“...out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” John 7:38
Evan Roberts, so greatly used in the Welsh Revival of 1904-06, said, “God’s greatest Gifts to the world are His Son Jesus, the Bible and the Holy Spirit. Have you received them?” Jesus Himself spoke often of the Holy Spirit telling His followers that it was to their advantage that He go away so that the Spirit would come (John 16:7). In Luke 11:13 Jesus encourages His disciples to ask the Father for the Holy Spirit saying, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.” It would seem that the Father is pleased when we ask for the Holy Spirit and when we ask for more of the Holy Spirit. Roberts prayed consistently the following prayers.
“Send the Holy Spirit for Jesus Christ’s Sake. Send the Holy Spirit powerfully for Jesus Christ’s sake. Send the Holy Spirit more powerfully for Jesus Christ’s sake.”
Jesus thought the Holy Spirit was so important that He told His followers not to start doing any ministry until the Holy Spirit was sent to them from the Father. Even though they had been with Jesus, seen His miracles, heard Him teach the great truths He taught and watched Him die and then come back from the dead they were not ready to carry on Christ’s ministry until they had received the Holy Spirit. Then they waited and prayed for ten days to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit which was poured out on them at Pentecost. The apostle Paul stated that being led by the Spirit is the characteristic of those who are sons of God (Romans 8:14), and that the only way to not fulfill the lusts of the flesh is to “walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16). These are but a few of the verses in Scripture that speak of the enormity of the gift we have received in the Holy Spirit. I ask with Evan Roberts, “Have you received Him?”
Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit as “rivers of living water” that flow out of the heart of those who “come to (Him) and drink”. And when He spoke to the woman at the well in John 4 Jesus said, “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14). So the water...the river of living water...the fountain of water that Jesus gives to those who trust Him as Lord and Savior is the Holy Spirit.
After Jesus ascended back to heaven the Holy Spirit was given and it is the Holy Spirit who now carries on the ministry of Christ through believers. The essential role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church is seen in the fact that He is mentioned some sixty times in the book of Acts. He indwells the believer. He baptizes the believer and places Him in the body of Christ. He fills the believer and empowers Him for Christian service. He is our constant Helper and Comforter. He provides divine direction. He convicts the unsaved of sin and it is He who performs the miracle of the new birth in the hearts of those who repent of their sin and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is the primary Person we as the church deal with in doing the work of God’s kingdom. Yes, the Holy Spirit is a great gift from the Father. We need to be familiar with Him and His ministry. He is ready to fill and empower us to do those things we have been told to do in the word of God. He’s waiting on Us to pay attention to Him and honor Him just as we would honor the Father and the Son and trust Him and submit to Him and receive from Him all we need to “do the greater work” Jesus said we would do.