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Our daughter Rebekah once took part in a mission trip where she spent eleven months in different countries. In one African village she visited, there was no running water or well, and the villagers begged her to do something. Their parting plea to her was, “Water is life.” It so gripped our daughter that she got involved and became instrumental in providing clean drinking water for that village.

Rebekah’s mission trip reminded me of a time a few years back when my family and I were in Zimbabwe where I was preaching. During our time there we were able to visit Victoria Falls, the biggest waterfall on planet Earth. It’s more than 5,000 feet wide, and it plummets 360 feet to the river below. We were told it’s the biggest sheet of falling water in the world!

The ancient name for Victoria Falls is “the smoke that thunders,” and we were in awe as we stood there and watched the mist rise. I have to tell you, it was astonishing to see how much power the Zambezi River creates when it surges over Victoria Falls!

Throughout Scripture, water is used to illustrate the work of the Holy Spirit.

When Jesus spoke to the woman at the well in Samaria, He said about that water, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again.” (John 4:13) But He went on to say, “but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But that water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” (v. 14)

Here, Jesus was talking to the woman about salvation. The work of the Holy Spirit in salvation is like a well of water that is in you. It springs up and sustains life. As those African villagers said to Rebekah, “Water is life.”

But notice carefully the language Jesus used just a couple pages over in John 7:37-39:

On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “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.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Notice in John 4, Jesus said the work of the Spirit is like a water well in you. In John 7, He talked about it being a river flowing out of you. So what Jesus is saying in John 4 and 7 is that there’s one Holy Spirit, but two different experiences with Him.

Now, the first experience with the Holy Spirit, or salvation, is the most important. It’s what makes you clean, it’s what brings you into a relationship with God, and it’s what makes you fit for heaven.

But there’s another experience with the same Holy Spirit that is an endowment of power.

It’s not just being born of the Spirit; it’s being filled with the Spirit to overflowing. It’s the difference between a water well and a waterfall.

And that’s what God desires for you to experience…the infilling of the Holy Spirit. To be filled to overflowing. God wants you to experience that power of the Holy Spirit in your life. He desires for you to be surging with His power through His Spirit!

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Bayless Conley

Author Bayless Conley

Bayless Conley is a pastor, author, and Bible teacher known for his clear presentation of the gospel and the way he applies the life-changing truth of God’s Word to everyday life. Each week his broadcast, Answers with Bayless Conley, is impacting lives around the world in many languages on TV and online.

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