The Rivers of God

by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.

Summary: Feeling spiritually dry? in a personal desert place? God is ready and willing to pour out streams, springs, and rivers of life-giving spiritual water on your parched soul.

Deuteronomy 8:7  For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land — a land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and hills.

•• This is God’s intention for His people —
• to bring us into a good land

• to bring us to streams and pools of water

• to bring us to flowing springs

• to refresh us from the rivers of God

Psalm 78:15-17  He split the rocks in the desert and gave them water as abundant as the seas; [16] he brought streams out of a rocky crag and made water flow down like rivers. [17] But they continued to sin against him, rebelling in the desert against the Most High.

Psalm 78:19-22  They spoke against God, saying, Can God spread a table in the desert? [20] When he struck the rock, water gushed out, and streams flowed abundantly. But can he also give us food? Can he supply meat for his people?” [21] When the Lord heard them, he was very angry; his fire broke out against Jacob, and his wrath rose against Israel, [22] for they did not believe in God or trust in his deliverance.

•• Here we see God bringing His people towards the promised land —
• In the desert He gave them abundant water. It can be the same for your desert, if you’ll by faith seek and receive God’s living waters.

• In the desert He brought His people “streams out of a rocky crag”. If your life seems “rocky”, God is ready and willing to bring His streams of blessing into it.

• In their helplessness and need, God “made water flow down like rivers”. In your times of need, the refreshing, life-giving rivers of God’s blessing are available to you.
•• But watch the warnings here, too —
• They sinned and rebelled against God in the midst of His provision of rivers of water.

• They spoke against God, essentially and ungratefully saying, “Can’t God do more?

• In their rebellion and disbelief, they “did not...trust in [God’s] deliverance.”
•• The lesson to us is: Don’t overlook and underappeciate the present rivers of God in our lives, the present blessings of God, His present provision in our rocky places.

Isaiah 44:2-4  This is what the Lord says — he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you: Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. [3] For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. [4] They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams.

•• God gave them natural water. More importantly, for them and us, He poured out on them Spirit-ual water. He poured out His Spirit and His blessing on His people. And God is the same today. He is ever ready to pour out His Spirit on you.

•• Where? On dry, thirsty ground. Thirst for the living waters of God's Spirit.
• The result? God’s blessing.

Isaiah 41:17-18  The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the Lord will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. [18] I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs.

•• "Search for" this water ... God will answer!
• Are your heights barren? Search for God’s living water, and He’ll make His rivers flow into your barrenness.

• Are your valleys parched? Seek after God’s water, and He’ll cause springs to burst forth in your parched land.

• Is your devotional life dry? Search for God’s water, and He’ll turn your personal spiritual desert into refreshing springs and pools.

Isaiah 43:18-21  Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. [19] See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. [20] The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, [21] the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.

•• Don’t dwell on the past. God likes to do new things in the lives of His people. Look ahead!

•• In the desert wasteland, God will “give drink to [His] people”.
• You say, “Well, it’s been awfully dry.” Remember, God says, “I am doing a new thing.... Don’t dwell on the past.” Get ready for God’s “new thing” in your life. Look for His water in your desert and His reviving streams flowing into your wasteland.

Jeremiah 17:7-8  But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. [8] He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.

•• Trust God. Have faith and confidence in Him.
• You’ll be like a tree rooted by His rivers of water.

• You’ll have no fears of the heat.

• Not only will you survive times of drought, you will stay green and continue to bear fruit.

John 7:37-39a  On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. [38] Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” [39] By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.

•• You don’t need to travel to find the rivers of God. They are within everyone who will:
(1) Thirst for them...

(2) Believe in Jesus...

(3) Come to Him...

(4) and drink deeply of the Holy Spirit offered by Jesus. And that Holy Spirit, whom Jesus likened to “streams of living water,” will change your life.

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©2000, James H. Feeney. Copyright statement.