A DRINK BECOMES A RIVER

There is something I want to share with you that has become very real to me in the last few weeks in my travels and the various places I have been ministering

There are a few scriptures that I would like to read and ask that you look them up in your Bible as well (different versions – but that is good)
I want to share about “A Drink Becomes a River”
THE DRINK – Salvation
Jesus is speaking to the woman at the well in John, chapter four (familiar story)

John 4:13-14 ““If you drink from Jacob’s well you’ll be thirsty again and again, but if anyone drinks the living water I give them, they will never thirst again and will be forever satisfied! For when you drink the water I give you it becomes a gushing fountain of the Holy Spirit, springing up and flooding you with endless life!” (The Passion Translation)
This was prophesied in the prophet Isaiah where he states:
Isaiah 12:3 “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”
When we are born again the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us and He releases the very life of God in us… “Christ in us” ( Colossians 1:27)
“…a gushing fountain of the Holy Spirit, springing up and flooding you with endless life!”
And, as important, He pours out His love into our heart / spirit
Romans 5:5b “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
And as God floods us with endless life changes begin to happen
“We are new creatures in Christ…” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
“Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new creation. All that is related to the old order has vanished. Behold, everything is fresh and new.” (The Passion Translation)
No longer living in the flesh but living by the Spirit
No longer walking by sight but walking in the Spirit (by faith)
No longer in the domain of darkness but now in the Kingdom of light
No longer in bondage to sin – but set free by the power of God
Changed – transformed – altered – different – free
“For when you drink the water I give you it becomes a gushing fountain of the Holy Spirit, springing up and flooding you with endless life!” (The Passion Translation)
THE RIVER – Baptism in the Holy Spirit
Jesus is speaking to a crowd on the last day of a special religious holiday…
John 7:37-39 “All you thirsty ones, come to me! Come to me and drink! Believe in me so that rivers of living water will burst out from within you, flowing from your innermost being, just like the Scripture says!” Jesus was prophesying about the Holy Spirit that believers were being prepared to receive. But the Holy Spirit had not yet been poured out upon them, because Jesus had not yet been unveiled in his full splendour.”
This second encounter is when we are empowered and enabled to minister with supernatural power and the gifts of the Holy Spirit
Luke 24:49 “And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
Jesus repeats Himself and gives us the name of this experience
Acts 1:5 “…John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
And the purpose of this power is to enable us to be witnesses of Jesus’ death, resurrection, and the new life we are experiencing
Acts 1:8a “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses…”
Note: Not “do” witnessing but “be” a witness – our whole life is a witness
This baptism in the Holy Spirit is a very powerful event leading to a supernatural lifestyle
“…rivers of living water will burst out from within you, flowing from your innermost being…”
“rivers … burst out from within you…” powerful, forceful, noticeable
This river is prophesied in the writings of the prophet Ezekiel…
Ezekiel 47:1-9 “Now he brought me back to the entrance to the Temple. I saw water pouring out from under the Temple porch to the east (the Temple faced east). The water poured from the south side of the Temple, south of the altar. He then took me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the gate complex on the east. The water was gushing from under the south front of the Temple. He walked to the east with a measuring tape and measured off fifteen hundred feet, leading me through water that was ankle-deep. He measured off another fifteen hundred feet, leading me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another fifteen hundred feet, leading me through water waist-deep. He measured off another fifteen hundred feet. By now it was a river over my head, water to swim in, water no one could possibly walk through.
He said, “Son of man, have you had a good look?” Then he took me back to the riverbank. While sitting on the bank, I noticed a lot of trees on both sides of the river.
He told me, “This water flows east, descends to the Arabah and then into the sea, the sea of stagnant waters. When it empties into those waters, the sea will become fresh. Wherever the river flows, life will flourish—great schools of fish—because the river is turning the salt sea into fresh water. Where the river flows, life abounds.”
Here is why I connected the two – John 7 and Ezekiel 47…
John 7:38. “rivers of living water will burst out from within you, flowing from your innermost being,”
The original language really says: “rivers of living water will flow from His throne within you”
So, the water from the throne in Ezekiel’s vision is coming from you as you are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19)
So, no longer do you just have a “well of living water” that satisfies your thirst
You have a “rivers of living waters” that can and should touch everything and every one that you encounter as you live a life that is a witness of Jesus…
Powerful word: “burst”
Now you can be an ambassador of the Kingdom and ministers of reconciliation…
2 Corinthians 5:18-20 “(He) gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”
Now, in our daily lives, we can move in the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4-11)
Now, in our daily lives, we touch lives for Jesus – impact, influence, bring transformation
Now, in our daily lives, we can truly be ambassadors for the Kingdom
Now, in our daily lives, we truly can be ministers of reconciliation
The priesthood of all believers
