REVIVAL – THE LIVING WATER (2)
Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a sermon titled Revival – The Living Water (2). Her main text was taken from the Book of John. “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ… Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” … On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (Jn 1:16,17; 4:13,14; 7:37-39)
We shall revisit the subject of Revival. We feel led to pray without ceasing for an extraordinary move of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, homes, in our church and for this land (Warri/ Effurun/ Nigeria). This time we shall seek God for the fullness of the Spirit, described as the Fountain of Living Waters. Our Lord teaches the Samaritan woman the meaning of true worship. We shall learn with her how to be filled with the Holy Spirit, how to worship God and how to participate in revival. Too many Christians are too easily satisfied. When they are saved an ‘amount’ of the Holy Spirit is given to them. This is because without the Holy Spirit you cannot be born again. After that, they are supposed to press on closer to God, to receive the fullness of God’s Spirit. Few do that! The Living Water stands for salvation in Christ Jesus, for Eternal Life. It stands for Revival, the fullness of the Spirit, worship in Spirit and in Truth and doing ministry. The woman at the well became saved, Spirit filled and anointed to do evangelism that very day. The Grace of God comes as power to change a sinner into a saint. To God be all the glory!
DESCRIPTION OF THE LVING WATER
How can we describe this Living Water? It is a peculiar water. A life-giving water. It destroys all barrenness, waste, and death. It heals the body, the soul, and the spirit. It is always fresh. Religion is boring. It fades like old clothes. But the Spirit makes everything fresh. Even if we preach the same Bible every day, there is something new in the revelation of God’s Word. Many pastors who are not Spirit filled. They got tired of preaching the Word and have replaced the Bible with books about politics, social studies, breaking news and stories. That is not preaching. Religion looks like a dress. It only covers and changes the outside behavior. Religion never goes into the heart. But the Living Water goes into the heart. “The water that I shall give him will become IN HIM a fountain”. This water goes ‘in him’. This water is all-satisfying. It is not like the water in Jacob’s well. The pleasures of the world may feel good, but they do not last. They do not satisfy. The Living Water goes deep ‘in you’, in your spirit and your soul. It affects the center of your being, your personality. Like a waterfall, the Living Water comes with power, changing everything in its path. It overflows with joy. This is a joyful powerful water. It never ends. Drinking this water, you will be satisfied. You shall search for the meaning of life no more. This Living Water is experiential. You feel when it comes inside you. This Living Water comes directly from Jesus! None can give it except the Lord Jesus Christ! Revival is like ‘a fountain of Living Waters that springs up to everlasting life’. The Lord’s promise is that ‘you will never thirst again’. The word ‘never’ is categorical and definitive. Few believers press on until they arrive to that place of ‘never thirst again’. We should pay the price to experience the manifestation of this wonderful promise! The manifestation of revival is under the sovereign will of King Grace. May we please Him! Let the Living Water flow over my soul…
HINDRANCES AGAINST REVIVAL, AGAINST RECEIVING THE FULLNESS OF THE SPIRIT
Let us study the conversation between our Lord and this woman at the well. This is a classical lesson on how to do evangelism. The woman was a sinner seeking for the truth. She met Truth. She submitted to Truth. She became saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. Initially, the woman is restless and religious. She talks a lot, going from one subject to another. Our Lord allows her to talk. He is gentle with her. But at the same time, He stays focused, and He is totally in charge of the conversation. He does not push her. He draws her with cords of love that the woman cannot resist. This calling of God creates a thirst for the Living Water that is irresistible. King Grace call cannot be ignored! Glory to God!
The Lord asks her: “Give Me a Drink!” Observe that the Lord initiates the conversation. Grace always starts and Grace finishes the work! Learn to talk like Jesus! Do not get distracted! “Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans” (Jn 4:7, 9). The woman has prejudice based on the social rules of her day. Prejudice is a preconceived judgment about others, not based on complete knowledge. It is rooted in fear, suspicion, and intolerance. Prejudice is a negative opinion about others because of their race, tribe, social status, gender, or religion. Prejudice damages relationships. The Lord was tired and thirsty. He asked her for a cup of water. The woman was surprised that a Jewish Man asks her for water because the Jews and the Samaritans had an historical hatred against each other. The Jews totally discriminated the Samaritans. The radical Jews said that to eat bread from a Samaritan is the same as eating pig’s flesh, and that touching the cup of water will defile a Jew. They said that no Samaritan should be accepted as a convert to Judaism and that no Samaritan will go to heaven. The Samaritans also hated the Jews thinking that they are backsliders of the true faith of Moses! Each nation despised the other. People grew up knowing about this hatred and accepted the division without checking the facts.
