it’s kind of how this time of the year goes!
For many of us, we come into the new year looking for a way to get reoriented and back on track with God. Christmas is often so busy, filled with so many demands and expectations it leaves us wrung out and spiritually dry.
Where is that Living Water that we need so badly?
“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.
Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, ‘out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” John 7: 37b, 38
The key that Jesus identifies is “whoever believes in me”. It’s not just the one who comes to Jesus but the one who believes in Jesus that has this glorious flow of Living Water pouring out of their heart. But here’s where we misunderstand. Belief is about the heart. Yet we read this to say: “whoever is a Christian, or whoever gives mental assent to the truths of Christianity, these are the ones that will experience this flow of Living Water.” That’s not what Jesus said.
Jesus said whoever believes in him. Belief is the valve that can open up streams of Living Water and unbelief can choke it off. J. I. Packer defines belief as: “committed, trustful, reliance”— in Jesus, who He is, what He’s done and what He’s said.
This means when we turn away from our self-reliance, striving and self promotion to put our full trust in Jesus to be faithful, good, and wise in all His dealings with us— our “belief valve” turns. The Living Waters burst forth and flood into our lives refreshing and refilling us!
So at the beginning of the year, instead of making lists of resolutions to improve yourself,
come to Jesus and throw your trust fully onto Him.
- Trust in His ability to redeem even where you have been bitterly disappointed.
- Trust in His faithfulness where it seems things have crumbled around you.
- Trust in His power where the ravages of sin and brokenness have touched your family, or your health.
- Trust in His absolute goodness where your life narrative has not been the “increase, favour, promotion and prosperity” which you thought was the the inheritance for Christians.
As you turn away from unbelief, and trust Him with utter reliance, (no plan B) in all the hardest places of your life, you will be amazed with the grace, joy, and life that opens up inside of you. Your heart turns from feeling like a dry river bed to being freshly, gloriously, flooded with the Spirit.
Happy New Year!!!