“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Greening Things Up!,
by Randall D. Kittle

“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38

While driving home earlier this drought stricken summer, I looked out at the brown grass which made me miss the green lawns and rolling hills that normally populate my hometown of Rockford, Illinois. I found it amazing how an area that normally looks lush and vibrant could have so quickly changed and become so barren and lifeless.

Pausing at a stoplight, I looked through the fence at the next yard and was startled to see its appearance — green and alive. This reminded me of the old expression
 “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” This idiom has come to mean that a new experience always tends to look more inviting than what you’ve experienced before — tempting, but not necessarily truly better. This expression arose from the fact that from afar off colors blend together and faults are easily overlooked so that the “green hills” over yonder may appear green and inviting from a distance only to be found to be not so green or healthy, even being weed-stricken with bald patches, when seen up close.

How often do we have this “grass-is-greener-over-there” attitude in our lives? We’re green with envy when someone talks about their new job not knowing the frustration and difficulties it entails. We drive by houses wishing we lived there without knowing if the furnace and plumbing even work — let alone realizing what a burden the payment is on those who “own” it. Or perhaps we hear someone talk about their church and it all sounds so wonderful, yet fail to remember that every church is full of people … imperfect people who will annoy you, disappoint you, and let you down.

While I contemplated this tendency we possess for being discontent with what we have and desirous of what others have, I suddenly saw the real reason that lawn was so green. Its in-ground lawn sprinklers popped up and started watering the lawn. The grass wasn’t greener because it was on the other side of the fence, but because it was watered! Everywhere the water went the grass was green and wherever it failed to fall it was brown and lifeless.

How true that is for us spiritually as well. Wherever the presence of God is there will be life. Jesus told us that it was God’s presence in our lives — the residing of the Holy Spirit — that would create
 “rivers of living water” flowing out from our lives to others (see John 7:39). God’s presence in our lives is like a river of life bringing life wherever it flows … and remember, rivers are supposed to flow.

Spiritually, we live in a dry and barren land. Our nation has been in a spiritual drought for many years. As believers, we need to be “filled & spilled” — filled up with the very presence of God and allowing the things of the kingdom to flow forth from our lives to those around us. Let me encourage you to spend time with God in prayer and reading His Word so you will be a “river at flood stage” and not a dry creek bed. Then, make certain you allow the life of God within you to touch and change the lives of everyone you encounter. Help bring life and “green up” this world!

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