By: Tim Sader
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (John 7:38)
When I was younger I got into a relationship with my friend Wendy we thought it was love to be intimate but it wasn’t; God had a better future planned for me. At the time of my relationship with her my family met a man named Bob Johnson. My dad bought a sand blasting business from him and we learned about the church that he was starting. We had been going to church in Clover where I was in youth group but after losing their pastor my parents were looking for a new church. While my brother and I were at friends one weekend my parents went to Living Waters World Outreach Center. It was a small apostolic church with about twenty members that met in a police meeting space. My parents were blown away by how much the Spirit seemed to flow within this small group of misfits with a hunger for the Lord. Soon they decided this would be our new family church despite mine and my brother’s reluctance because we enjoyed youth group in Clover. After saying we could go there for evening service and Wednesday we finally agreed to go with them one Sunday morning. Going there felt intimidating in a way because the Spirit of God is very unpredictable and they were open to letting Him lead the way. I know I felt the tangible Spirit before but it had been awhile and I never remember it being quite as intense as I did while at that church. It got to where I almost was afraid of what God would do but scared I might miss something if I didn’t go. Every week Bob prepared a message and the Lord would change it or just show up and do things that felt a lot like the book of Acts. I received my first prophecy there and many prayers for me to be healed. I witnessed grown men on their face weeping, people rolling in the floor laughing, demons being cast out and holy silence for long periods of time. Living Waters was unlike anything I had ever seen and rarely have I felt the Spirit like that again since they decided to close their doors.
Bob wanted to change the world around us; he was looking for twelve men of God to do it with him just like the early church Apostles. I think he found a few but people had responsibilities and never seemed to fully commit to the vision he had for the ministry. He wanted the people of our church to believe in the Lord until rivers of living water flowed from within each of our families. There is a crystal clear river of the water of life flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb (Rv. 22:1). If we will go to His river to be refreshed it will fill us up and flow from within our bellies. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled (Mt. 5:6). This water of refreshing will fill us if we will desire to be righteous and filled up with the Lord. In the adults Bob had a hard time seeing the hunger but on Friday the handful of youth would meet in his basement and he was moved by our desire to learn more about the Lord. He was convicted some of us would stretch our faith far beyond the foundation our parents had built for us. The Ancient of Days takes His seat on a throne flaming with fire and a river of fire was flowing out from before Him (Dn. 7:9-10). This fire is from the seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God (Rv. 4:5). The river of life flows with fire from the Spirit of God who wants to completely consume us with righteousness. John Baptized with water as a symbol for our repentance but when Christ came He brought the baptism of fire and the Holy Spirit. He will gather those who are devoted to Him and everything that isn’t will be burned up (Mt. 3:11-12). The fire that rested on their heads in the upper room is an outward symbol of the fire inside of us wanting to flow from within so that the world around us would see the change and be refreshed with the living waters.
When we seek the Lord we are like a sponge that can soak Him up until we are saturated with Him. When we can no longer soak up any more it spills over and soaks everything that comes into contact with it. Some start to absorb Him right away but others are non-absorbent or have been saturated by things that keep the Lord out. When we chase after the Lord and trust in Him, turning to His word and doing what it says then we are being filled with Him. His fire will burn us up so that only He remains.
Lord help us to see you as the source of living water that brings life and refreshing wherever it flows. We trust that when we drink of you we will never be thirsty again. We ask that your river would flow from our bellies so that others will see you and drink deeply of all your blessings. I ask that we not only bring water to the thirsty but that fire would burn from out of us and consume what isn’t you. In Jesus Name, Amen.
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No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. Luke 8:16