The fountain in the courtyard spilled over into the pool below; it seemed to reflect the cares that spilled from my soul. As I gazed in silence, I thought about how we let the concerns and anxieties of life overflow our hearts like that fountain, leaving no room for the Spirit to work in our lives. Illness, injury, bitterness, anger, loss, finances, relationships, health, loneliness, discouragement, ambition, and the list goes on; they all pool in our souls and make such a stir that we can’t hear the Spirit speak of God’s infinite love and promises.
My chair sits by the window, tucked back in a corner away from the crowd of problems. The window’s view allows me to see up past the fountain to the vastness of the stormy heavens, causing me to recall God’s eternal and perfect nature. It reminded me of Elijah’s experience on Mount Moriah when God came through the storm and thunder to speak into his heart with a still small voice.
I need to hear His voice now; I need Him to comfort my heart and tell me what His will is… I want to walk in His unfolding plan, but the shouts of others drown out His calm directions like the overflow of the fountain. It would be easy to give in to the violence of the storm, to just to let the shattering accusations, horrendous announcements, and violent reports sweep me away with the downpour and howling winds. But that is not what God intended us to do, nor does He leave us to our own strength to push back against the storms. He intends for us to take hold of Christ as the sinner lays hold of the sacrifice at the altar and authorizes it as their substitute. He intends for us to receive back the innocent nature of Christ and be declared justified, holy, and empowered by His Spirit to live the life of Christ – a victorious reality in which we are the temple of the Spirit and the headquarters of Heaven’s army.
Through Ezekiel, God declared to His children, “And I will put my spirit within you.” (Ez. 36:27) This is an extraordinary promise; the law commands and makes known what God requires of us, but the Gospel goes further; it urges us to obey the will of the Lord and enables us, through the power of the indwelt Spirit, to effectively walk in His ways. Under the sovereignty of grace, the Spirit works in us to renew our minds and live like Jesus, doing God’s good pleasure. “Who but the Lord could speak after this fashion? Can one man put the Spirit of God within another? Could all the church combined breathe the Spirit of God into a single sinner’s heart? To put any good thing into the deceitful heart of man is an outstanding achievement, but to put the Spirit of God into the heart, indeed this is the finger of God.” (Spurgeon)
You have been striving to do better and work harder in the energy of Your own flesh; you do this because you don’t understand where your true strength dwells. God says to you, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord.” (Zechariah 4:6) Jesus builds on this foundation when He assures us, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.'” (John 16:13-15 NLT)
You have all the resources of Heaven at your disposal. When the storms blow in, and waves of doubt, fear, criticism, and condemnation beat against your soul, turn to God in prayer and ask for help; He is as close as the Spirit dwelling in you. “And the Holy Spirit helps you in your weakness. For example, you don’t know what God wants you to pray for… But the Holy Spirit prays for you with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for you in harmony with God’s own will. We know God causes everything to work toward His good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:26-28 NLT)
The sound of flowing water draws my attention back to the fountain; it seems peaceful now in light of God’s presence. My thoughts move to Jesus’ invitation, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’ When He said ‘living water,’ He was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in Him.” (John 7:37-39 NLT) I am thankful that for a short time, I could hear Him say, “I have your back, rely on the Spirit working in and through you; listen and follow His lead, He will guide you in My will… just trust Me.”
The world crashed back in a few minutes later, but I walked away from the fountain with a heart overflowing with joy and peace; God was working all things out in His goodness for those who love Him. I know my responses don’t always flow with His love, but I do love Him and want to abide in His will. I am thankful He does not intend us to fight alone and gives us the Spirit… The Warrior of Heavens Army, He has got our backs, in every moment of our lives. I pray you enjoy God’s provision of the Spirit today; He is as close as a prayer… You know, that thing that wins the day.
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.
Think About This: “God has chosen to let you live in this fallen world because he plans to employ the difficulties of it to continue and complete his work in you.”―