This summer I have done a lot of cycling on the paths by the Rideau and Ottawa Rivers. I do it for the exercise, but I also do it because being outdoors helps me to pray.
I have been without work for four months now. This has been a faith-stretching time for me, as I have been waiting for God to supply me with work, but it has also been a season of spiritual refreshing. This has been especially true in recent weeks as Marion and I have been devoting ourselves to the word of God and prayer to an extent that we have not done for a long time. It has been deeply challenging and also fruitful. But I know there is much more that the Lord wants to do in me – in fact, I feel as though I am just touching the edge of what he wants to lead me into. The earth is coming into a pivotal time, a season when everything that can be shaken will be shaken, so that only those things which cannot be shaken will remain. To fulfil God’s purposes for us so that we come forth in glory through the upheavals that are coming, we will need to be deeply anchored in God and full of His life. The other day the Lord reminded me of this quite powerfully during one of my bike rides.
About ten days ago Ottawa had a major thunderstorm after several weeks of drought. The storm was accompanied by heavy rains. The Rideau had gotten very low, and many of the shallower areas were choked with algae and water weeds. But the day after the rain, there was noticeably more water in the river, and the parkland along its banks didn’t seem quite so dry. The rain wasn’t enough to truly end the drought, but it helped. I had been praying for rain, so I was thankful.
A couple of days after the rainstorm, I was pedalling along the bicycle path by the Rideau River and I sensed the Holy Spirit speaking to me.
See this river. See how low, and polluted, the water is after this season of drought. It is a picture of your soul (mind, will, emotions). My river of life flows in you but it is at a much lower level than it could be, and it is polluted by other things. The other day there was a rainfall. It was an answer to your prayers, and you were happy. The rain was good, but the river is still low. In the same way, you must not be content with the refreshing you are now experiencing. It feels good, but do not conclude that this is all you need. Let this time of refreshing stir up your desire for more. Your soul needs to be filled to overflowing with my river of life. When my river of life is flowing at flood tide in you, like a raging torrent, it will purify all uncleanness and bring life to you and many others.
Reflecting more on this, the other day the Lord spoke to me using a different analogy. He showed me that much of my life as a Christian I had been playing in the shallows of a huge swimming pool – like a little child splashing in the shallow water on the beach – and he is calling me to humble myself, recognize that I need much more, and apply myself to going much deeper in him.
God, I don’t want to be satisfied too easily. I choose to be content in you, but at the same time I do not want to be easily satisfied with the measure of the Holy Spirit that I have received. I am refreshed by the streams of living water that you have been pouring out, but I want more. You say that the Holy Spirit is a deposit, a down payment on our inheritance. I want to maximize that deposit – make the most of it – so that you will reward me with much more on that Day. Even now, Lord, I want as much of your revelation as I can have in this age, so that I can testify with grace and power to the new life that you are prepared to give to anyone who is truly hungry for you.