A drought will strike her water supply, causing it to dry up. And why? Because the whole land is filled with idols, and the people are madly in love with them. Jeremiah 50:38 (NLT)
California is once again facing drought conditions. The solution to a drought crisis is obviously water. Even in the best of times, there is not enough rainfall to supply all the needs in Southern California. We depend upon rivers and aqueducts to bring the water to us.
I doubt that many of our government leaders or planners would see a link between the drought conditions in a region and spiritual health. Still, drought is one of the tools that God has at his disposal to gain the attention of a wayward people.
Life is not sustainable, physically or spiritually, without water. The Psalmist declared, “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1 (NIV).
David may have been in the desert when he wrote these words, but his overwhelming thirst is for God rather than H2O. In Scripture, water often represents the refreshing and life that comes from the Holy Spirit.
Jesus spoke of the promise of the Holy Spirit when he said, “Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’ ” John 7:38 (NLT). Because of the Holy Spirit, we can take in and receive the living water given to us freely and abundantly, but too often, we function as reservoirs rather than rivers.
Because of the drought conditions in California, there are penalties for allowing water to flow freely. There are restrictions on how much water you can have, and everywhere you turn, you are confronted with messages commanding you to conserve the precious water.
Too many Christ-followers operate as though there is a shortage of living water from the Holy Spirit. Some appear to be hoarding it for themselves, perhaps because they do not understand that there is a limitless supply. In fact, it is impossible to conserve living water.
Living water, by its very nature, is water that flows freely to benefit those who are thirsty around us. God gives us the living water, but it is up to us to open our hearts so that this water may flow freely. We need a release from “drought mentality,” which restricts the outflow from our hearts.
Never Thirst Again
If we are dry and thirsty, it is because we are craving things that do not satisfy us. Jesus conversed with a Samaritan woman, explaining the nature of living water. “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13–14 (NIV)
When we receive the water from Jesus, we realize that all the things we longed for to quench our thirst were temporary at best. He gives us a supply of water that increases and brings us to eternal life. The words of the song “Fill My Cup” expresses it well.
Like the woman at the well, I was seeking for things that could not satisfy.
And then I heard my Savior speaking—“Draw from My well that never shall run dry.”
Fill my cup, Lord; I lift it up Lord; Come and quench this thirsting of my soul.
Bread of Heaven, Feed me till I want no more. Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole.
There are millions in this world who are seeking for pleasures earthly goods afford.
But none can match the wondrous treasure that I find in Jesus Christ my Lord.
The prophet Hosea appealed to the people to return to God for healing and restoration, giving them this promise: “In just a short time he will restore us, so that we may live in his presence. Oh, that we might know the LORD! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.” Hosea 6:2–3 (NLT)
The Rain Is Coming
The first sign of rain may not be obvious. After three years of drought, Elijah made a bold prediction: Elijah said to Ahab, “Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.” 1 Kings 18:41 (NIV). But there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Elijah saw something in the spirit before it became a reality in the present:
Then he said to his servant, “Go and look out toward the sea.” The servant went and looked, then returned to Elijah and said, “I didn’t see anything.” Seven times Elijah told him to go and look. Finally the seventh time, his servant told him, “I saw a little cloud about the size of a man’s hand rising from the sea.” Then Elijah shouted, “Hurry to Ahab and tell him, ‘Climb into your chariot and go back home. If you don’t hurry, the rain will stop you!’ ” And soon the sky was black with clouds. A heavy wind brought a terrific rainstorm… 1 Kings 18:43–45 (NLT)
I do not know how to solve the drought in California, but the solution to the spiritual drought is to be patient and allow the Holy Spirit to flow through us and out of us. The rains are coming. Patience is required. James reminded us: Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near. James 5:7–8 (NLT)