Rain, Holy Spirit Blessing

When God Sends the Rain

For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. Isaiah 44:3

Monday night I stood in the rain with some beautiful sisters in Christ. Some of them I had never met before. I don’t even know their names. But they’re family.

Have you ever been a part of something so simply profound you knew God was in it?

We held hands in a sweet circle of fellowship, petitioning the throne of grace. We cried out for our nation. For our husbands and children. We cried out for repentance. For His church.

Rain splashed down unrelenting, soaking us to the skin. No one cared that our hair stuck to our faces, or if mascara ran down our cheeks. We were free. Free to worship. Free to love. Free to receive.

Position didn’t matter in that place. Only Jesus mattered. And as we cried out to God uninhibited, He responded to us with rain.

The Lord will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands. Deuteronomy 28:12

One of the women voiced what stirred in my own heart. It felt like a fresh baptism. God was washing us in His Spirit. He heard us. And He moved.

I can’t help thinking of David’s words from Psalm 133:1-3.

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes! It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.

Beloved, God pours out a special anointing when His people come together in unity. The oil of the Lord pours forth and runs down, covering His precious sons and daughters. There the Lord commands the blessing of life.

Do you know that life, dear one? Have you known the fellowship of uniting with other believers—regardless of church or denomination—to seek God’s heart and accomplish His purpose?

Jesus promises to show up in those moments.

“Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:19-20

Jesus manifests when His people agree in His Name. Why do you think the enemy works so hard to keep us fighting? If he can keep us pushing our own agendas, wounding one another with the sword, he can keep us floundering in our flesh while Jesus remains distant.

But when we agree—when we bear the image of our Lord who is One and join our hearts in His purpose—Jesus can’t stay away. His very presence comes with anointing power to strengthen His people to fulfill His plans.

And the enemy trembles.

Let the promise of Psalm 23:5 fall afresh on you, beloved.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Satan quakes when he sees the family of God approaching the Father’s table in unity. He is forced to watch helplessly while God anoints us with the power to defeat him.

Jesus calls us to the table, dear one. It’s time we humble ourselves and set aside our differences. It’s time to forgive. It’s time for fellowship in the Holy Spirit.

We need Jesus to manifest.

The Marks of Spiritual Thirst

. . . my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water. Jeremiah 2:13

The people of God are parched. Dry. Thirsty.

But there’s an even bigger problem. I fear we don’t recognize the severity of our condition. The desert has become so familiar we’ve stopped believing God for the Promised Land.

So it sits, just beyond the horizon. The river of life flows within it, but we don’t drink. We’ve stopped believing it exists. Instead, we just keep trying to draw from the same old broken cisterns.

A Samaritan woman experienced a similar thirst. Seeking water from an earthly well, she didn’t recognize her true need. Jesus pursued her, going out of His way to awaken her to her lack.

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” John 4:10

Her response reveals the first mark of spiritual thirst.

The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” John 4:11-12

Spiritually thirsty people don’t believe Jesus can do the impossible.

Jesus offered her living water, and she didn’t see how He could possibly provide it. Her faith had become limited to what she could see and rationalize with her mind.

What about you, dear one? Do you believe Jesus can do the impossible in your life? Or have you given up hope that your circumstances could ever change?

You see, that’s what spiritual thirst does, beloved. It causes us to lose hope and puts limits around our faith.

Her lack of faith didn’t deter Jesus. He just kept speaking truth to her.

Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14

His words reveal the second mark of spiritual thirst.

Spiritually thirsty people have no overflow to offer others.

When God’s people drink from His flow of living water, it becomes a spring of life within us. That spring will well up and flow out, offering life to those around us.

When we don’t drink from His presence, our spring can’t flow. We remain parched ourselves, so we have nothing to give. When we try to give, our giving will lack joy and will not result in life.

Is life welling up inside you, beloved? Does it flow out? If not, it’s time to drink from the fountain. Run to Jesus and declare your thirst.

