Last week I turned 22. So far it has been refining, and the most complete reminder that I am still deep into my journey of sanctification. I’ll be honest, lately I’ve dismissed the Holy Spirit as part of the trinity that guides my life. Of the three members we are by far the least close. I blame myself because I’m not looking for Him to speak into my life in the everyday. I look for Holy Spirit wisdom at 2 in the morning when I realize I’m behind a deadline or realize I didn’t plan something that will work. I used to say He rarely answers me, but truthfully it’s been like having a conversation while wearing headphones. Sure, I’ve been blasting the latest Kari Jobe or Passion, but I haven’t had my ears, heart, eyes, or focus on the Holy Spirit as my guide.
When I was little I used to dream of being one of those adults that frequently had encounters led by the Holy Spirit. You know, like the video going around of the lady who bought bananas when she really just wanted to get the homeless man some fried chicken. If I had been in that story I likely would have been the woman on the cereal aisle two rows over while all of it happened. I’m just not as in tune to stopping and listening. I think 22 is the season of being still. Taking time where my phone isn’t in my hand or Netflix isn’t rotting out my brain. The only times I’m ever completely without distraction are the moment I lay my head on my pillow or the moment I wake up. I’m so deeply ashamed to admit that, but even my bible reading is influenced by some form of technology. My prayer time has become an uber ride for Jesus, and some of the time I’m just blasting worship music instead of having conversation. I’ve gotten distracted.
In the distraction, I have loved this season. I have been happier than any other time of my life. I was reaping the benefits of a relationship and trust with Jesus, but I stopped feeding and spending time in the relationship because I was busy being happy. In college, my mentor pointed us to this verse.
Proverb 5:15, “Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well.”
Imagine with me that we all have wells sitting in the yards of our souls. (By the way, your soul also has a yard.) The well is full of the living water mentioned in John 4. As we interact and minister to others it is as if we pull water up from the deep well and quench their thirsting spirit. Imagine if you stood at the well waiting for others to come and drink, but you never took the time to stop and drink yourself. Eventually those needing a drink would arrive at the well in the yard of your soul and find you there, withered and without life. If you want to serve others from the source of life you must drink from the source as well.
In my happy state, I’ve allowed my well, with living water, to give life to others. My joy and happiness were the only nourishment I absorbed. It is to no surprise that I survived the last week (More on that in another post), but came to today feeling empty and irritable. Snickers coined the famous phrase, “You’re not you when you’re hungry.” This applies to our spiritual lives as well. We aren’t ourselves when our souls are hungry. Much like a child struggles to pay attention in class when they haven’t eaten. When our souls are hungry we cannot focus on the Lord. We need to drink from the water, but we become distracted. Our distraction leads us away from the well and giving life to others and we try to feed on other satisfactions.
At the beginning of the year I felt the Lord had called my 2017 the year of “More”. That’s it. Four simple letters added to our vocabulary as squirming toddlers in our high chair. Spaghetti noodles on our head and our skin a shade of orange from the sauce. “MORE!” We cried out, “MORE!” And we would receive or cry until we did.
I thought the word was nice and ambiguous at first. More could mean anything. More hope, more laughter, more pain, more joy, more loss, more grief. More. Just a vague word uttered by babies and waitresses looking to refill your drink. But that’s exactly it. I am an infant in a high chair crying out for “MORE!” I am crying out for more of Him. More of the Holy Spirit prompting me to buy those dang bananas. More of His voice whispering into my focused ear. Go. Do. Be. More realization that I am able to exist because He is the I am. So the answer is yes. It will mean more hope, laughter, pain, joy, loss, grief. But it will also mean more life, more purpose, more sanctification, more refinement, more time being still, more time spent listening. This is the time my heart cries out in desperation for more. More opportunities to serve, more time spent at the well drinking and giving water to others. As Christians, we go through a lifetime of sanctification. Don’t ever be fooled into thinking your lessons are over. Our life intention is to get back to God’s design, but with the world we live in it is a lifetime journey. If we listen to the Holy Spirit then we will see the things we hold between us and fully knowing God as our Father. He will reshape us and mold us if we are willing to lay down the idols of our lives. Think the Lord is finished shaping you? Read this testament by a woman who sees the Holy Spirit still at work.
Along the journey, the Lord has given us the most amazing opportunity. He placed a well in the yard of our souls so all who visit us will not leave thirsty. Some of us need to first uncover the well so it may be used. Others of us need to start pouring out for those around them. Some, like me, need to join the thirsty in drinking the living water so we do not grow weary. Some still, may have some frequent visitors at their well and you are realizing the opportunity that is there to continue to minister to them. Do not give up, do not lose heart, do not grow weary with those people. They need someone to water them until they can do it themselves.
The Holy Spirit is in our corner just waiting. Let us drink, friends, let us drink.