Before, Dimboola Rowing Club 051108I 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.

Jesus said,
“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:

1. Thirst

‘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:

  1. Habits
    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.
  2. Commitments
    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 After, Dimboola Rowing Club 081109solitude. 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.

4. Ask

‘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!

Related posts:

7 Signs Of Spiritual Dryness

7 Ways To Combat Spiritual Dryness

Spiritual Renewal: How to Receive an Impartation of the Holy Spirit

How to Discover Your Spiritual Pathway

©  Helen Calder   Enliven Blog

Photography © Junette Keefe

8 thoughts on “The River Returns: How to be Re-Filled With the Holy Spirit When You are Dry”

  1. The news story on TV about the Wimmera River flowing again certainly created a lot of interest – you could sense the joy of the “locals”. Some travelled for miles to witness the sight, as they hadn’t seen the river flowing for many years! They were clearly excited about it!

    After a dry season in our lives we get excited when the ‘river starts to flow again’

    You make some really good points here – but one in particular I relate to is “Find Out What Fills You and Do It”.

    That’s a key for me and I’ve learned that when I practise that, from a “God perspective”,the streams of living water that Jesus spoke about start flowing inside me again.

    For me, things like deliberately taking some time out on my own with God (in the ‘great outdoors’),listening to worship CDs, watching Christian music DVDs or other Christian DVDs help get the ‘river flowing’ in me again. Then I am able to experience some wonderful “God moments” of love, fellowship and hearing from Him.

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