Yesterday was a great day at church. During the invitation (the time at the end of the service when the pastor asks people who want to make a decision for Jesus Christ to come forward and tell him about it), a couple of people came forward, as is often the case at our church. I was singing with the worship team during this time and as such am busy singing and praying. After the invitation song is over, those who came forward are introduced to the church by a deacon, (or a lady exhorter, depending on if the person coming forward is male or female). I am a Baptist, hallelujah! ;)
So, yesterday morning, one of our deacons is announcing a big, burly man, and suddenly he (the deacon) gets choked up. The deacon is the young man who, along with his wife, ministers with my Hubster and me in the college ministry. The man he is introducing as having made the decision to accept Jesus Christ and follow Him as Savior is his father. This young man has led his Dad to Jesus. The whole church just clapped and cheered (and so did the angels in Heaven, the Scriptures say... Luke 15:7). What a time of celebration!
In Isaiah 44:1-5 God is speaking about His people, how He will pour out His Spirit on them. He is speaking directly to the Hebrew people. But, indirectly, this message is for all people in that He longs to rescue, save and restore anyone who is thirsty.
"God who made you has something to say to you;
the God who formed you in the womb wants to help you.
Don't be afraid, dear servant Jacob, Jeshurun, the one I chose.
For I will pour water on the thirsty ground
and send streams coursing through the parched earth.
I will pour my Spirit into your descendants and my blessing on your children.
They shall spout like grass on the prairie, like willows alongside creeks.
This one will say, 'I am God's,' and another will go by the name Jacob.
That one will write on his hand 'God's property' - - - and be proud to be called Israel."
Who is thirsty for God? You? Someone you dearly love? He knew each of us before we were born, from the moment we were conceived in our mother's wombs. How tremendous is that?! He knows the thirsty; He knows who will choose Him and become His.
As a parent of wayward children, I especially love these verses. To His Own Beloved, He says - - -
"I will pour my Spirit into your descendants and my blessing on your children."
You may know a Thirsty One and see no hope of their ever coming to Jesus, The Source of Living Water. You may bemoan your mistakes and perceived failures, beating yourself up over their going astray. I'm right there with you, in my own grief.
But, God is in control. Read that again. God is in control, not us.
It is HE who draws the thirsty to Himself, and He does it in His way. It is our responsibility to pray and "walk resplendent", to pray earnestly for our loved ones and love on them in that dark place where they currently reside. It is our responsibility to pray the promises of God, like the one above, over our parched ones, because they ARE thirsty, whether they appear so or not. They are attempting to quench their thirst with other, lesser things.
Are you distraught because God is not pouring out His Spirit on your timetable, the way You would like? Look at my friend and be encouraged! He led his father to Jesus. You may not live to see God's promises fulfilled in the life of your thirsty ones. If He chooses to use someone else to bring them Living Water, so what? He is God, and we are not.
"Come, everyone who is thirsty, come to the waters;
and you without money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost!"
"Jesus answered her, 'If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you,
Give me a drink,
you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.'
The woman said to him, 'Sir, you have nothing to draw water with and the well is deep.
Where do you get that living water?'
Jesus said to her, 'Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again.
The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water,
welling up to eternal life!' "
John 4:10-11, 14
Who is thirsty? Come to the fountain and drink deeply, big gulps of eternal life!
Oh Lord! On my hand is written, "God's property". I love You and long for others to know You as well. Please pour out your Spirit on my loved ones and all who are parched, dying of thirst, yet don't know it. Draw to You those You know will choose You, and help Your Beloved to be patient as You do Your own mighty work. Thank you for the precious promise that You will pour out Your Spirit on the descendants of the righteous, that You will do a "new thing"! Thank you for refreshing me each morning with the delicious water of Your Word. In Jesus' name, amen.