For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. Isaiah 44:3

He who promised is faithful, dear one. He longs to pour out life. You and I just need to stop seeking it elsewhere and ask. The woman at the well finally did.

The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.” John 4:15

But before Jesus could provide it, she had to acknowledge the broken cistern she had been running to in an attempt to quench her thirst.

 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” John 4:16-18

Spiritually thirsty people are prone to sexual sin.

An emptiness looms deep within, driving us toward relationships with a desperate need to fill it. God created that place to house His Spirit, the source of living water. When we don’t drink from Him to fill that place, we will invariably go elsewhere.

But instead of quenching that thirst, dear one, our relationships will make us all the more aware of our lack. Instead of filling us, they will empty us. And we will blame the people in our lives for their inability to meet our need, moving from one to the next in search of satisfaction.

But we won’t find it. Because in reality, the problem lies within us. The people in our lives are incapable of filling our empty place.

You see, they—like us—are broken cisterns that can’t hold water (Jeremiah 2:13).

Beloved, only Jesus can satisfy. Perhaps it’s time we believed Him and ran to Him to quench our thirst.

A New Kind of Thirst

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19

Today marks the final day of 2014.

I wonder, dear one. Was your year what you had hoped it would be? As you look ahead to 2015, are you filled with hopeful expectation? Or do you dread another year approaching with the same disappointments and struggles that plagued you last year?

I’m feeling decidedly hopeful about what may come in 2015. Not because of any resolutions or plans that I’ve made, but because I know a God who keeps His Word.

“Thus says the Lord who made you, who formed you from the womb and will help you: Fear not, O Jacob my servant, Jeshurun whom I have chosen. For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. They shall spring up among the grass like willows by flowing streams.” Isaiah 44:2-4

Here’s why I feel so hopeful, dear one. I’m thirsty.

A longing stirs deep within my soul for more of Jesus. I am not satisfied with where I’ve been; He hasn’t allowed me to be. I long to see Him reveal Himself more fully. My soul thirsts for His living water and cries for Him to pour it forth.

And that’s why I feel so hopeful. Because Isaiah 44:3 promises that God will pour water on the thirsty land. And I’m thirsty.

Are you thirsty, dear one?

I pray that you are. You see, God will not pour water on a land that doesn’t recognize its thirst. He pours it on the thirsty land, one that perceives its lack.

The words of James 4:6 come to mind.

“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

God stands ready to pour out grace to those who understand how desperately they need it.

I wonder. What if our unwillingness to recognize our thirst holds back the outpouring God wants to unleash? Have we pretended to be satisfied, covering our thirst by appearing to be full when in fact we are parched and dry?

What is your heart saying, dear one? Is your smile on Sunday morning covering burdens you’ve been afraid to name? Do you offer “right” answers while wondering at the absence of peace you feel within your heart? Do you speak of the beauty of God’s presence but silently wonder where He actually is?

Maybe your present routine is suddenly not enough for you. Perhaps, like me, something stirs within you, telling you that what you’ve been experiencing of God is somehow less than.

Beloved, what if that stirring comes from God Himself? What if He seeks to awaken us to the “more” He always intended for us? What if He simply waits for us to acknowledge our thirst and cry out to Him?

“For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.”

Oh, how we need the revelation of His Spirit! That’s the only thing that will distinguish us from the lost, dear one. People need to see our lives marked by the presence and power of the Spirit of God. And He will pour out on us as we acknowledge our thirst.

So here’s how I plan to begin 2015. Like Elijah, who after 3 ½ years of drought perceived that God was ready to send the rain, I will drop to my knees and pray for the promised outpouring. And I will not stop until I see the cloud forming over the sea and my flesh feels the first drops of rain.

Will you join me, dear one? We’ve got nothing to lose. God always keeps His Word.

When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the Lord will answer them; I the God of Israel will not forsake them. Isaiah 41:17

You see? When we humble our hearts and pray believing, it’s as good as done.