It is interesting to look at nature and learn the great lessons being taught by our Maker. Jesus used the example of the vine and the branches to illustrate the great truths of union and communion, of abiding and fruit-bearing. This picture illustrates the “natural flow” of the life-giving sap through the entirety of the plant. And as long as there is not an obstacle to that flow, then it is the most natural result that the sap should flow freely, and ultimately result in fruit being born. Another example is a river. The Lord often uses this illustration to speak of His life and power. When we look at this illustration in nature, we find that it is a “natural” law that the river will always flow to a lower elevation…always downhill. And as long as there is not a “roadblock,” or “dam” in this case, there will be the free flow of the river, in all of its life-giving properties and power. And so it is in the spiritual life, there is the “natural flow ” of the “river of God,” of the life-giving Spirit. However, just as in the natural world, there can be roadblocks and obstacles to the flow, so in the spiritual. When Paul speaks of grieving the Spirit, quenching the Spirit, and resisting the Spirit, he is speaking of obstacles to the natural flow, and this, by an attitude of heart and mind that we have.
When John the Baptist began his ministry, Luke tells us that he was, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, (declaring) ‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth.'” (Luke 3:5) What is John doing by way of his preaching? He is saying that there are things that need to be attended to, obstacles removed, hindrances dealt with, so that there will be the “free flow” of Life. In Isaiah 40, as well as in Luke 3, the promise is: “…And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed.” In other words, LIFE, His life shall flow…naturally, freely.
In John 4, the Lord Jesus confronted a Samaritan woman whose “way” was strewn with obstacles, valleys, mountains…it was crooked and certainly not smooth. If this “well of living water” was to be hers, then something must be done to her “way.” The call of John in his preaching was that of repentance for the forgiveness, and cleansing from sin. In the case of this Samaritan woman, the Lord Jesus puts His finger on the one thing that is blocking all else…the woman is seeking her security and satisfaction in the world’s way, by seeking it in men, and that, outside of marriage. There is a boulder in the way of the free-flowing river, and she cannot drink and live by it, until the boulder is removed. It is interesting to note that the Lord Jesus did not address all that was wrong in the woman’s life, but only one thing…the thing that was key to all else. If the Samaritan woman was to be able to drink freely of this water of life, then she must turn from drinking the world’s way, and trust wholly in Christ.
It is the same with us. Often there is one thing in particular which hinders us from drinking freely. The Life of the Spirit is a natural freely flowing stream, a natural life-giving sap, that fills all in all. The issue often is that of an obstacle, or simply not believing the great truths concerning the Everlasting Streams. The Lord Jesus told the Samaritan woman, “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, ‘Give me a drink,’ thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water.” (Jn. 4:10) The two great truths here are: There is a gift of God (living water), and there is One who is ready and willing to GIVE that living water to the one willing to receive it….unhindered.
So, today, let us believe and obey what the Lord Jesus tells us: “Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.” (Ps. 81:10) And if there be an obstacle, let us bring it to Christ, and lay it at His feet, believing Him to deal with it, as we lay hold of Him. There is no one in the entire world, or universe, who desires to give “living water” as Christ. And there is no one so willing to deal with any obstacle or hindrance in our hearts, as the living, loving Christ.