As I was preparing for worship, I found myself not wanting just another song service. I know what it is like to have the spirit of God heavy during worship and what it is like to just sing songs. I sat in my office looking through different songs and listening to different artists hoping for inspiration. The Holy Spirit brought to my mind a passage of scripture, it is found in the book of John chapter 7. I had to reread it to make sure that I had understood it correctly. Jesus was at one of the many feasts the Jewish people had. Now, these feasts can become empty and just another social obligation for most of those in attendance when in the hands of sinful men. At this feast, however, our Lord Jesus Christ was in attendance. As I read this passage, I got the feeling that He came to a point where He could not handle the empty religiosity of it all. On the last day of the feast, He could not handle it, He just had to say something.
John 7:37-39 (ESV) On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he 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.
There comes a point when we all get frustrated and we can not take it any longer. That point where we have got to say something or we will explode. This is the point where the true nature of a person’s heart is shown, the point where they are uncovered. In the scripture we see God’s heart and it is full of love! Jesus gets frustrated and He wants to give living water, He wants to pour out the Holy Spirit. Jesus wants to bring an end to the empty worship service by filling up their worship service with eternal life and the Holy Spirit. In other words, He wants to put God back where He belongs and fill up the empty space.
This was where I was at that very moment, I wanted people to allow God to be the center of their worship but how could I do that? The Lord showed me that it was out of the overflow of His heart that He cried out. He promises that if we come to him that “we will have rivers of living water.” I felt a deep conviction, if I was indeed allowing the river to flow what was in my heart would look just like the Detroit river. I realized that there is a river that flows out of each and every heart but the source is either the Holy Spirit or the flesh. I had to make a choice: was I going to just sing songs out of the flesh or was I going to pursue Jesus and receive the river of living water that came forth from the Holy Spirit? I realized the songs do not really matter, what really mattered was if our worship was from the overflow of the flesh or from the Spirit.