Recently I read the Silver Chair— one of the Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis–with my daughter. In one of the opening scenes of the book a young girl named Jill finds herself desperately thirsty, in an unknown land. Hearing the sound of running water draws her to a stream, where she discovers to her dismay that a large, awe-inspiring lion is lying next to the water. She fears to approach the lion, but her thirst compels her forward. The Lion begins to speak.
“If you are thirsty, you may drink.”…the voice was not like a man’s. It was deeper, wilder, and stronger; a sort of heavy, golden voice. It did not make her any less frightened than she had been before, but it made her frightened in rather a different way.
“Are you not thirsty?” said the lion.
“I’m dying of thirst,” said Jill.
“Then drink,” said the lion.
“May I – could I – would you mind going away while I do?” said Jill.
The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience.
The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.
“Will you promise not to – do anything to me, if I do come?” said Jill.
“I make no promise,” said the Lion.
Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.
“Do you eat girls?” she said.
“I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms,” said the Lion. It didn’t say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.
“I daren’t come and drink,” said Jill.
“Then you will die of thirst,” said the Lion. [Excerpt from The Silver Chair, by C.S. Lewis.]
When we think about the role of the Holy Spirit, as described in the Bible, we often feel like Jill. We are thirsty for the presence of God in our lives; we know that the Holy Spirit is that Person of the Trinity that brings God close to us, even to indwell us. We long to know God more deeply and be satisfied more fully in Him, but, the reality of God, so near, so powerful, so completely Divine, so….untame, causes us to hesitate.
What if the Holy Spirit begins to do in my life the kinds of things He accomplishes in the Scriptures? What if the overwhelming reality of God, infinite and all powerful, yet present within me, shakes and shatters my comfortable view of the Christian life. After all, God present within might mean, will mean, that any number of supernatural experiences lay ahead in my life. Yet, this is the role of the Holy Spirit as described in God’s Word. So, like Jill we must face the awesome truth. Without the Holy Spirit, we will not know and enjoy the fellowship with God we were made for. Therefore, we must drink of the fullness of God through the Holy Spirit, lest we die of spiritual thirst.
So, let us go the Scriptures, let us acknowledge his work and his centrality, and, if we are thirsty, let us come and drink.