The final morning at the Thailand Foursquare Convention began with a growing unity and connection among the churches and pastors throughout Thailand. We have had a good convention, learning about being the people of God. The word church means the community of God’s people (the same word as in the Old Testament. In Acts we saw the beginnings of the church as a dynamic and growing community. We looked at the dangers of division by gossiping and murmuring. We also looked at how we are one another.
We looked at God’s concept of living water. I’ll just let us get right into the message with the question, are we filled with streams of living water? Jesus gave the promise that if we are thirsty, we could be filled…
Today we will look at a fresh outpouring of God’s Spirit.
John 4, Jesus came to Samaria, a people who were half Jewish (and looked down upon by the Jews). Jesus met a woman at the well. As she began to draw water, he said to her that if you knew who I was, you would ask me for living water. He went on to explain the living water was from him, John 4:13-14.
Living Water meant flowing water to the Jews. Water in a lake or well is stagnant, but water from a spring or river is flowing. Clean running water washes out the impurities. Jesus was talking about the religion, you can draw out of this well, but it is stagnant old teachings, but I can give you something that is living and will refresh you forever.
John 7:37-39: Whoever is thirsty come to me and drink living water.
Background: people gathered for the festival celebrating when the people wandered in the desert, sleeping in tents, eating mannah and following a pillar of smoke and fire and also occasions without water to drink. Every year they celebrated the festival of tents and lived in tents for a week. They ate bread for a week. On the last night, they built a huge bonfire to celebrate the pillar of fire. On the last day of the feast, all the people would go to the pool of Salom from the spring of Gihon. It was a spring that flowed like a river built by Hezekiah in case of attack, and the water would flow right out of a rock and into a pool. Seeing the water out of a rock, the people could say this is like the water God gave us in the desert.
On this day, all the people would go to the rock with a golden pitcher, carry it back to the temple with all the people singing songs. Psalm 42, As the deer pants for the water, so my soul longs for you. All the people gathered at the temple in the courtyard. They set up a large silver chalice. The priest would hold up the pitcher as everyone watched quietly. They would pour the water into the chalice (which was perforated with holes) and the water ran in and through the chalice into the ground. The people cheered as they saw the water as a symbol of God’s presence. They saw it as God’s presence filling the land. They saw that when the messiah would come, the Holy Spirit would fill the temple and water would flow out of the temple and out into the land around, Ezekiel 47:1, Zechariah 14:8.
They poured out the living water, and it flowed into the ground. They saw the Holy Spirit blessing their presence. They are waiting for the Messiah, when the presence of God would flow out of the ground and bless them.
Before they could pour the water into the ground, Jesus spoke out saying all who are thirsty, come to me, and out of your belly will flow rivers of living water. Jesus was the fulfillment of what they were doing. Jesus doesn’t say all who believe, but all who are thirsty. (the song they would have been singing was one of my soul being thirsty).
When the water flowed from the chalice through the channels and into the ground (a large hole) called coliea (pit). The same word used for stomach, the pit of their stomach. Out of the pit of your stomach would flow living waters, Zechariah said it would flow out from under the temple. As we talked yesterday, we are the temple of God.
Not only will the spirit overwhelm us, but flow out of us to bless others. The promise of Jesus is that the Holy Spirit would refresh us and thorough us bless others. Am I a spring, bubbling out and blessing others. If you were Satan, you would do anything to stop up the spring from flowing out and flooding demons. That is why he tries to so discord and fighting. James 3 says, a spring cannot have both fresh water and salt water. Out of you mouth cannot come both blessings and cursing. Out of your coliea will come the blessings of the spirit or the criticisms and strife that come from hell.
Is our pit flowing with the sweet water of the Holy Spirit, or bitterness of hell.
Living water is a great promise of the Holy Spirit. It is not just sow we can speak in tongues (which are to take over our tongue and give control to the Holy Spirit). God wants us to be a community filled with his Holy Spirit. Before we can go to the well of Samaria and speak to the broken women, we need to make the church a blessing. Then it can flow from us to our community. Be like a wet sponge that even if some one bumps you they will get wet.