In my novel, Fever Season, water ( or lack thereof) becomes a significant symbol of life.It is the thermometer reflecting the health of the South and, by proxy, the Tolliver family.
For example their cotton plantation sat on the banks of the scum- encrusted Yazoo River. This languid river and other small bayous spill into the Mississippi. While much larger, the Mississippi is broad, muddy and near the Vicksburg bluffs makes several dramatic turns, which impede it’s current and slows any traffic.
During the Siege, water became a diminishing, precious resource stored and hoarded in mosquito-infested barrels.
As the story progresses, several of the characters make their way to Southwestern Colorado during the gold rush of the 1870’s.
The higher they travel, the clearer the water. Rushing water. Cool water.
Glacier- fed streams that boiled and bubbled over boulders and tumbled over river rocks. Refreshing streams that were full of rainbow trout and precious flakes of gold.
In life as well as Scripture, we find that water is vital and therefore synonymous of ever-lasting life as well as the Person of the Holy Spirit. We actually see the first mention of Holy Spirit in the opening passages of Genesis, hovering over the waters.
Isaiah 44:3 relates this promising prophesy for those who seek Him: ” For I will pour water on a thirsty land and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring.” Joel 2:28 relates that in the coming end times a whole new outpouring of Holy Spirit is expected with dreams, prophecies, and visions for everyone across the board. Are you ready to step up when your neighbors and people on the street begin asking what these things mean?
Just as we cannot survive without water- we cannot spiritually thrive or function if we are willing to embrace only the salvation and grace of Jesus but ignore the Truth, the power, the revelations of the Holy Spirit which Jesus himself so eloquently stated our essential need for! ( John 14:26: Jesus says “…the Comforter which is the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance” Acts 1:8 Jesus adds, ” But you will receive POWER after the Holy Spirit is come upon you and you shall be witnesses of me in both Jerusalem…and the uttermost parts of the earth.”
Just in these two verses we see a host of characteristics developing: Power, boldness for ministry, Comfort, sent directly from God, Teacher of ALL things, and total memory enhancer. That sounds like a person we probably need to be tapped into and building a relationship with.
Once Christ is accepted as one’s Savior, the only real decision, the only logical option, is to ask, now what? Are you all in? Was that merely a mental decision or a whole heart decision. Truly accepting Jesus implies action, believing what he said, following His example, becoming a disciple. The very term “Christian” means little Christ- little anointed one. We now, carry that anointing, the scented oil of the Holy Spirit, out and do what He did. Jesus, with His Holy Spirit anointing, changed the world.
The modern day church is on thin theological ice as they cherry-pick which parts of the gospel they embrace wholeheartedly, and which blocks of scripture and/or gifts of the Spirit they deem too uncomfortable, or completely unnecessary and explain away. Not only is that reasoning arrogant in the extreme but flies in flagrant disregard to what Jesus ( and the apostles) specifically taught. I submit for your homework, a virtual ton of scriptural reference: 1 Tim 1:3, 1 Tim 6:3, 1 John 4:1, 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, Acts 20:29, John 8:44, Luke 21:16, Mark 13:9 2 Peter 2:1-3 There are more, but you get the drift. I could cite an equal amount of verses that warn against the church being deceived by false doctrine. ( Anything that deviates from the original map is false doctrine.) Depending totally on the power and leading of the Holy Spirit is sound, imperative, first-church doctrine.Whose Kingdom benefits whenwe choose to be ineffectual and powerless. Old Testament prophet, Jeremiah gives a two-fold warning in 2:13 against. “forsaking the fountain of living water and carving- in our own strength, cisterns…that can hold no water” ( also known as absolutely, useless vessels)
So this tells us that we can’t sanitize, modernize, impose or dispose of the Holy Spirit as we see fit. We cannot do the Holy Spirit our way. Knowing what we need, God makes the rules and delivers the goods His WAY for our success. He won’t rudely bust in on your religious party, He will go where he is sought and wanted. While it is not always convenient or dignified as we may like, Holy Spirit is to be poured out daily, rejoiced over, wallowed in. He is a supernatural Power force to be given over to. The result will be an AMAZING, transformed church.
Satisfaction with the status quo is like wading in mud puddles and the stagnant Southern waters I write about.
They were always the breeding ground of sin and discrimination, a hot- house for the next fever season not the next revival.
Only when we commit to being up to our eye-balls in that Holy Spirit current will we become that City on the hill of Matthew 5:14-16 that beams out a million watts to a dark and dying world. That world that has seen never seen us in Power mode but only as boring, hypocritical, irrelevant and critical. It is then, and only then, that they will be drawn, by Holy Spirit, like tacks to a very-attractive magnet.