Hear and Drink

Isaiah 55:1,3 Ho, every one that thirsts, come to the waters, and he that has no money; come , buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
3 Incline your ear, and come unto Me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

Our interest here lies in just a portion of each of these two verses. Ho, every one that thirsts, come ye to the waters (verse 1). Incline your ear, and come unto Me: hear, and your soul shall live (verse 3). In each verse we are exhorted to “come.” In verse one, “Come to the waters,” and in verse three, “Come to Me.” Both, “the waters” and “Me,” refer to the Lord.

It is significant that in verse three when the Lord says, “Come unto Me,” that He precedes it by saying, “Incline your ear,” and then He follows it up by saying, “Hear, and your soul shall live.” He makes an emphasis of hearing, and He does so because the Word is the means by which the Lord is revealed and manifested (Revelation 19:11-13). When the Lord came forth in the flesh as Jesus the Nazarene, He was the Word made flesh (John 1:14). Now He is coming forth in a Body consisting of many people. The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven…when He shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe. II Thessalonians 1:7,10. Many Christians have overlooked this spiritual coming of the Lord within a people. In fact, I have never heard it taught in denominational churches. Remember, the hope of glory is Christ in you. The mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:26-27.

Now this is not speaking of “I’ve got Jesus in my heart by faith.” This is talking about the divine life of our Lord invading our lives, and that requires the emptying out of self. We cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24) – self and the Lord. The apostle Paul said it this way: For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. II Corinthians 4:11.

The coming of the Lord within us doesn’t just happen because we’re Christians. It isn’t automatic. If you want Him “to come unto you,” then you must “come unto Him.” Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. James 4:8. Do you understand that you must take the initiative? A lot of Christians say they want to follow the Lord, for example, but many of them won’t do what is necessary to come after Him. You have to take the initiative, and you have to do it God’s way. You have to deny self and take up the cross; that is, you have to take the initiative to die out to self. If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it. Matthew 16:24-25. Does that sound simple? It isn’t! Do you know how to take up your cross? Your cross is that which brings death to your soul-life. It is the two-edged sword of the living Word. For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12.

The living Word will do two things. It will bring death to your soul-life and it will transfer divine life to your spirit. Now, do you know where to find a living Word? Who is speaking a living Word in this day? It is not found in many of today’s churches. Amos prophesied about the scarcity of the Word in this day. And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the Word of the Lord, and shall not find it. Amos 8:12. Paul spoke the same thing in his epistle to Timothy. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. II Timothy 4:3-4.

Just because someone is preaching the Scriptures doesn’t mean that it is a living Word. The fact that a sermon is doctrinally correct doesn’t make it as living Word, either. It is a living Word when the words spoken are freighted with the life of the Lord. The Word is Spirit and Life. It is the Spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are Life. John 6:63. The language is merely the vehicle that carries the living Word. The Word of God is Spirit and Life! The majority of sermons coming over today’s pulpits are nothing more than man’s opinions of the Scriptures. And they are not only void of life, but, in many cases, they minister death. The letter killeth; but the Spirit giveth life. II Corinthians 3:6.

After you find a living Word, the next step is to learn how to hear it; that is, you must know how to receive it in your spirit so that it can have its perfect work in your life. In the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:4-9,18-23), the seed sown is the living Word. However, the majority of those who were under the ministry of the living Word did not bear fruit. The Word was snatched out of the hearts of some by the wicked one (verses 4,19). Others forsook the Word because of tribulation and persecution (verses 5-6,20-21). The cares of this world choked out the Word in others (verses 7,22). But those who were good-ground hearers brought forth fruit, some a hundred-fold, some sixty, and some thirty (verses 8,23). Jesus finished the parable by saying, Who hath ears to hear, let him hear (verse 9). Only a remnant among those under the ministry of the living Word brought forth fruit. Most of them did not, because they did not have ears to hear. When you consider that at this time the majority of Christians are not yet under the ministry of the living Word, and that among those who are only a remnant are able to receive the Word and bring forth fruit, then you begin to realize how small the remnant of fruit-bearers really is.

Now, let’s return to our text. The Lord said, Incline your ear, and come unto Me; hear, and your soul shall live (Isaiah 55:3). The Lord emphasizes hearing because you must be able to hear the living Word if you are going to come unto Him. God is Spirit (John 4:24). The Word is Spirit (John 6:63), and you are spirit in your body (I Thessalonians 5:23). And it is with your spirit that you must worship and serve the Lord (John 4:23; Romans 1:9). It is absolutely essential for you to learn how to hear the Word with your spirit. If you cannot hear with your spirit, you will not grow spiritually. Just because a person knows the Scriptures doesn’t mean he is able to hear the Word of God. There are many Christians that can quote Scriptures and know the Bible very well who cannot hear the Word and do not know the Lord. The Pharisees were like that. They knew the Scriptures, but they didn’t know the Lord. They could not discern the Spirit of the Word; they only knew the letter of the Word (John 5:37-40). It is good to have a command of the Scriptures, to understand the concepts and principles found there, but the most essential thing is for you to be able to hear what the Spirit is speaking. Can you hear the Spirit-Word riding on the language of the Scripture? That is where the life is found. Learning doctrines from the Scriptures without receiving the Spirit and Life of the Word will result in Phariseeism.

Those who are able to hear the living Word are changing. They are becoming the Word made flesh (John 1:14). This is the way in which the Lord comes forth in His saints to be glorified in them (II Thessalonians 1:10). While many Christians are looking for a rapture to take them to heaven, God is bringing heaven to His people. He is tabernacling with man. Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. Revelation 21:3. And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together grows unto a holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit. Ephesians 2:20-23. Do you want to be a member of this holy temple that God is preparing as His dwelling place? Then you will have to be able to hear the living Word. Incline your ear, and come unto Me: hear, and your soul shall live.

Now, let’s look at verse one of our text, Ho, every one that thirsts, come ye to the waters (Isaiah 55:1). In verse 3 the Lord said, “Come unto Me,” and here in verse 1 He says, “Come ye to the waters.” They are both the same. Revelation 1:15 says that “His voice is as the sound of many waters.” “Come ye to the waters,” then, means to come to His voice – that is, the living Word – and drink of His life. He wants to pour Himself in us, but He can only do that as we take the initiative to drink of His presence. That is the purpose of the living Word, that we might partake of His life. And, as we do, He comes forth within us to be glorified and admired (II Thessalonians 1:10).

Who receives the invitation to drink of the living waters? It is those who are thirsty. Are you thirsty for more of God? Do you want Him to come forth within you? Many Christians are satisfied where they are. They don’t want anymore than what they have.

You can’t drink of the waters if you are not willing to die to self, and there aren’t many willing to go that far. If you are really willing, if you are really thirsty, God will lead you to the waters of life. He will help you find the living Word.

This same invitation to drink of the living waters is given by Jesus Christ. If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. John 7:37-38. When you drink of the living waters, then you also become a source of them, and out of your belly (the inner being of your spirit) will flow rivers of water. The only way to become a minister of the living Word is to drink of the living Word. Memorizing and studying Scriptures with your natural abilities won’t accomplish it. The living Word is Spirit and Life, and you must drink it in with your spirit. It is not an activity of your mind, education, or intellect in any way. You must learn how to drink in the life of the Lord with your spirit. Then, and only then, will you also become a fountain of the living waters. And, only then will the Lord be glorified in you. Hear and drink with your spirit the presence of the Lord!

Copyright © 1997 by Henry DuBose