Stream of the Spirit

Walking through the gardens of Stanton House, I came upon a spring which emerged from the ground by the gate and became a large stream. It passed through the garden boundary, with other gardens and properties on either side of it along its length. Bubbling and rushing through, full of endless life and energy, one is drawn in. Each property with the river at the bottom of their garden brings focus to the stream, so they could spend time in its presence, resting and being revived. Each does so in a different way.

As I looked at this scene, I felt God remind me how his Spirit is readily available to us in the garden of everyday life, every community, every church. The scenery changes, but the Spirit stays constant. It may well be hidden from view, but it is there to be discovered and we can create a dwelling place in His presence. We can get in it. We can rest or be taken on an adventure downstream!

It takes just one thing. We need to listen and hear Him – that bubbling water - and respond, to go down to the stream, meet with him, get close, not stand at a distance, place a bench in his presence.

Jesus is for all people. When we choose to step into relationship with him as God our Saviour, his Spirit becomes our ‘constant’ companion, life giver, the very water of life.

Fresh water brings joy to people. It draws communities together, sets people free and heals. So too does the Holy Spirit of God, only even more so!

Some scriptures that speak of this: John 4:14, 7:38-39, Psalm 1:3, 46:4-5, 84:6


Across Boundaries, Boundless Renewal

On praying further into this picture, there seemed to be more to be revealed. Firstly, it’s a picture revealing the relationship we can have with the Spirit of God, but then there was another aspect in the ‘boundaries’.

Out of the blue, I was led to read the chapter ‘So many rivers’ from the book Britain’s Spiritual Inheritance. It explains the spiritual beginnings of many moves of Christ, each of which then became established church movements. The Spirit led me to see that he is indeed the origin of each these churches: fervent, radical, full of life and healing.

Yet we become landlocked in our traditions, which separate us and deaden our relationship with that living, moving water.

The Holy Spirit wants to move between the boundaries again, so that we would be one Christ-centered people, gathering around his stream of life, living together across boundaries for his kingdom’s sake, and seeing his life move out into many tributaries into the cities, towns, and villages.

 My people have committed two sins, they have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water” (Jeremiah 2:13)

Jesus wants to break the cisterns that we have made to give us independent water sources, and to bring us back to himself as The Source, the spring of life. As his Spirit moves, ne brings everything needed to transform our communities and the world we live in.

This is a call to come back to the living waters, to depend on Christ and the Holy Spirit, rather than depending on our own strength and learnt knowledge.