Psalm 1 says that if we meditate on the word of God, our leaf will be green even in time of drought.
I’ve lived long enough to have seen dry times and times when the Spirit of God was being poured out. Some people are dry during the dry times; they are faithful, dutifully plodding on, but they are dry. Others manage to find a flow of the Holy Spirit no matter how dry the season is. What makes the difference?
As I’ve meditated on this psalm, it’s occurred to me that their roots that draw from an underground river. There may be a drought, but they have found that the river of God is always flowing – sometimes aboveground, and sometimes deep down. But their access to this underground river depends on their meditating on the word of God.
I decided as a young man that I wanted to draw from this river, not having to depend on the spiritual season the church was in, but accessing an eternal flow of the Holy Spirit.
God has been faithful, but I’ve had to make an effort. Sometimes I’ve had to stir myself to refocus my attention on the word of God. And sometimes when I’ve ministered, it’s taken an effort to reach down into the deeps to connect with the river. But God is faithful; the river is always flowing.
Lately He’s been challenging me to seek Him for a higher water table. Most of us have no reason to think about water tables, but farmers who depend on wells know that in time of drought, the springs dry up and only the deepest wells have water. But if there have been a few years with more rainfall than average, the water table rises, all the wells are full, and springs pop up everywhere.
God is calling me to develop a devotional life that will raise my water table. Psalm 1 tells us that by just meditating on the word of God, our roots will go deep and access the river of God even in a dry season. But can we raise our water table?
I’ve been led to Ephesians 5:18-19, which has redefined my understanding of what it means to be Spirit-filled:
…be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord…
My Evangelical friends might be content to say they were filled with the Spirit when they were born again; I can agree with that. My Charismatic friends might be content to say they were filled with the Spirit the day they first spoke in other tongues; I’ve been content with that for years.
But recently I’ve sensed God’s challenge that I seek such a fresh infilling of the Spirit that I overflow wherever I go, inside or outside the church. The litmus test is this: do I catch myself singing and making melody in my heart to the Lord?
I can make myself sing to God whenever I think of it, but making myself do it isn’t the same as having a spring pop up unexpectedly.
I can raise your water table by soaking, and I can raise it by getting into a spontaneous flow in worship. I may or may not feel God’s manifest presence when I wait on God, but God sees me reaching for Him and He makes His presence felt whenever He chooses, whether in my prayer time or in a store as I talk to a clerk.
Psalm 1 says that if we meditate on the word of God we can put down roots that will access the river even in dry times. Ephesians 5 says we can be so filled with the Spirit that we have a fountain of praise and worship bubbling up in our hearts. It’s good to reach for His manifest presence in every way we can.