For I will pour out water to quench your thirst and to irrigate your parched fields. And I will pour out my Spirit on your descendants, and my blessing on your children. Isaiah 44:3 (NLT)
The Bible speaks of the former and latter rain (Hosea 6:3, Joel 2:23, Zechariah 10:1, James 5:7). For growing, both rains were necessary. The early rain for the seeds to germinate and for life to take hold. The latter rain to ripen the crop in preparation for harvest.
No matter where in the world a farm is located, the ground must be prepared, and seeds must be sown. However, getting water into the ground can happen in a variety of ways. Where there is abundant and consistent rainfall, irrigating crops is straightforward, the farmer just waits for the rain. But in many parts of the world, farming would not be possible depending upon rainfall alone.
For instance, east of San Diego lies Imperial Valley, a desert (averaging just 3 inches of rainfall per year) that has been turned into productive farmland with more than 1400 miles of canals and 1100 miles of pipeline. Rain that fell hundreds, even thousands of miles away, revived the desert land.
It Is the Water That Is Important
Imagine that a century or so ago you lived on a farm without modern plumbing. To get a drink of water, you went outside and pumped water from the well. This is what you knew about the source of water. At some point, you journey to a town to visit a relative. They ask if you would like a drink of water. You respond affirmatively and have the expectation of going outside to the well. You are shocked when instead they go to a sink, open the faucet and water pours out effortlessly. A refreshing drink of water in an unexpected way.
One of the obstacles for many people in receiving and accepting revival is when God moves in a way that we have not seen or experienced before. Do not refuse a refreshing drink of water if arrives in a new way. God is the God of new things and there is a danger of missing out if our expectations are too narrow. ‘…the Lord said to Moses, “Assemble the people, and I will give them water.” There the Israelites sang this song: “Spring up, O well! Yes, sing its praises!”’ Numbers 21:16–17 (NLT)
But Just Not Any Water Will Do
Water must be pure for germination and growth. The farther water goes from its source, the greater the possibility of contaminants and corruption. Jesus told the woman in Samaria that he was the source and that he would give her “fresh, living water.” (John 4:10 MESSAGE)
“For my people have done two evil things: They have abandoned me— the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all! Jeremiah 2:13 (NLT)
As when God provided manna in the wilderness, we need a supply of fresh living water every day. Attempting to live on yesterday’s water (blessings or provisions) is not only futile but also is described as evil. It just does not work. To thrive we must have a fresh supply of living water daily.
Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. Hebrews 6:7 (NIV)
A farmer prepares the ground and sows the seed, but nothing will happen unless the water comes. In the spiritual realm, we plant good seed in the ground which has been prepared by repentance, but God’s provision is reliable. He is a father who knows how to give good gifts to his children and so if we position ourselves to receive a harvest of blessing, he will never fail to send the rain of the Holy Spirit.
There is never a reluctance from God to provide the refreshing, life-giving rain, but often we are ignorant of how needy and desperate we really are. We settle for a few drops instead of the river. We try to satisfy ourselves with other things, but we never quite get there.
David recognized his need. “God! My God! It’s you— I search for you! My whole being thirsts for you! My body desires you in a dry and tired land, no water anywhere” Psalm 63:1 (CEB). Personal revival will come when we no longer willing to settle for anything less. God is faithful!
What Is in Your Heart?
When we contemplate revival, is it in the context of what is around us as we see ungodliness and desperation. We must take care that our desire for revival begins with us and not solely because we think that life would be easier if “the people around us got some religion.” It is not selfish to ask, “Lord, let it begin with me.”
Jesus stood and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.” John 7:37–38 (MEV)
Could it be that we do not need revival as much as we need release? A simple interpretation would indicate that those who believe in Jesus are to be conduits for “rivers of living water.” Not a drop or a trickle or even a single river, but rivers should be flowing from us. Are they flowing? If not, what must be done to open the floodgates?
Showers of Blessing
I’ll make them and everything around my hill a blessing. I’ll send down plenty of rain in season—showers of blessing! Ezekiel 34:26 (MESSAGE)
Farmers know that without water there is no life. There is no new growth and therefore no sustenance. Whether it is from a rock, a spring, a river, a well, or falling rain, we need living water. The people and the land are parched and nothing else will provide life and quench thirst. Are we desperate enough? Lord send revival waters!