We have been needing rain pretty badly here–the pastures have been about as brown as wintertime–in May!
But God has sent us rain, beautiful rain, to refresh the thirsty ground, to cause the grass to grow, to give the cows something to eat….
The rain God sends to the earth has often been compared to the proclamation of the Word of God. Over and over in Scripture, the Spirit is compared to water. When we look at what the rain does for the earth, we see a figurative picture of what the Holy Spirit of God does for us. Without him, we are dead. Without him, we are fruitless. Without him, we are dry, barren, hard, cracked, broken, heated, and bitter.
But when the Spirit of God breathes on us, we become living creatures; we begin to bear fruit and soften under his application of the Word of God to our hard, cracked hearts. Among many other passages, Scripture says this: “I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. They shall spring up among the grass like willows by flowing streams.” (Isaiah 44:3-4)
This is what happens with us as individuals–but this is also what happens to us as the church. To continue using the analogy of rain, you can water one little clump of grass in a drought, but it will never look as good or be as healthy as when the whole pasture is watered by a thundering downpour.
So it is with us as Christians–we are not created to stand alone and aloof from the rest of the field. God adopted us into the body of his Son and there is our proper place. God promises to care for all his children and one of the means he uses is the church, the assembly of the saints. There he has appointed the means of grace–there he has appointed the preaching of the Word, through which the Spirit works–there he has appointed the deeply watering rain that refreshes our souls and strengthens us for the drought of the following week. Let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, for his name’s sake.