Today's Foundations Devotional: River from the Rock

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Memory verse:

By faith they passed through the Red Sea as though they were passing

through dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned.

(Hebrews 11:29)

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We will finish this week studying the appointed spiritual drink of God’s people. For Israel in the Old Testament this drink was a river that flowed out of a rock, and Paul tells us “that Rock was Christ” (1 Cor. 10:4).

For the Christian, the divinely appointed drink is the river of the Holy Spirit, flowing forth from within his own inner being. For Christ says of the Holy Spirit:

If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water (John 7:37-38).

For Israel this river flowed out of a smitten rock; for the Christian today this river flows out of the smitten side of the Saviour, for it was His atoning death upon the cross that purchased for all believers the indwelling fullness of the Holy Spirit.

The initial baptism in the Holy Spirit is a once-for-all experience that never needs to be repeated. But drinking from the river of the Spirit that now flows from within is something that each believer needs to do just as regularly as Israel drank from the rock in the desert.

For this reason Paul uses a continuing tense when he says: “Be [continually] filled [and refilled] with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18). Continual drinking of the Spirit leads to the outward expressions Paul describes in the next two verses.

Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. 5:19-20).

Continual feeding on God’s Word and drinking of God’s Spirit are essential for a life of victory and fruitfulness. Israel would have perished in the wilderness without their daily portion of manna from heaven and living water from the rock. The believer today is no less dependent upon the daily manna of God’s Word and the daily filling, and refilling, of God’s Spirit.

Let us now apply the complete pattern to the experience of the Christian in this dispensation.

God has ordained for each believer today five experiences, each typified by an experience of Israel in the Old Testament:

1) salvation through faith in the blood of Jesus Christ

2) baptism in the Holy Spirit

3) baptism in water

4) daily feeding upon God’s Word

5) daily drinking of God’s Spirit from within

Of these five experiences, the first three – salvation, baptism in water and baptism in the Spirit – occur only once and need not be repeated. The last two – feeding upon God’s Word and drinking of God’s Spirit – are experiences which the believer must continue to practice regularly each day throughout his earthly pilgrimage.

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Prayer:

O Lord Jesus, I want to thank God the Father always, through You,

under all circumstances and for all things, in abundance in the name

of my Lord Jesus. I praise You for a continuous stream of love and

gratitude from my heart to the world around me. Amen.

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