One recent lazy afternoon in shorts and t-shirts, Terry and I jumped in his big red truck for a quick day-trip. We parked ourselves at a secluded picnic table tucked beside the views of Badin Lake at Morrow Mountain. The sun was shining, and a breeze was gently blowing – perfect for exhaling the world and breathing in freshness. We paused for our picnic dinner with a view laying before us – hills in the background and the deep water directly in front of us. We soaked in the view. As we lingered and with further inspection, I was intrigued by just how full the Badin banks were and how quickly the water was traveling before us.
As we were talking, Terry mentioned a recent truth that is changing him. Let me share his thoughts in my words. He reminded me of John 7:38, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” John went on to say Jesus was talking about the Holy Spirit. This was a reminder that as a Christ-follower, we have the privilege of allowing the river of the Holy Spirit’s love to flow through us.
However, we struggle to experience His flow all the time. In these days of COVID, social unrest, political tension, we are often anxious and harsh. How is it that the Holy Spirit lives in us, and yet we fight to allow Him to change our actions?
Can you relate?
Like the water at Badin flowed because the dam’s gates were open, God’s love will flow through us as our ‘gates are up in our spiritual life. 1 Timothy 1:5 (NIV) tells us how. “The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” A pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith are three sources or gates, if you will, that allow the Holy Spirit to produce His love in us – regardless of circumstances.
The first gate is a pure heart. This is a desire to honor God above all else. It is the process of making Jesus’ desires, our desires. As we lay down our life and allow Jesus to be Lord over us, our hearts are pure. It is chasing after what God wants in our life, not our selfish desires. James 3:13-4:10
The second gate is a clear conscience. If we allow sin to go unconfessed in our life, we hinder and grieve the Holy Spirit. The gate restricts the flow of His love to us and through us. He is still there, yet we, nor others, struggle to experience Him. 1 John 1:9.
The third gate is sincere faith. I’m glad Paul didn’t say strong faith. We need to be genuine as we are living out our faith. We must be real.
Friends, I desire to be a breath of fresh air with ‘living waters’ flowing through me and on to other people. I crave to be overflowing with His living water rushing forward. I believe the secret is to open wide our spiritual gates of pure heart, a clear conscience, and a sincere faith.
Let’s open our gates and let the Living Water flow, for it truly is a beautiful thing!