We have started this series in church called Let it Flow. We are in our third week talking about the “streams of living water”. An interesting illustration of the many streams we have in our church life. The streams meaning where each of us connect. Where God becomes central and real for us. And one stream not being more important than the other–all streams beginning and getting their source from the “headwaters”–that which is Jesus.
I particularly like the analogy of some streams we are swimming in and doing well. Other streams we are barely able to keep our heads above water–dog paddling. Some streams quench our thirst, while others we just sip from. And then, there are streams that just dry up. Isn’t that so relevant to our church life? I think it is powerful.
I am definitely a person who loves the emotion, the “feeling” part of church. Some people would call this “charismatic”– which to me, sometimes has a negative connotation to it. The charismatic stream does have some drawbacks. Such as the emotional hype you get when going to a conference, camp, or even just a testimony from someone, who made you feel good. You can get a sort of “spiritual addiction” to thinking that the only place you will meet God is in these big events. The everyday recognition of God becomes lost.
But, in the same breath–these experiences, these feelings of feeling God so close you can touch him. These things we like to sometimes call “coincidences” reminds us that what we are doing is REAL. It gives freedom from the lifeless routine. Gives JOY. And empowers us for evangelism and service.
I love how our pastor put this. He gave us a “swimming lesson”, as he called it. Isn’t that clever?
“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit” Ephesians 5:18.
We have to intentionally be filling our “gas tank”, so to speak. It’s not like you have Jesus in your life and that’s all it takes. It is refilling and refilling again and again. We have to be open to allowing God to fill us. To fill us with his love and his SPIRIT.
He gave some examples of those moments when you just feel God so near. I have had a handful of those experiences in my life. Wouldn’t it just be awesome to live in that presence always? To live in that complete knowing that God’s hands are all over this.
We were discussing the sermon on our way home with our oldest girls. Natalie said “I just got chills when Pastor Eric was talking” and Kass said “I just want to feel that. I am always asking to feel that kind of stuff”. That is the beginning, I think. Beginning to develop the relationship with Jesus, to long for knowing Him, and seeing him in all experiences and all situations. Oh my sweet girls, I am right there with you. I want to feel it all the time too.
So instead of be filled (with the Spirit) he challenged us to be BEING filled. Kind of hard to wrap your mind around. But just think about it. It sure makes a lot of sense. And what a great challenge, to always be “being filled”.