5 Habits - Overflow #5

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.

Friday 7th February

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) For those of us who have grown up in rainy London, it is hard to imagine what words like “thirsty” and “rivers of living water” meant in to those who lived in dry, arid and riverless city of Jerusalem. Unlike ours, theirs was a world of water shortages, but if we look around us with spiritual eyes then we can see that our own city is spiritually dry, arid and riverless. Make a list of all of the areas in your community that are spiritual wastelands. Ask the Lord to give you a deeper thirst to see them watered by the River of the Holy Spirit flowing out of you.

2) What do you think Jesus means when he calls people to “come to me and drink” of the Holy Spirit? What would it mean, very practically, for you to become a heavier drinker of the Holy Spirit?
 
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 looking at several of them in our Everyday Devotions across the course of this week. Here is the fifth one:

Isaiah 35:1-10

The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, 2 it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it the splendour of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendour of our God. 3 Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; 4 say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution he will come to save you.” 5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. 6 Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. 7 The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow. 8 And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it. 9 No lion will be there, nor any ravenous beast; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, 10  and those the Lord has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.


3) Think of all those spiritually dry and parched areas that you just listed in your community. Face-to-face with those challenges, how are you tempted to let your hands become feeble, your knees become unsteady and your heart become fearful? How are you tempted to surrender those areas of your community to the Devil and to look for easier areas in which to minister instead?

4) How do the words of verse 4 therefore encourage you? By faith in the Word of God, can you picture what will happen to those areas when “water gushes forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert”?

5) Where have you been spiritually unfruitful up until now? Where are you most tempted to assume that you will never bear fruit? Do you believe God when he tells you that those are the very areas where that “grass and reeds and papyrus will grow” as the Holy Spirit flows out of you?

6) These verses end with the people of God singing worship songs to him. This takes us back to the third healthy habit that we learned together two weeks ago. Make sure that you create some space today to use one of our Spotify play lists to sing worship songs to the God who brings fruitfulness to desert places through his Holy Spirit.

Numbers 24:7

7 Water will flow from their buckets; their seed will have abundant water.
7) This is the final verse that Jesus might have been referring to in John 7:37-39. It may look to you as though there is no way that God would fill you with his Holy Spirit and cause you to overflow into massive fruitfulness – about as likely as the idea that a river can flow out of a bucket! But that’s precisely what God promises to do in and through you. What a Gospel. What a promise. How does such a word from God make you feel?


Prayer Pathway

Let’s keep on praying to God and let’s keep on laying hold of the promises that God makes to us in John 7:37-39 and in all of its associated Old Testament passages. Using The Lord’s Prayer as your prayer pathway again, pray some big prayers of “Let your Kingdom come!” Pray for the River of the Holy Spirit to flow into you and to overflow into the world around you.

OUR FATHER: Joyful thanks to God that today you can run freely into his arms as your Dad and as the Source of the River of the Holy Spirit.

IN HEAVEN: Faith-filled proclamation of the truth of Psalm 115:3 –God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.”

HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME: Speaking God’s Name back to him from the Scriptures, asking him to be true to his Name and to make all the world confess his Name is holy.

YOUR KINGDOM COME, YOUR WILL BE DONE: Pray specific prayers for the Holy Spirit to descend on your own life, on the lives of your family and friends, on the lives of your Life Group and your wider church family, on the lives of your nonbelieving friends, on your workplace or college, and on your nation.

GIVE US TODAY OUR DAILY BREAD: Be specific with God in your answer to his question: “What do you want me to do for you?” Bring focused, specific and faith-filled requests that he will provide for all your daily needs.

FORGIVE US, AS WE FORGIVE OTHERS: Confess your specific sins to God, including the sin of withholding forgiveness from others.

LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION: Ask God to grant you strength to resist sin, the flesh and the Devil. Ask him to fill you with the Holy Spirit today and to help you grow in holiness, as he has promised you in Ezekiel 36:26-27.

FOR YOURS IS THE KINGDOM, THE POWER AND THE GLORY FOREVER: End with a time of praising God for his greatness and that he has heard your prayers.

AMEN: Before you stop praying, connect your prayers to the rest of what you have planned for today. Receive a commissioning from God to get up off your knees and to become the answer to many of your prayers.


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.
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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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