I was interested in the story of the Wimmera River, which returned to the town of Dimboola, Victoria this week. Severe drought in the region caused the river to dry up and it has not flowed through this particular township for five long years.
Excited residents rushed to get a view of the returning river as it marched into town, following heavy rains last week. The president of the local rowing club received a call in the early hours to say that the river had just passed the rowing sheds. He walked alongside it, escorting the river’s head as it approached the town.
“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit… (John 7:37-39)
I want to be filled with the Spirit, to be a Supernatural Christian, but at times all I can see in my life is a dry riverbed; traces of places where He has been and reminders of His Presence. During these times, it seems I have nothing left to give. I long to be connected again, but am not certain where to begin.
The story of the Wimmera River struck a chord with me because I, too, am enjoying a River’s return—an experience of spiritual renewal after a long dry period.
How can we experience a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit when we have been through a dry season? Here are some keys that I have discovered in my own journey:
‘If anyone is thirsty’ (John 7:37)
I remarked to someone a couple of months ago, that one of the greatest tragedies in the church today is dryness without thirst.
When we are dry, we may engage in wishful thinking about being full of God again. Unless we are thirsty, we will never pursue God. Thirst—real desire—results in action.
Am I thirsty? Or am I just dry?
2. Get Personally Connected to Jesus
‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me’
Thirst motivated me to take action in two areas of my life. These were:
These are the self-centred things I indulge in instead of spending time with Jesus, or the things I turn to instead of Him to meet a need. Recently our pastor talked about ‘What is your drug of choice?’ Personal habits have included worry, work, late nights and time spent at the computer.
These are the other-centred things that I do that take the best portion of my life and leave little time to connect with God. Responsibilities are hard to drop once you have taken them up. You just get busier and busier, then drier and drier.
In my quest for the River’s return, no commitment is sacred. I am now doing less, focussing more, and learning to say ‘No.’
3. Find Out What Fills You and Do It
‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.’
We all have unique ways of connecting with and receiving from God. Mine invariably require solitude. In the great outdoors I connect with my Creator. Long walks by the water, praying and reflecting, fill me up. Times of Bible study, listening to worship and ‘soaking’—just being still before God in a receiving attitude—fill me with Him. These times and activities must be intentional, or they will never happen.
‘Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” ‘(John 4:10).
Sometimes, we have not because we ask not. When was the last time you asked Jesus to fill you with his Spirit? Why not stop and ask him right now.
We are all wired differently when it comes to connecting with God. If you have ideas and experiences, please share them as a comment below. I would love to hear about it—and someone else may benefit from your insights.
Let the River flow!
© Helen Calder Enliven Blog
Photography © Junette Keefe www.pictorialparadigm.com