Dallas Willard quote, doctor praying, doubt, Feast of Tabernacles, God speaking, innermost being, John 7:37-38, skeptical, stupid as cabbage, understanding the Lord's voice, water flowing from the altar
Sometimes when I am reading the Bible I ask myself a question… “If I had been living in the time of the story would I have recognized its importance? Would I have been one of those people who knew the truth about what was going on? Or would I have been just like most of the other knuckle-heads, who never truly understood what God or Jesus was doing?”
One day Jesus stood up and made an announcement…
If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” John 7:37-38
Jesus announced these words on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles. Every day a procession of priests carried water through the city up to temple. As they marched crowds followed, chanting Isaiah 12:3 and carrying tree branches. When the procession arrived at the temple, the priest would climb the altar steps and pour the water onto the altar. The crowd circled the priest and continued singing. On the seventh day of the festival, this procession took place seven times.
The crowds didn’t understand what Jesus was announcing this day and I don’t think I would have grasped the spiritual significance either. Even though no one understood what Jesus was doing or saying… He did it anyway. Amazing! Sometimes our obedience is just this… obedience. Zechariah and Ezekiel both had visions of rivers flowing from the temple in a miraculous display of God’s blessing (Ezekiel 47:1; Zechariah 14:8). On this day stood the source of living water and no one knew Him or understood His purpose.
If you had been living in Jerusalem or Israel during this time, do you think you would have understood what all this meant? Do you think you would have comprehended how this ceremony pointed to the Messiah? Would Jesus have looked like the “living water” you had been expecting?
This brings me to my point … everyday the Lord is speaking to each of us, especially to those of faith. Most of these messages come in small ways. In fact, unless we are discerning… we will miss it. If we are only expecting the big, loud, and explosive words, we will miss what God is communicating. If we are expecting the movements of God to only look, act, and manifest a certain way, God’s word will blow past us like a gentle wind.
I had a doctor in my church some years ago who had neglected spending time with the Lord. One summer day he was out in his yard attempting to poison weeds. While undertaking this loosing battle he looked down at his empty sprayer. It was called a “Spray Doctor.” But his sprayer had some of the letters scraped off… namely the “s, t, o, r”. As he rested, his sprayer spoke to him… “Pray Doc.” Coincidence or timely reminder? He realized the Lord’s voice.
What is the Lord attempting to say to you today?
Blessings – From God’s Incubator,