Often engaging in the Holy Spirit is a breeze. The presence of the River of Christ’s is felt, engaging and ministering comes easy and everyone is refreshed, empowered, comforted, fortified, liberated and healed!
Then… there are other times… when God feels distant and we feel “parched.” What do you do then? When the River vanishes into cracked puzzle pieces people dig wells. There are times we must dig spiritually. It can be gritty, hard labor but joy is restored to the whole community when we find water again!
May this episode from Riverfront Property: Connecting at the River of Life, stimulate you to the noble task of digging wells for you clans.
YOU CAN LISTEN TO THE AUIO HERE
Episode 5: DIGGING WELLS AND REMOVING CAPS
OUR NOBLE WELL-DIGGING PATRIARCHS
The Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were regarded as honorable for many reasons. One is, they dug wells to provided water for their clans. Noble-minded people dig wells, water works which satisfy needs.
There were intense conflicts and grumbling over water rights. The Patriarchs came up with honorable solutions for the clashes and complaints. Most involved time-consuming, back-breaking labor. Answers to problems came with shovels attached!
What do we do when we discover our river bottom has dried into cracked puzzle pieces? Grab a spade!
RESPONDING TO THIRST
Thirsty people grumble, naturally. Churches are not happy with water shortages. We moan and complain. “Where is God’s presence?” “This church is bone dry!” “Where did the love and power go?” “Someone drained the pool!”
Some of us church hop, looking for a place with dancing fountains. We hope for an easy drink. Others join a community, and when they realize water is needed, they do all they can to see their tribe gets it. Some complain, or leave. Others dig.
Responsible believers take ownership of problems and work on solutions.
Sometimes responding to the Spirit is a cinch. We cannon-ball in, swim and frolic! When rivers go dry, people dig wells. They think this is preferable to dying. If the river goes arid don’t despair, get to work! You remember Jesus saying, “He who believes in me, out of his inner being will flow ….” The work of faith produces flow. Digging wells is also done by faith.
I visited southern Israel near Beer Sheva, the well of the oath, and saw a hand dug-well. I could tell it was deep because the pebble I dropped took a long time before
it plopped. It must have been hard work. If you live in a place with a handful of inches of rain a year, you dig or die. Don’t whine if you don’t sense the presence of God. Get digging! Dig deep via hope and humility and intercession and gain water for your clan.
Do you want to see a party? Dig a well in a barren place where people walk miles for water. We were part of a well-drilling project in Kenya. What a party they had when the water started pumping!
Many churches do not feel like partying. Who wants a dehydrated fellowship? Some dread going to worship service, fearing the next one will be as dry as the last.
Our neighbors and people in faraway places are waiting for us to confirm that Jesus makes good His promise of living water. They try drugs, entertainments and wacked-out philosophies to satisfy their thirst. They despair that real drink can be found. You have their answer, but it may require digging.
THE WELL AT BEER
During the wanderings of Israel, they dug a well. We get a snatch of the story in Numbers 21:16-18.
From there they continued on to Beer, the well where the LORD said to Moses, “Gather the people together and I will give them water.”
Then Israel sang this song:
“Spring up, O well! Sing about it,about the well that the princes dug, that the nobles of the people sank— the nobles with scepters and staffs”.
THE MARK OF NOBILITY
Those that accessed water for the community were not commoners; they were nobles! Many want a noble title – Duke or Duchess, Apostle, Evangelist or Pastor. Don’t expect people to think you noble because of your genealogy. It will come because of you noble lifestyle, the way you care for others.
Noble leaders realize their responsibility for providing water. They do not idly show up for church, turn on the tap and expect anointed ministry. They probe God. They augur into His heart. They burrow into his word. These leaders are to be honored!
Digging wells is the work of genuine monarchs, knights, barons and counts. They willingly get their hands dirtied and blistered, down in the gloom, for the sake of their people. Laboring in a murky well-shaft may not be your idea of fun, but it is a great idea for survival.
Nobility is gained by noble deeds. It is an expression of character. When water is found we celebrate, and the diggers are esteemed!
Water in short supply occasions quarrels and contentions. Neighbors fight. When there is abundance fearful apprehension is washed away. We are friends again!
If you delve into the earth, boring into the unseen depths, you might stumble on diamonds, emeralds and rubies. You might discover natural gas, oil and coal, perhaps ancient fossils. You might also discover water. And if you, your family and flocks were really thirsty, you would bring them together, drink deep and throw a party!
Those about you are watching you dig. They hope for your success because they would love a big draught of water. In fact, they would take a water break and throw a party!
JACOB GETS THE LID OFF
Jacob fled for his life. His brother literally wanted to kill him! He came to the distant land of Padan Aram where shepherd girls were waiting to water their congregation. These shepherdesses were delayed because those strong enough to remove the stone protecting the well had not arrived. When Jacob saw Rachel daughter of Laban, his mother’s brother, he manhandled the stone from the mouth of the well and watered the sheep.
