Filled : the source that never runs dry
From my infancy, I’ve been in church. In fact, I cannot recall a time that I was not deeply engaged in church life. Early on, my parents set the example of consistent, faithful service and attendance. As I grew and became more aware of the value of church to my life, I began to propel myself to remain connected. By God’s grace, and my involvement in the church, I was shielded from many things that the enemy would have used to destroy me.
In time, my church involvement led to a calling into full time vocational ministry. And though my life and ministry have not been flawless, I would not trade this path. But I must confess, even after many years as a pastor, I knew something was missing. I never doubted God’s saving love for me. I didn’t question my calling or worry where I would spend eternity. But after a quarter century in ministry, I sensed instinctively that there was more. By God’s mercy, and with guidance from Godly pastors and authors, I discovered it!
What I longed for was a deep, personal connection with God. I knew many things about God. And I had given my life and career in service to God. But knowing and serving God are not the same as being deeply and personally connected with God. When I look through the glass at Krispy Kreme, and watch that heavenly icing cascade over hot doughnuts, I know they will taste good. But it is not until one is melting in my mouth that I become fully aware of just how remarkable a hot Krispy Kreme is.
For me, achieving this spiritual intimacy with my Heavenly Father meant I had to learn more about the Holy Spirit – the one-third of the Trinity who was actually here with me on earth. You see, God is in heaven and Jesus is seated at His right hand. But Jesus told the disciples in John 14:26,
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
Jesus promised an ever-present representative of God right here with us on earth, to guide us, and teach us, and deeply connect us to God.
Jesus also said in John 7:37-39,
“If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”
This is a perfect parallel to my life. I had believed in Christ and committed my life to serve Him. But I was not experiencing the close communion with God that Jesus described as “rivers of living water.”
In The Message translation, John 7:38 reads, “Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way.” What remarkable symbolism that helped me more accurately understand the role of the Holy Spirit. If you’re a believer, but feel that all the dots are not connected, maybe you are like I was.
Consider Psalm 34:8, which instructs us to, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”
I can testify that a deep connection with God, through the Holy Spirit, is real and available to all. And I assure you, it is better than even a dozen piping hot Krispy Kremes.