SIMPLE TRUTH: Restore the flow

Published 9:55 am Monday, March 31, 2014

By Charles Christmas

North of Ozark, Ala., just before you leave Dale County, is the Pea River. Immediately north of the bridge, to the right and very near U. S. Highway 231 is located an artesian (overflowing) well. When I was a little child, my father took me to this location to see this amazing sight to a child’s eyes, over 75 years ago. It continually overflowed with beautiful fresh water.

I’ve had a desire to return to that artesian well through the years but procrastinated. Last Sunday afternoon, returning home from my sister’s 101 birthday celebration in Ashford, near Dothan, I stopped at the location, knocked on the owner’s door and received a sad update. Yes, that was the exact spot. The artesian well is surrounded by a decaying shed. There were the remains of the large swimming pool it once kept filled with fresh water, there were the large pipes the water once flowed through into the river, and there was the neglected artesian well, flowing no more. The owner remarked, “It only needs to be cleaned out and it would flow again.”

Jesus was using the example of an artesian well when he encountered the wayward woman at the well of Samaria. He said to her, “The water I give will become in you a spring of water welling up into eternal life. If you ask of me, I will give to you life-giving water and you will never be thirsty again” (John 4:10-14). The very last invitation/promise from Jesus Christ in the last chapter of the Bible (verse 17) is, “Whoever is thirsty and is willing, let him come and take the life-giving water as a free gift.”

Jesus also was using the example of the artesian (overflowing) well in John 7:37-39 speaking about believers: “‘He that believes on me, out of his inmost being shall flow streams of living water.’ By this he meant the Holy Spirit, whom those who believe on him would receive.” God‘s plan, provision, intention and desire is that his saved, believing children be somewhat like an artesian well, overflowing with the fruit and works of the indwelling Spirit of Christ.

Several Bible passages will assure us that this is true. In Galatians 5:25, the Bible says, “If we have eternal life from the Holy Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” In Ephesians 5:18 and following, we are instructed, “Don’t be drunk with wine and overflowing with what that produces; but rather let us be filled with the Spirit of Christ and overflowing with what that will produce in and through us.”

So the owner of the old artesian well by Pea River said, “It only needs to be cleaned out and it will flow again.” Is the Spirit of Christ overflowing through you? Is he overflowing through me? Could it be true that there if a need to be cleaned up so that he might flow again? Do you need to pray, “Lord restore unto me the joy of your saving work in my life”? Or do we need to pray, “Lord, transform me into an overflowing work of the Holy Spirit which really I have never had before”?

The sincere prayer of my darling wife, Louise, which I saw answered year after year in her life, is appropriate to conclude this article. “Flow through me Holy Spirit, flow through me; just like a river in a desert, flow through me. Springing fountains, healing streams, living waters so pure and clean; flow through me Holy Spirit, flow through me.”

—Charles Christmas is a religion columnist for The Clanton Advertiser. His column appears each Thursday.