Just a Recap
In last week’s article, I made a claim that may have made some feel a little uneasy. I said that I can “at will” step into ministering in the Holy Spirit’s manifestational gifts. Then I explained why and how. I did so by using Matthew 10 when Jesus sent the disciples out and gave them power. I used that story to highlight a few truths that lay visible but overlooked in the text. One of those things I highlighted was the fact that the Bible says that Jesus did three things in the passage. One, He “gave” them power. Two, He gave them “instructions” for the use of that power. And last, He gave them a word that provided them permission to use that power. In doing the later, He reiterated the fact that He gave them power and that He likewise gave them instructions for the use of that power. I will remind you that He tells “them” to “give”. This means that He is transferring responsibility to the disciples. He also follows up with more instructions in telling them “how” to give. This all indicates that the power that they were given would only operate if they were willing to use it. So He says to them, “Freely you have received, freely give.” In other words, He was saying, “I want you to make a decision to use what I have put in you for the benefit of the people. And I want you to do so without hesitation or reservation.”
Now, lest someone call me a heretic, let me clarify something for you. When I say that I can “at will” choose to operate in gifts of the Holy Spirit, I say so with an understanding that it is God that does the work. That means that I know something about how God works and knowing how He works allows me to cooperate with Him. And that is what I want to deal with today—how to cooperate with God to meet needs. That means I am going to answer the question; What moves the hand of God to meet your needs?
Someone Needs a Drink
One of the most thought-provoking things Jesus said is found in John 7:30: He said, “Whoever believes in Me, as the Scriptures says, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” Then it says, “But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those believing would receive…” We need to look at a few things here. First, there is something that God puts in us when we believe. Second, that something flows out of us. And last, that something is compared to a water, which is considered the basic necessity of life. In fact, one-third of the human body is water. Water is so important to our existence that we can only go three days without it before we dehydrate and die. It is that essential to life.
What makes this interesting is the fact that Jesus compares water to the Holy Spirit. By doing so, He is emphasizing that He, the Holy Spirit, is an essential part of the believers’Christian experience. But what is more fascinating is the fact that Jesus is telling us that the Holy Spirit is not just for the believer. He is also revealing to us that the Holy Spirit is a source of refreshing and one that quenches a thirst. For it says that out of the believer “would flow.” My brothers and sisters, there is flow or rhythm in the Spirit. He does not desire to be dormant in your life, but He wants to be a raging flow of life pouring out of you. Now if He is pouring out as water, and I want to emphasize that “He pours”, then there must also be a thirty person, that is not you, that He wants to use you to satisfy. I also need to add that there is one other place when Jesus speaks of water. That is when He met the woman at the well. But notice that he offers her a drink as He did in the first part of verse 37. That means that He is giving her something to take into herself to be fulfilled. However, in the later part of our passage, the same water that we take in is meant to flow out. This means that this water coming out of us is meant to satisfy others!
Understanding this is very important when operating in the gifts. I can choose to move in the gifts because I can choose to partner with the Holy Spirit who longs to quench the thirst. That thirst may be meeting a healing need or providing wise counsel to the confused or communing in another language to bring the Gospel to someone of another culture. My friends, that is the key to the gifts—knowing that God has given you water to satisfy the needs of the thirsty. So I will reiterate that choosing to use the gifts is not an assertion that we can control God. But to the contrary, I am saying that we can yield control of ourself to His will at any time. We can choose to become partners with God to meet needs at any moment.
I also want you to notice something else. The passage says that if we believe out of us “would flow” rivers of living waters. This means that we don’t have to conjure up God to meet needs. He is already active and waiting to do so. I cannot tell you how long it took me to get this idea in my heart. But, it took years. I had grown up learning to “wait” on God like a lot of us reading. So I had a mindset that, literally, took God years to break. I thank Him for His patience. I passed up so many opportunities to minister to people waiting for God to tell me to do, what He had already granted me power, authority, and as I would learn from Him later, responsibility to do. And some of you can say the same!
