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WHEN NEEDINESS IS GOOD

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WHEN NEEDINESS IS GOOD

Lydia Brownback

“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” What exactly does Jesus mean by this? John tells us what Jesus had in mind:  “Now this [Jesus] said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (John 7:38-39). I was struck this morning by Skip Ryan’s insight on this passage and how he talks about the Spirit:

The Spirit gravitates toward the truly needy. One dear brother in our church put this way: “The Spirit cannot resist weakness.” Where are you weak? Rejoice! Where are you at risk? Rejoice! Where is your life falling apart? Rejoice, because the Spirit of God is eager to move into your life in those weak places–not in the places of your strength, where you don’t feel the need for Jesus. It is in the place of your weakness that you need the gospel, so live in your weakness. Don’t try to do those things that, humanly speaking, eliminate weakness from your life. I’m not saying to avoid the responsibility of dealing with problems in your life; but I am saying that, where you are weak, there you are strong, because that is where the Spirit of God moves in your life. The Spirit of life brings water to the thirsty soul. So long as you are out there digging your own well, looking for your own water supply, looking for your own remedy to your problems, the Spirit of God will resist you and pass on to a needy, thirsty soul who is saying, “Only the water that Jesus gives can satisfy my thirst.”

–Joseph Skip Ryan, That You May Believe (Crossway, 2003).