[Special Note: See Phil's update on his trip to Peru and the orphanage at http://thephilfiles.com and Phil continues his series on the Holy Spirit below.]

I wonder how many times the woman trudged to the well, rejected and isolated, and drew water from that same well and trudged back to the village, ignored, shunned, and alone? How many times had she been there when nothing special happened? Then one day, everything changed.

"Will you give me a drink?" (John 4:7 TNIV).

In the heat of the midday sun, Jesus' simple request becomes an act of grace that reaches past the barriers of geographical rivalries, racial prejudice, religious hatred, and gender division. Jesus uses this request to bring a woman, a village, and even us the hope of WATER. But not just any kind of water, it is ...

  • Living water: "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water" (John 4:10).
  • Welling up water: "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life" (John 4:13-14).
  • Rivers of living water: "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them" (John 7:37-38).
  • The Holy Spirit: By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive (John 7:39).

The Living Water that Jesus promises us is the Holy Spirit! This living water wasn't just for the woman at the well, but for all of us who believe (John 7:37-39). This Living Water is the power behind Jesus' resurrection (Ephesians 1:17-20) and enables us to do more than we could ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:14-21).

Yet, like the woman at the well, we have an important request:

"Please, sir," the woman said, "give me this water! Then I'll never be thirsty again, and I won't have to come here to get water" (John 4:15 NLT).

Many have never experienced the satisfaction, joy, assurance, and refreshment of the Spirit's presence. So how do we get this kind of Holy Spirit water?

Let me share with you three areas of truth to explore the answer to this crucial question — and please, read these Scriptures and ask for the Holy Spirit to help you understand them!

    How many times ... and nothing ever happened?
  1. Come to Jesus (John 3:3-7;  John 7:37-39;  Titus 3:3-7)
    Even though Jesus initiated the conversation with the woman at the well, go back and read the whole story again and notice how she engages Jesus and searches for truth — the truth that ends in her own realization of who Jesus truly is (John 4:1-43).
  2. Recognize my Thirst (Luke 11:13;  Acts 4:23-31;  Ephesians 1:17-20)
    Recognizing that we are missing something in our lives that only God can fill through the presence of the Holy Spirit is crucial. Once we realize our thirst, then we can ask God to fill us and satiate our thirst for the Spirit.
  3. Seek the Overflow (John 4:23-24;  Ephesians 5:15-21;  Ephesians 6:17-18)
    We often approach worship as something to please us, rather than seeing it as a time to encounter God through the Holy Spirit. In other words, we approach worship with the parking brake on and wonder why it never goes anywhere for us. The Holy Spirit is active in the personal, private, and public times we spend in worship, but we need to approach these times with expectation. We get the predictable and boring because we have lost our sense of expectation and anticipation for what the Lord wants to do in us through the Holy Spirit.

How many times have you trudged through yet another day with a parched and weary soul and nothing special ever happened? Isn't it time to live in the overflow?

What keeps you from living in the overflow?

Why is it hard to expect an encounter with the Holy Spirit in worship?

What is something specific you can do to Come to Jesus, Recognize your Thirst, and Seek to Live in the overflow?