Hopefully, most of us have been enjoying the warm weather. The keenest gardeners among us, however, will be desperately wanting rain! Do you remember the summer of 1976? It was like this but more so. Thethreat we currently face, potentially – hose pipe bans – was reality then, not just in the North West but all across the country. At the time, as a new Christian in my teens, I had joined my local Anglican church. The Bishop (we were told) had organised prayer for rain. Our church summer fete was devastated by a serious downpour – and the Bishop got the blame!
Isaiah 35 describes a vision, a road of holiness in the wilderness: Streams of water will flow through the desert; the burning sand will become a lake and dry land will be filled with springs(v6, 7). A prophetic vision in a place and circumstance where lack of water is much more serious than we ever experience. Yet this prophetic vision also refers to addressing spiritual
dryness.John tells us that Jesus, on the last and greatest day of the festival,proclaimed “Whoever is thirsty should come to me”(John 7: 37-39). Why not look it up? Since this was a festival that celebrated when God, through Moses had miraculously supplied water in the desert, the significance of Jesus saying this is huge. It effectively amounts to Him saying“I am God’s
Provision for you”. And that is our real experience, isn’t it? John also adds, for our benefit, that Jesus was referring to the Holy Spirit.
On the current Alpha course, we will soon be at the stage of exploring 3 inter-linked subjects:
● “Who is the Holy Spirit?”
● “What does the Holy Spirit do?”
● “How can I be filled with the Holy Spirit?”
One aspect, asis made clear in this passage: It isthe Holy Spirit who brings the presence of God the Father and Jesus the Son into our experience.
Isaiah pointed to a future when spiritual drynessis miraculously overcome. Moses showed in a physical reality the power of God to do this. Jesus, is the key to it and He provides the Holy Spirit to refresh us: Let’s respond to the call and come ever closer to Jesus – and receive that spiritual refreshment.