Biblical Examples of God Quenching a Thirst through Human Faucets
From now on I want you to look at yourself as a faucet. In the last article, I used an example of a faucet and a dam to help you visualize this concept. Thinking of yourself this way makes it easier to mentally connect to how Jesus describes the operation of the Holy Spirit. And this will take the work out of the idea. One reason I spent so much time dealing with the independent nature of the flow is to, one, show you that God is always available, two, He is always reaching out to quench the thirst, and last so that you would see that, while you have a responsibility to use what He gave you, the use does not equate to self-effort. While using the gifts is an act of the will, the flow is not self-willed.
Now I want you to read these stories in your own time. To start us off, I want you to see if there is one place other than, King Saul’s experience, where God was not readily available to meet needs…on demand! Now King Saul’s example is important because understanding God also means understanding what quenches the flow.
Here are some of the faucets (people) allowing God to flow to quench people’s thirst:
Naaman in 2 Kings 5:1:19: Naaman had a disease and was sent to Elisha for healing. Look at what is happening in the story. Naaman has a thirst for healing. He brings that thirst before God. God satisfies that thirst.
King Ahab and Jehoshaphat 2 Kings 3, emphasis on verses 13-16: In this passage, the two kings are considering going to war and ask counsel of God. Notice that there is a thirst for wisdom. They bring that thirst before God, operating through a person (faucet). God quenches their thirst.
Balaam Numbers 22-24: Balaam, though an evil person, is seeking to hear from God to curse Israel. Though he doesn’t hear what he wants to hear, God still answers. Again, there is a thirst for knowledge. A faucet through which that knowledge flowed. And a thirst that is quenched.
Saul looking for his donkeys, 1 Samuel 9:1-20: Saul, before he was anointed king lost his donkeys and went in search of them. When he could not find them it was suggested that he see the Prophet Samuel. When he did Samuel told him about the donkeys. But what I want you to see is “Saul” made a demand on the gift and Samuel as the faucet partnered with God to quench the thirst.
The butler and the Baker, Genesis 40: Here is a classic example. Joseph the son of Israel is in prison at the time two people had dreams. Those dreams created in them a thirst to know something. Joseph, being God’s faucet, allowed God to quench their thirst. Not only do we see God quenching the thirst of these men, but Joseph was also used to quench the thirst of the Pharoah (Gen. 41:1-36) We see the same thing in the case of Daniel and King Nebachanezeer (Dan. 2:1-45, 4:1-27, 5:1-30).
I could go on and on and on with examples of men and women who understood that they were faucets and chose to partner with God’s flow and quenched thirsts. There was Moses in Numbers 9:8, there was Isiah Jehoshaphat when God extended the king’s life by 15 years (2 Kings 20:6, Isa. 38:5). There is so much quenching of thirst that you cannot escape the truth of this idea. And those thirsts were met at the time they were needed. Look out at the world. There are thirsty people everywhere. There are people thirsty for healing. There are people thirsty to know what God’s future is for them. There are people thirsty to hear the Gospel in their own language. There are people thirsty for wise counsel. There are people thirsty to know why they are mentally and emotionally tormented. Church, there are people who are thirsty for the life-giving flow of water that if fighting to come out of you!
I want you to close your eyes and see yourself as a dam and your hands, mouth, and mind as a faucet. See the Holy Spirt as the water that is filling that dam. Then imagine that a person with a healing need comes before you. Now see yourself turn the faucet, that means I want you to imagine yourself speaking to and laying hands on the sick person. As you relax, choose to allow the Water, the Holy Spirit, to naturally flow until the thirst is quenched. The thirst is quenched with the person is healed.
For me this manifest as very tangible power. It feels like a flowing warm electric feeling. It wells up from inside my belly and flows onto my body, down my arm, into my hands, and into the person. It took me a long time to learn this. I used to feel the anointing and think that God was just letting me know He was there. Then over time, I started to equate the fact that when I spoke counsel to a person, it would be on me. I also noticed that when I prayed for people it would be on me. Last, I noticed that when sick people were around, it would come upon me. It was God reaching out to the person, through me, to quench the need of a thirsty person. Once I realized that God wanted to meet the need, I just made the decision to minister to people in need. Then something else began to happen. I moved, and then the anointing would come upon me. At first, God had to move me to get me started. Now I get started and God moves with me! I had finally learned that God wants to fill the thirst. Now I am passing that message on to you…step out and turn the faucet and God will fill the thirsty people in your life.