5 Habits - Overflow #2

Welcome to Everyday Devotions. These daily Bible readings and Prayer Pathways are designed to help you go deeper with God each day in response to what you are hearing at the Everyday Church services and Life Group gatherings.

Tuesday 4th February

Welcome to this fifth week of Everyday Devotions. Over the past four weeks, we have looked at four healthy habits that promote spiritual growth in us – Bible Meditation and Prayer Pathways and Sung Worship and being filled with the Holy Spirit. This week, we are looking at a fifth and final healthy habit – allowing what God is doing in our hearts to Overflow to the world around us.

Bible Meditation

John 7:37-39

37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

1) Where does Jesus place the emphasis in these verses? How much is it our job to transform the spiritual deserts in which we live and how much is it the Holy Spirit’s job? What is our role in the partnership and what is his role?

2) Note the sheer inclusivity of God’s grace towards us in these verses. How do you think the words “anyone” and “whoever” are supposed to encourage us, whenever we doubt that the scope of this promise includes us?

Jesus doesn’t tell us which Old Testament Scriptures he has in mind when he says that “Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” There are actually a number of Old Testament Scriptures that he might have in mind, so we are going to look at several of them in our Everyday Devotions across the course of this week. Here is the second one:

Numbers 20:1-13

1 In the first month the whole Israelite community arrived at the Desert of Zin, and they stayed at Kadesh. There Miriam died and was buried. 2 Now there was no water for the community, and the people gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron. 3 They quarrelled with Moses and said, “If only we had died when our brothers fell dead before the Lord! 4 Why did you bring the Lord’s community into this wilderness, that we and our livestock should die here? 5 Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!” 6 Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance to the tent of meeting and fell facedown, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. 7 The Lord said to Moses, 8 “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.” 9 So Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence, just as he commanded him. 10 He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” 11 Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. 12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honour me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.” 13 These were the waters of Meribah, where the Israelites quarrelled with the Lord and where he was proved holy among them.

3) Almost forty years have passed since the first time Moses brought water out of a rock in the desert, back in Exodus 17, but what strikes us here is how little things have changed. It’s the Desert of Zin rather than the Desert of Sin, but one little letter makes little difference. The Israelites are still in the desert. They are still grumbling and they still need the grace of God to save them. In what ways do you find it encouraging that God evidently hasn’t given up on them?

4) What clue are we given in verse 10 that Moses has become so angry with the Israelites that he has forgotten that God’s plan to bring forth water in the desert is far more about the Holy Spirit than it is about him?

5) After fuming, “Must we bring you water out of this rock?”, Moses disobeys the Lord. Instead of speaking to the rock, as he is commanded, as a sign of his faith that it is God who sends his Holy Spirit, he whacks the rock with his staff, as if it were all about his own strength. Can you think of any occasions when you’ve acted as if your spiritual fruitfulness were more about your own actions than the gracious actions of the Lord?

6) How does God punish Moses for getting the roles the wrong way around when it comes to partnering with God’s Spirit? Take a big gulp and confess to God that the Holy Spirit is your Senior Partner, not the other way around.

Prayer Pathway

God was gracious to Moses and he didn’t bar him from his presence. He still allowed him to enter the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle to enjoy his presence. It’s amazing to think that the same Holy Spirit that Moses visited now offers to dwell inside us and to overflow from us each day! Let’s therefore use The Moses Prayer as our prayer pathway for today, taking each of the items that Moses passed on his way into the Holy of Holies as a reason to thank God for his Spirit today:

COURTYARD WALLS: Begin by confessing God’s greatness and total otherness. Worship him in his holiness, then rejoice that he still invites you to come near. The Israelites had God’s Spirit dwelling near them, but we have God’s Spirit dwelling in us.

BRONZE ALTAR: Confess your specific sins to God, thanking him that you are declared totally righteous by grace through the once-for-all blood sacrifice of Jesus.

BRONZE LAVER: Ask God to wash you and change you, filling you with the water of his Holy Spirit and yielding the fruit of the Spirit in your heart – the character described in Galatians 5:22-24.

TABLE AND LAMPSTAND: Thank God for his Word and for his Spirit. Pledge that you will live by both of them today, obeying God’s Word even when you disagree with it and following the Spirit’s promptings even when you are scared by them.

ALTAR OF INCENSE: Spend time worshipping God and bringing specific prayer requests to him for your friends, for your family, for your church and for your nation. Make big requests that are worthy of such a great God.

THE ARK OF GOD’S PRESENCE: End by enjoying the presence of God. Don’t rush away. Ask God to fill you with his Holy Spirit and spend time resting in his presence before you carry on with the rest of your day.

End with Worship

In order to help you to respond to God in sung worship, we have created two playlists for you on Spotify:

The Everyday Devotions playlist contains a handful of songs which are particularly relevant to our Everyday Devotions this week. This song list changes each week along with our devotions.

The Everyday Church Song List playlist contains most of the songs that we are singing right now across the venues of Everyday Church. This is a wider song list for you to play throughout the day to help you worship as you wash up, as you drive, as you shower, as you sit on the bus and as you go about your day.

If you are somewhere where you can sing loudly, why not use these two playlists to end by singing some songs of worship to the Lord? If you are on the bus or train, why not put on your headphones and sing in your heart to God instead?

This week the songs are largely prayers for God to fill us with his Holy Spirit and to overflow into the world through us.

Family Devotions

A number of parents use these Everyday Devotions to lead their children through daily devotions. Normally the parents simply adapt the devotions to ensure that they connect well with their children, but today we are introducing a new element to Everyday Devotions. If you are a parent using these devotions with your children, then how about telling them the following story to illustrate today’s learnings?

I’m scared,” Brett told his dad one bedtime. “What is it, son?” his dad replied. “Tell me what it is and we can pray about it together.” “Well,” Brett began, “I’m worried I might stop wanting to follow Jesus. I’m scared that I might slip away from God’s love.” Brett’s dad sat down on his bed and stretched out his big, strong hand. He told Brett to put his small hand inside his dad’s big hand and then he told him to “Try to pull away from me.” Try as he might, the young boy could not release himself from his father’s grip. “My grip is stronger than yours, Brett,” his dad reminded him. “It’s too strong for you to slip out of. And God’s hold of you is even stronger. It’s not about how hard you can hold onto God, but about how hard God can hold onto you.”

That’s what Moses needed to learn in today’s Bible reading. He acted as though partnering with God was more about what he could do for God than what God could do for him. Praise God, he is always strong enough for the both of you. We must never forget that.
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These Everyday Devotions have been produced and edited by Phil and Ruth Moore on behalf of the Everyday Church Elders

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