In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, 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.) John 7:37-39
Let’s pray. Father, open our eyes of understanding to these truths you have given today. Open our ears to hear more of your voice and help us to live according to your words, your instructions, and the promises you have made for us. We lift our eyes to you and open our hearts to receive the message of your good news. In Jesus Name, Amen
When Jesus spoke these words, he was preparing to go to the mount of olives where he would bring an adulterous woman grace she did not deserve be enforcing her refuge from her accusers. But prior, in Galilee, he was telling the Jews of things to come. Many could not understand what he meant when he said the above verse about Living Water. They were confused and all retreated to their homes. Because Jesus was speaking of things to come. He was speaking prophecy and preparing them for His death, burial, and resurrection. He was planting seeds so that upon His resurrection, when He was glorified, others would be able to receive his risen Holy Spirit for themselves. He was preparing the religious for relationship with Him. We see this same scenario active in modern times. Many churches teach the Bible with well versed ministers at the helm who have great knowledge. But, unfortunately, many do not understand, and therefore, over look some pretty fundamental aspects needed to walk in victory. There is a religious spirit active among the church created to keep Christians divided and unable to operate in the power of Christ in their lives. There are 3 decisions this spirit of religion works hard to keep Christians from making.
The first decision may seem obvious, but the devil works hard at keeping people following every wind of doctrine instead of seeking understanding of God’s truths for themselves. In Timothy 2:15, the Bible tells us “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”. A lot of churches unknowingly rely on the fact (they would not admit it if you pointed it out) that a lot of people lack the self discipline needed to make this commitment to God for themselves (Man wants others to follow man). But, when you study the word, as we know, it comes alive. It reveals deeper truths that, if you just listen to a preacher, you would other wise be missing. This scripture tells us to show ourselves worthy of carrying the Gospel to be approved unto God. This is not for the sake of man’s approval of you. This is a personal commitment God calls us to. It’s a personal decision that tells God that you do not take the power of His words to change your life and the responsibility of carrying His truths to others lightly. And it goes on to say, if we do this there will be no need for us to be put to shame as we will be able to divide the word properly for ourselves. When you study the word, it’s easy to see where the teachings of man fall short and the teachings that Jesus Christ gave Himself are ready and willing to fill in any gaps. Many people subconsciously avoid the responsibility of studying the word themselves simply because they are avoiding the accountability that the wisdom and knowledge of learning more of Jesus will naturally bring.
The second commitment a religious spirit doesn’t want us to make is that God wants His best for His children. Religion teaches us that God is a punishing God lurking around ever corner waiting for an opportunity to bring his wrath upon us. The truth is, God simply is not like that. He corrects us and, if we do not apply the correction, then yes, He will allow us to suffer the consequences of our own decisions. The knowledge that is lacking is that God doesn’t want any of us to have to endure anymore suffering than an ignored correction makes. He loves us and truly wants the very best life has to offer for us. Even our most common evangelism scripture tells us this. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.~John 3:16. God sent His son to die so that we might have life and have it abundantly. The commitment that is required here is belief. We have to commit to believing that God is a loving father who waits for an opportunity, not to punish, but bestow blessings upon us. No matter what others have unknowingly either shown by example or physically taught us. When we study God’s words for ourselves, we learn this. We learn that God’s blessings He reserves for His children are not because of man made rules we do or do not follow. We receive His blessings when we apply his principles in our lives. And the only reason we are able to be recipients of all He has for us is because He gave His son to die for our sins so that we could be in a position ourselves to apply the promises contained in His words and see them come into fruition to begin with.
The third decision is a big one. Jesus has given us authority to pray over our situations in our lives by giving us spiritual weaponry that destroys the tactic of our adversary and gives us access that opens doors and unlocks our hidden blessings and opportunities. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. ~Matthew 16:18-19. Most denominations either avoid this passage altogether or do not teach actively enough about it. The religious spirit knows that if God’s people stay silent and never take the bold step of faith of enforcing the words God has spoken, they can not expect to walk in abundant kingdom blessings. In some regions this religious spirit is more prevalent than others. Take the region I live in for example. There are churches on every corner each of a different denomination. Yet this region remains the 3rd poorest region in the state I live in. There are a massive amount of Christians in my area. Some have this understanding already. But if more applied these Biblical Principles and all jointly understood the power of their words and how to properly use them according to scripture, like Matthew 16 goes on to teach, that one collective decision would no doubt change the atmosphere of the entire region from a poverty stricken region to a land flowing with revival and the prosperity required to carry it even further.
Sometimes we get bogged down in our surroundings and don’t even realize there is greater we are in need of learning. Sometimes we get so used to our disappointments that is hard to even reach to believe God has more. And, sometimes we already realize these things but our enemy finds ways to keep us distracted so that we don’t honor the commitments to God that we have already made. Dr. Rodney Howard-Brown of The River Church in Tampa, FL did an in depth teaching on this topic recently where He thoroughly explains the “Difference between religion and the Kingdom” and covers how to utilize the God given “weapons of our warfare” already at our disposal to experience the overflowing blessings that come with our already predestined Kingdom inheritance. God is calling us to go higher. He is calling us to leave the grave of religion behind today so that we, too, can go after the ones who need his salvation and words of deliverance from religion the most.
Let’s pray. Father, we come before you today. We repent either for allowing our adversary to distract us or for our sheer ignorance caused by our religious teachings and we ask for your undeserved grace and refuge that comes with your forgiveness. Help us to grow more in our faith, in the understanding of your words, and in our commitments to you. Help us to gain a greater vision than our surroundings can hold that makes way for us to have access, by using the principles your words contain, to the goodness you have in store for each of us. We thirst for you, Lord, and come to you to partake in the blessing of who you are, the Living Water. Your word says is John 7:38 that “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” We come together believing in you today and your ability to change things. Fill us with your living water until we, too, are rivers overflowing. We thank you that you have chosen each of us who have heard these words to carry your words that bring revival to many and we speak holy spirit release over revival in our very own communities. We thank you that, not only do you want your mercy and goodness to follow every single one of your people each and every day, your word promises it and we thank you that you keep your promises and always deliver. Thank you for going before us and making the way. And most of all, Lord, thank you for always loving us. We give the very gift of love you have so freely given us back to you so you can give it to others freely through us, too. In Jesus Name, Amen.
To learn more about Dr. Rodney Brown and The River Church in Tampa, Fl visit https://www.revival.com/river
For the full teaching on “Weapons of Warfare”, here is the highly recommended video.
Notes from the Holy Spirit 7/8/2018 by Pastor Audra Waters-Leary
Have you accepted Christ as your Savior?
If you would like to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, please pray the following prayer:
"God, I believe in you and your son Jesus Christ. I believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave to save me. Today, I invite Jesus into my heart to stay. I make you Lord over my life. Make me new. Wash me, Lord, and cleanse me. In Jesus Name, Amen"
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