Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” By this He spoke of the Spirit.” John 7:37-39a (NASB)

I drove through an arid and dry landscape marked with sagebrush. A large and swift river ran through it. All that water! But the land remained parched. Then, in the distance I could see blocks of green like the squares of a giant patchwork quilt. As I got closer it became clear that irrigation lines were giving life to otherwise barren fields.

What a vivid picture of our lives! Every person has a deep thirst for health, purpose, and meaning. Yet there is a void, a dryness that touches the remote regions of each person. Just as the spring rain brings some level of relief, a project or a goal might bring life for a season. But a shower of self-effort will only bring temporary results. The dryness and thirst return. The cry of the heart resurfaces: There must be more to life than this.

Only when we are connected to God, the ultimate source, is our deep thirst satisfied and rich fruitfulness the result.

God’s Spirit in the believer brings “rivers of living water” that are unlimited and give abundant and eternal life. Just as the river runs through a dry and thirsty land with little noticeable impact, in the same way, the Spirit in our lives can have limited impact without our daily yielding to His power and influence. The rich fruitfulness of God’s Spirit in someone who yields to Jesus daily is in stark contrast to the barrenness of the Christian who lives a dry and self-reliant existence.

Lord Jesus, I yield each area of my life to You and confess my self-effort as pride. Direct and empower my actions today. May your Spirit create a profound transformation in my life resulting in the fruit of Your Spirit being displayed in my life. Amen.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” Proverbs 3:5&6

I thought my daredevil days were behind me until I ended up on a black diamond trail at a ski resort near Lake Tahoe.

We had discovered skiing while living in northern California in the early 1990s, and at the time found it to be quite exhilarating. I had not grown up around the sport and I was solid “bunny slope” material. My confidence soared when I graduated to green, then blue, runs and for a moment, I thought I had really improved. Then one day, while skiing with my husband, we hopped off the lift and started down a trail.

While honing the tuck, and trying to keep my elbows in, I cruised past my husband who was patiently waiting by a small sign at a fork. Trying my best to maneuver through the challenging terrain that included moguls and narrower and icy rides, I heard my husband catch up yelling, “You are on a black diamond, called JABOOM!!” Immediately, I felt defeated and thought, “How did I end up on a black diamond? How did I miss staying on the right path?”

God’s Word tells us that he will guide along the straight path, but that it is our choices that keep us on the path or force us to go a different route. Often, while thinking we are following God, we discover we have somehow left the path. Today’s verse reminds us that to keep our path straight, we must take action.

First, by choosing to trust God’s reliability and his Word and believing what he says.

Secondly, when we do not see the entire picture, we must not lean on our own limited understanding.

Lastly, we must have a submissive and humble heart that seeks to be conformed to the image of Christ, so that we can grow and be led to the path that is God’s absolute best for us! Jesus said that there is a path that leads to life, and he promises to guide us and show us all the roads we are to travel in this world.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for directing my path as I follow your commands and trust you with all of my heart. When I do not understand, please help me to rest in your promises and to continue to seek your guidance by submitting to you. In Jesus’s name, amen.

Before every decision you make this day, ask God to direct your thoughts and your paths so that you remain in his will.