We have made salvation – the drink of water / the well – all about us
In some ways it is about us
We were sinners in need of a Saviour – separated from God
While still sinners God the Father sent His Son to die for our sins
When we came to believe…
Conviction – godly sorrow – repentance – forgiveness
He gave to us the gift of “eternal life”
The supernatural ability to have a personal relationship with God
See: Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; John 17:3
Then we become born again, the Holy Spirit lives in us, and we have life
So, we have this personal relationship with God … and it is a private matter between you and your God
It is personal
It is life-giving
It moves you from spiritual death into spiritual life
It brings deliverance and freedom
You are loved, accepted, and forgiven
You can be healed in so many different ways
It is a very personal experience between you and your God
It is very much a “receive mode” event in your life
But it really is not a private matter because…
You are born again into the family of God
You are born again to have fellowship with the Father and other believers
You are born again into the Church, the Bride of Christ
So, it is really never a private event – although it is a sincerely personal encounter
It is really all about “me”
When you have the second encounter – the Baptism in the Holy Spirit – the river
It becomes all about “them”
Those who do not know Jesus
Those who are not part of the Church family
Those living in the city without hope, without real life
The Baptism in the Holy Spirit…
It is personal – a real encounter with the Holy Spirit
It empowers and enables you
It imparts spiritual gifts that then need to be released
These gifts are used for the “common good” of others (1 Corinthians 12:7)
So, you are not self-centered but other-centered
Moves you from “receive mode” to “give mode”
“It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35)
Moves you outside of yourself to a place where others, the unsaved, are your focus
Where you realize that you can touch lives supernaturally with the love of God
You become a worker in the harvest field
You become a disciple maker
You become a “fisher of men”
You become a witness for Jesus
You become a true ambassador of the Kingdom
You become an empowered minister of reconciliation
However, most people who are baptized in the Holy Spirit slowly slide into default mode – the “me” mode
They have a private prayer language and all is good
And yet, a private prayer language is not one of the nine empowering gifts of the Spirit used to supernaturally impact the lives of non-believers
So, they have missed the purpose of the experience called the Baptism in the Holy Spirit
So, in my experience, limited though it may be
We have people trying to impact the lives of others without the supernatural power and the gifts of the Spirit – not baptized in the Holy Spirit
Words and no manifestation of power (Romans 15:18-19) – half a job
We have people who received the experience and simply do not use their private prayer language and certainly don’t flow in the supernatural gifts – so an experience but little else
We have people who are baptized in the Holy Spirit and simply “pray in the Spirit” butdo not flow in the gifts and seldom tell others about Jesus
Good – but not the purpose of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8)
We have people who are baptized in the Holy Spirit, pray in tongues, and witness to others and don’t take advantage of or use the gifts of the Spirit
We have people who are moving in the gifts of the Spirit and seeing people impacted with the Gospel of the Kingdom
Lives being transformed supernaturally
This last group of believers…
Tend to be young in age
Are intentional about telling others about Jesus
Are intentional about using the gifts
They grow by doing and being actively involved in reaching the lost
They walk by faith and not by their feelings
They are focused on the lost
They believe that the Great Commission is a command that needs to be obeyed
Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-20; Luke 24:47-49; John 20:21; Acts 1:8
They look for / they make opportunities in which to share the Gospel
They anticipate and expect things to happen
They want to see the river get deeper and wider as it flows from the Church
They are happy believers – content with what they have
They are fulfilled in their walk with Jesus
They are excited about being a believer
They are regularly talking about how wonderful Jesus is
They are excited about being with other believers to worship and learn
They are giving life to others and not sucking life out of others
They are enjoyable / exciting to be around … spend time with
They took a drink and the drink became a river … and they went fishing
CONCLUSION:
I said all that to refresh your memory regarding what we believe
We believe that there is a second encounter with the Holy Spirit that comes after salvation and it is called the Baptism in the Holy Spirit
We believe that this encounter is to empower and enable us to move in the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit in our every day lives, conversations, and connections
We believe that we have been called and chosen to tell others about Jesus and do so with words and deeds – supernatural gifts, signs, wonders – “by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God” (Romans 15:19)
We believe that every believer is called to follow Jesus and in so doing they will become “fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19) doing what Jesus did (John 14:12)
We believe that The Great Commission is the Lord’s directive to His Church and thus all who call upon the Name of the Lord must be reaching others and making disciples
We believe that we are the workers in the harvest field and that Jesus is counting on us to faithfully do the work that He left for us to do
We believe that it is possible to take the Gospel of the Kingdom to every nation (people group) in the world in this generation
We believe that God will use each and every person who says, like Isaiah, “Here am I, send me.”