Samaria as a city was the capital of the northern kingdom of Israel. After Israel’s fall, Samaria as a region was in the central area of what used to be the northern kingdom. During the time of Jesus, Samaria was located between Galilee to the north and Judea to the south. Today, Samaria is in what is now the northern West Bank. Several hundred Samaritans still live in Israel and continue to practice their faith. The Samaritans were half Jew, half Gentile. The Assyrian Kingdom conquered the Northern Kingdom in 721 BC. Many Jews were captured and sent to Assyria in exile. Others remained in the land. They intermarried with the Assyrians. They became known as the Samaritans. They had their own system of religion. They read only the Torah (the first five books of the Bible). They rejected the Kings, the Prophets and the Temple built in Jerusalem. They too waited for a Messiah! They had their own form of worship and built a temple on top of Mount Gerizim. The southern Kingdom also called Judah fell to the Babylonians later. The Jews from the Northern Kingdom were absorbed in Assyria and disappeared from the Jewish history. They are called ‘the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel’. But the Jews from Babylon later came back to build the temple and the Jerusalem walls, under the leadership of Nehemiah and Ezra. Nehemiah was strongly opposed by Sanballat the Horonite, who was a Samaritan (Neh 4:2). Nehemiah resisted him. He rejected his help. He told him: “The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore, we His servants will arise and build, but you have no heritage or right or memorial in Jerusalem.” (Neh 2:20). Starting from that time, the Jews rejected all Samaritans. The division between the Jews and the Samaritans never healed! People developed prejudice against one another. Even today, the Jews and the Palestinians discriminate and hate one another. Prejudice is baren and makes all people sad.
The woman at the well was prejudiced against the Jews. Initially she was suspicious when Jesus asked for water. Socially, she was supposed to reject His request. Her people demanded that. She could not afford to be kind to a Jewish man, even if the man was thirsty. But there was something about Jesus that made her forget her prejudice. She was drawn to the Lord Jesus by a power greater than her fears. KING GRACE alone has the power to destroy prejudice! Everywhere He went, Jesus interacted with the poor and outcast. Whether He was healing lepers, eating with tax collectors, or speaking to Samaritans, Jesus constantly demonstrated care for those the world had rejected and showed that He didn’t care what the “religious” people thought of Him. Jesus showed that the Gospel is for everyone. He said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17). Samaria suffered discrimination. But in Christ, there is no Jew, no Gentile. You see that in talking to the woman, our Lord avoids talking about things that produce discrimination and prejudice. In doing evangelism, we too should not talk about race, gender, and religious divisions. Talk about Christ only!
The early believers became free of prejudice. This was a miracle! Philip went to the city of Samaria and preached Christ there. He did miracles in their midst in the name of Jesus. Multitudes were saved and healed. The city of Samaria experienced great joy (Acts 8). There was a wizard called Simon who, for a long time, astonished the people of Samaria with his sorceries. He wanted to buy the power of the Holy Spirit with money. Peter rebuked him openly (Ac 8:20-24). We need to do warfare against every form of prejudice and discrimination. Jesus came to destroy the wall of division between Jews and Gentiles. In the same way, there shall be no hatred between people. “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation” (Eph 2:14). If you have prejudice against people, you cannot serve God, you cannot worship Him and you cannot do ministry! For God has created all people! In Christ, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28).
In the past, we have studied the subject of revival in the Book of Genesis 26. The Philistines became jealous on Isaac when God miraculously prospered him a hundredfold. They blocked his father’s wells with dirt. Isaac did not waste time and effort to dig new wells. He wisely opened Abraham’s wells. This is how in a time of crisis they found the water of life. This Living Water at the bottom of the well is a symbol of Revival. That is the Living Water. We need to do warfare and remove the religious lies that block the way to the Living Water. “Then Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the Lord blessed him. The man began to prosper and continued prospering until he became very prosperous; for he had possessions of flocks and possessions of herds and a great number of servants. So, the Philistines envied him. Now the Philistines had stopped up all the wells which his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father, and they had filled them with earth. And Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are much mightier than we.” Then Isaac departed from there and pitched his tent in the Valley of Gerar and dwelt there. And Isaac dug again the wells of water which they had dug in the days of Abraham his father, for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham. He called them by the names which his father had called them … It came to pass the same day that Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well which they had dug, and said to him, “We have found water” (Gen 26:12-18; 32). We remove the dirt from our father’s well! WE reject all forms of prejudice and discrimination! By faith, we declare that the blessings of Abraham are ours! Revival is here! Glory to God!
“Let the Living Water flow over my soul. Let the Holy Spirit come and take control. In Every situation that has troubled my mind. All my cares and worries, unto You, I roll… Father… Jesus… Spirit…” Worship the Lord!