Several people were needed to move the stone, but Jacob single-handedly removed it. Jacob was tough, the kind of guy who wrestles angels. By the way, he later married Rachel who was probably swooning, “My, he is so strong and handsome!”
GETTING THE CAP OFF
Many believers have perfectly fine wells with lots of water, but their wells are capped. They cannot access the water because heavy weights block the opening. Those caps may seem so immense; it appears a herculean task to remove them. We can help one another get the caps off!
If you or your friend feels a restriction in experiencing the Father’s love and power, see if one of these caps need to be removed.
- Unbelief—God is not interested in me
- Fear—I dread the future
- Pride—I must look important
- Presumption—I can do it my way
- Hard heartedness—Being vulnerable with God is for the weak
- Grief—Nothing can remove this pain
- Unforgiveness—I would rather have them punished than personally know God’s peace
Ask God for discernment. He may reveal blockages like apathy, self-sufficiency, false loves or distractions. He will show you how to remove the blockages and access the water. Remember, God’s plan to get the lids off may involve other brothers and sisters.
PERSPECTIVE ON EASE AND HARD LABOR
We are grateful for times that accessing water is a breeze. This is the grace of God. There are other times where we need to dig, and the labors are difficult. This is also the grace of God! Look for the Lamb beside you in the well- shaft!
Out of a river, or out of a well, we access waters by faith. Whether it comes easy or with toil, we trust in God’s generous provision. There are times we must dig. May it prove our nobility!
A GREAT BRIDGE!
In May of 1995 I had a dream that would get on my Top Ten. I suddenly found myself standing on a gangway one hundred feet over a large suspension bridge. The bridge was six lanes wide. No cars were on the bridge, but a group of about 8 people were in the middle, standing in a circle of prayer.
Interestingly, the bridge ran right down the middle of an immense river! As I looked, a wave lapped over the deck of the bridge, covering the people praying below. I was alarmed, thinking they were washed off the bridge, but they were all there after the water rolled away. I ran down stairs to check on the people, and when I got to the bottom I came to a large room where dozens of people were praying.
I believe the last-days Church will not bridge from one spiritual awakening to another. As we become the house of prayer, we will endlessly experience the river of life.
SCANNING THE WATERFRONT
Our Inheritance in Messiah is a stretch of Riverfront Property! It is a delightful place of connection— connection with the Lamb and with His people!
I would love to go fishing with you at the Dead Sea. It may be renamed The Lively Sea. Are you anxious to sample the fruit there? The most delicious thing will be to walk with the Lamb!
Today is yesterday’s future. Since you live in the future, make the most of it. Make following the Lamb your daily habit. As you trust Him more you will experience more of the inner river.
May you draw from the river with ease! If you must dig wells, be of good cheer. Dirt under your nails means water for your tribe. You do a noble work!
Many have yet to learn that Jesus is “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” Not only are non-believers in fatal dehydration, but millions who acknowledge Messiah live with a dribble when they might have a river!
Your neighbors and those at the edges of the world thirst for what you have. They desire an authentic demonstration of love, power, truth and righteousness. They are waiting for you, God’s delivery system!
May water flow from your buckets. May your seed have abundant water!
Steven C Johnson
I Hope you have received a delicious drink! As you find your thirst quenched please recall those you know who would also love a drink. Pass the cup!
Hold the book and your fingers get wet. Open the pages and water pours! Riverfront Property is a Biblically drenching, spiritually refreshing thirst-quencher. Soak in inspiration for dreams and visions, spiritual gifts, and the fruit of righteousness. Make connections at the riverfront!”
The Physical River which Springs from the City of Jerusalem
The Transformational Inner River
How to be a Conduit of the Holy Spirit’s Graces
“Steve Johnson is one of the most remarkable people I have ever met. From the first time I met him I was drawn to the River of God so evident in him. I am not surprised that his book is remarkable as well. Steve writes from his own personal experience with the River Master and from the overflow of God presence flowing through him. After reading the book and experiencing the seminar I am even more hungry for the ever-increasing flow of God’s presence in my life and in the city where I pastor.” – Chuck Farina. Pastor of New Hope Church, Abilene, Texas
“It’s the best thing I can remember seeing of its kind, which is a combination of thematic Bible study and Christian energy drink. Steve’s explanation of what the Bible says about rivers, water, and spiritual life is as good as it gets.” – Dr. Jeff Treder
“Riverfront Property makes me thirsty. The love of God and the river of life flow in these pages. Get a fresh drink here! Now I want to run through a rain shower, stand under a waterfall, and soak in the ocean. Come Holy Spirit, pour out on us!” – Harold R. Eberle, President of Worldcast Ministry
“I just finished this book–it truly is refreshing with great revelation. I also enjoyed hearing about Steve’s experiences that back up what he is saying–this was refreshing in of itself and made me thirsty for more of the River of God and the Holy Spirit!” — Peter Spencer, The Elijah List