Mr. Rogers was a television personality on his own show, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, that aired from 1968-2001. He was a very kind man who shared lessons with children on how to be nice neighbors. He was super gentle, even paced, and morally impeccable.
Unfortunately, too many Christians limit faith to a Mr. Rogers’ kind of morality. Being in Christ just means being a better person than one once was. All God wants is for us to have integrity and as long as we have integrity we can go in whatever direction we choose.
Jesus was NOT Mr. Rogers.
We are in significant danger of losing power in Christ when we reduce Christianity to morality. While morality is important to our faith, being good neighbors is taught by Jesus Himself, and kindness is a virtue, Overflow LIFE in Christ is far more than morality.
One Scripture passage demonstrating the “more than morality” Overflow LIFE of Jesus is John 7:37-39. Jesus is in Jerusalem for the Feast of Booths. Scripture says,
Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.John 7:37-39
Jesus offers those who are thirsty a drink that will produce rivers of living water flowing from their innermost beings! I suggest that rivers of living water are more than just a transformed, Mr. Rogers’, morality. Again, I am in no way minimizing the importance of morality. I am just saying that Overflow LIFE is a lot more and that we endanger our Christian experiences when all we look to Jesus for is being nice people.
Notice that after Jesus’s words, the Apostle John further explains Jesus’s promise. He explains that the source of the rivers will be the Holy Spirit! The “drink” Jesus has to offer is the third Person of the Trinity! Hey, not only is Jesus NOT Mr. Rogers, but He is also NOT the source of rivers of living water.
If you are not experiencing the rivers and you ask Jesus, “Hey, Jesus, where are the rivers?” Jesus is going to point to the Holy Spirit! 😊 Passages like this one are why I geek out on the Trinity. While we can get way too far into hair splitting on the distinctions of the Persons of the Trinity, we can also be way too lax.
While Scripture clearly teaches monotheism, that we believe in ONE GOD, Scripture is equally clear in teaching that the one God exists in three distinct Persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Further, as we easily see in John 7:37-39, each Person has some distinct works in our lives. In the same way that your mother and father had different roles in your life, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit work in your life in different ways.
Here, the Holy Spirit is responsible for generating rivers of living water in your soul.
Ah, this is so beautiful!
Jesus’s teaching means that the quality of LIFE that He wants you to have can ONLY be given to you by the Holy Spirit. You cannot get the Holy Spirit’s rivers ANYWHERE else on planet earth. You cannot get the Holy Spirit’s rivers from ANYONE else on planet earth! You can only receive what the Holy Spirit has for you FROM the Holy Spirit.
Remember, Jesus’s offer is for anyone who is thirsty. When is the last time you were thirsty? Can you remember how it felt? Dry mouth. Sticky tongue. Crackling throat. Imagine that is the condition of your soul. Your life, and specific areas of your life, feel dry. Here are five areas where you can experience the living waters of John 7:37-39,
You are thirsty for connecting to that which is greater than you. The Holy Spirit draws you into encounter with God your Father. You can encounter what you cannot explain. You are brought into the presence of God Himself. You will experience the limitations of your language as you bask in Him (Mark 1:8, Ephesians 3:14-21, Colossians 1:13-14, Hebrews 10:19-25).
You are thirsty for confidence in the direction of your life. How do you know that you are moving in the path for which you were created? You feel rudderless. Or you feel unsure. Even though your exterior life seems “right” the inner condition of your soul seems incomplete. The Holy Spirit satisfies your thirst by leading you in the will of our Father. At rest in Him, He will make known to you the way forward (Luke 4:1-2, Galatians 5:25, Colossians 1:9-12).
You are thirsty for emotional healing because of things done to you and/or things you have done to others. A great source of hope for the wounded is found in the surpassing greatness and power of the Holy Spirit’s ability to heal us emotionally. No matter how dark or deep the pain you feel or have caused, the healing work of the Holy Spirit is far greater. Further, and this is beautiful, He wants your healing more than you do. We surrender our emotional pain to Him and trust His healing. Where we were once wounded and dry we will know restoration (Matthew 11:28-30, Romans 15:13, 2 Corinthians 5:17-18, Galatians 5:22-23, 1 John 4:19)
You are thirsty for your life to matter. You do not feel like what you are doing means much, if anything. You do not feel like you are making a difference. Wow, can the Holy Spirit lift your soul and fill you with eternal significance. In the Holy Spirit, everything you do is a Kingdom work and has Kingdom importance. The Holy Spirit doesn’t waste time and He doesn’t waste lives. He is serious in the work He does (John 16:5-11, Acts 1:7-8, Ephesians 1:15-19).
You are weary of trying to please people, even trying to please yourself. You are thirsty to be loved. As you learn to rest back into the Holy Spirit and receive from Him, you will experience His love and the love of the Father and the Son. Their love is of a purity and depth that cannot be found in any person or place on planet earth. Their love is not one you have to strive to enjoy or work hard to embrace. You soak in it and receive it (John 15:9, Romans 15:30, Galatians 4:4-7, 1 John 4:7-21).
Jesus’s living waters are SO MUCH MORE than just a transformed morality. Allow the Holy Spirit to elevate your understanding of what He has for you. Giving you LIFE is not drudgery for the Spirit it is His GREAT desire. The question has NEVER been IF the Holy Spirit wants to give you these things or can give you these things, the question has always been…
Are you thirsty?