Servants' News

March/April 1998

A Lesson For Pentecost:
Utilizing the Holy Spirit

Are You a River or a Well?

Adapted from a Bible Study by Mordekai Joseph


RiverWellJohn the Baptist came baptizing in the river Jordan. He baptized with water, but he spoke of another who would baptize with the Holy Spirit (Mark 1:5-8). Our Savior, after His resurrection promised his followers: "For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence" (Acts 1:5). That day was Pentecost.

The Jordan River in Israel comes from the melted snow of Mount Hermon. It flows through the middle of the country. It is very alive and flowing, yet it ends up in the Dead Sea, where it moves nowhere. It is so hot, and the water is so salty, that nothing can live in it. The river starts out with life—and ends up in death. Unless the water is used along the way, it is of no value.

Water As A Symbol of The Holy Spirit

The Eternal is the primary source of the Holy Spirit. He is full of love—His love flows out from Him to us. God constantly loves, gives, blesses, and creates. God does all this with all His heart. He continues to give and to love in order to uphold His name. Otherwise, He would not be the Great Giver, Blesser, Creator. Jesus Christ said, "...If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink" (John 7:37):

Jesus Christ has promised the Holy Spirit to those who do these things—without any respect of persons. Verse 38 says: "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." Wherever these rivers go, they give life. After tapping the Eternal’s source, then we become a source of living water. God is the primary source of these spiritual rivers. We are the secondary sources. What are these rivers of living water?

"…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…" (Gal 5:22).

There are two main sources of water. One is a well where you must dig to find it. Another is a spring or a river where water is bubbling out and flowing—the water comes to you.

Are You a River or a Well?

If you are a river, no one will have to pump or work hard to get something out of you. You will respond and give easily. Words and actions of life-giving qualities will easily flow outward to others.

Some people decide to be wells. They withdraw into their own shells, and you have to pump out the water instead of it flowing out. It does not come up by itself. A well is an aloof, unconcerned person who prefers to remain hidden. This person may have goodness, but it is buried deep inside. "A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire" (Prov 18:1).

The Ever-living One has given us the capacity to be like Him, even in this life: The Father and Son have life in themselves (John 5:26). Whoever is thirsty, come to the waters and drink (Isa 55:1). The Eternal will pour out His Spirit on us so we can pour His love into others (Joel 2:28). Our Savior comes from heaven and gives life to the world (John 6:33). The Messiah was still pouring out his soul, even unto death (Isa 53:12).

Let The Waters Flow

It is a law of nature that if you stop using your hands or legs, then they become useless. The same thing holds true for spiritual qualities. If you do not allow qualities of love and giving to flow from you to others, then you will cease to have those qualities, for they will die within you. Continue to give of your gifts and substance to others, or else, the quality of giving will stagnate and die, just like the "dead sea." Even when you feel someone does not deserve it, do it for your sake, not someone else’s sake. God does not give to us depending on if we deserve it or not. Humans do things on merit—whether one deserves it or not. Out-going love has nothing to do with feelings. You may not feel like giving to someone, but the law of love commands you to do it.

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp-stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven (Matt 5:14-16).

A light bulb that is not switched on does no good. The Eternal did not withhold His only Son from us (John 3:16). Neither are we to withhold ourselves from others. God gives us so much to give. People get bored because they are not giving enough. When you have the capacity to give, do it. If one does not deserve it, then it is his problem, not yours.

We have the ability to give life to others through the Holy Spirit. Are we doing it? We can use the Holy Spirit and God’s goodness for the benefit of others. We can use our voices to comfort and cheer others. We can use our faces to smile to give life giving qualities to others.

How do you determine if you are a river or a well? The degree to which we yearn and ache to give to others will tell us. Giving to others will be a pleasure. When you find yourself stingy, you are lacking love. Let us not stifle the Holy Spirit—allow it to flow to others. Stay tapped into the Source of the spiritual rivers and continue to give them out to others by sharing and helping. Be one who flows like a river.

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