministry as needed, but the Lord showed me that I can vary the days I speak a video message. So I will continue.
Breath — Last time, I spoke about the breath, a symbol of the Holy Spirit, a breath that is breathed into dry bones.
The Lord instructed me to continue with a few other symbols of the Holy Spirit:
Water — Living water which flows from the bellies of those who are filled to overflowing.
Fire — Purifies our hearts and make them completely and entirely God’s, with no other rival.
Oil — That which keeps a flame burning.
So today, I speak about water.
You are thirsty with a thirst that nothing has quenched. Your sins leave you dry, the gods you’ve worshiped leave you dry, preachers who preach ear candy leave you dry. Jesus Christ has living water for you today, and you will never thirst again.
Text: John 4 — the condition of the woman at the well (and of you, beloved), and the solution.
The nature of living water:
Zechariah 14:8 And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter.
These are waters that never dry up! In Israel, rivers and streams often flow in the winter but dry up in the summer. But the living water of the Holy Spirit is an endless source of life!
Zechariah 10:1 Ask rain from the LORD at the time of the spring rain —
The LORD who makes the storm clouds;
And He will give them showers of rain, vegetation in the field to each man.
Zechariah 10:12 “And I will strengthen them in the LORD,
And in His name they will walk,” declares the LORD.
It is water that strengthens, water that transforms you so that you become God’s representative, walking in the name of Jesus Christ, as His ambassador, obeying God, walking as Christ walked when He was on the earth. The strengthening rain, the living water, the Spirit! He is what is required to make it so!
Water! The Holy Spirit, who was poured out at Pentecost, with a fisherman named Peter preaching repentance in Acts 2, for repentance is the first step:
Joel 2:12 “Yet even now,” declares the LORD,
“ Return to Me with all your heart,
And with fasting, weeping and mourning;
13 And rend your heart and not your garments.”
Now return to the LORD your God,
For He is gracious and compassionate,
Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness
And relenting of evil.
and then . . .
Joel 2:28 “It will come about after this
That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; [all who ask, Luke 11:13]
And your sons and daughters will prophesy,
Your old men will dream dreams,
Your young men will see visions.
29 “Even on the male and female servants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
And the day that Peter preached, and in the days that followed, thousands upon thousands were transformed, healed of their rebellion against God, and reconciled to Him through Jesus Christ! Peter had flood-stage living water flowing from his belly!
Poured out! Water! Rivers in the spiritual desert of Judah’s exile in Babylon, and also in the desert of today’s Christianity!
Only our God, the one who called forth the generations from the beginning, can help us, and He will gladly restore and revive the fallen-away church, if she will turn. Here is His promise:
Isaiah 41:18 “I will open rivers on the bare heights
And springs in the midst of the valleys;
I will make the wilderness a pool of water
And the dry land fountains of water.
19 “I will put the cedar in the wilderness,
The acacia and the myrtle and the olive tree;
I will place the juniper in the desert
Together with the box tree and the cypress,
20 That they may see and recognize,
And consider and gain insight as well,
That the hand of the LORD has done this,
And the Holy One of Israel has created it.
These cannot grow in a dry desert . . . they require water! But He promises water:
Isaiah 44:3 ‘For I will pour out water on the thirsty land
And streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring
And My blessing on your descendants;
For today’s church:
Who is the Source of living water? Who will relieve you of the dryness that I know you feel? Who is the One who will take you out of your desert, out of your wilderness, the place of dryness that results from sin? Jesus Christ!
What is your sin, you ask? Rather than idols made of stone or wood or metal, the idolatry of self is your sin. (I was the same way, before I received the Holy Spirit’s living water.) And most pastors build their sermons around you and your sensual desires. That may make you feel good for a moment, but then you find you are still dry. Theirs is a deceptive stream; it dries up quickly. You are still in your idolatry. If your pastor does not speak of sin and righteousness and judgment and repentance from sin, you remain a slave to sin.
Jesus Christ is in the business of making people free from slavery to sin (John 8:31-36), and that is by the Holy Spirit, the living water:
John 7:37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 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.
Who receives the living water of the Holy Spirit? He who believes in Christ, not just in a mental assent that Christ lived and died and rose again, but who obeys Christ out of love! He who has repented and asked God to do it! That one will have living water flowing from his belly like a flood-stage river!
Jesus Christ was sent by God the Father for this reason:
Isaiah 42:7 To open blind eyes,
To bring out prisoners from the dungeon
And those who dwell in darkness from the prison.
This water, the Holy Spirit, will open your blind eyes and deliver you from your prison of selfishness and rebellion against God, and make you an oasis for the lost (Isaiah 42:7). He who gives you sight and freedom will do the same for them, through us!
And there is another purpose for His living water:
Acts 1:8 “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
The living water of the Holy Spirit gives you power to be a witness that Jesus Christ is truly the Son of God, that He came and died and rose again, because His Holy Spirit will fill you with His presence and His love and His holiness and His power, and that will trigger repentance in others!
You cannot be the church without His living water!
The cure for your dryness, the exit from your desert, is before you now. Jesus Christ will give you living, overflowing water that will never dry up, living water that will make you a witness that Christ is real. People who see God’s power in you and living water flowing form you will repent and believe.
Beloved, most of today’s church cannot claim to be witnesses of Him, but His offer is open NOW. Repent, turn from your idolatry of self, cry out to God and receive His living water!