Spring up, well, with water
The saints who can sing should help other saints to learn to sing. If our singing is not focused, the spirit of the hymns will not come forth. We should spend much time to learn how to sing hymns so that we can sing at any time and in any place. Singing hymns will cause the brothers and sisters to rise up, and it is not necessary to sing every stanza. For example, we can sing stanza 1 of Hymns, #250 repeatedly: "Spring up, well, with water; / Dig Thou, Lord, completely; / Dig away all barriers / That Thy stream flow through me." When a couple goes home after singing this stanza, they will be able to sing it together at home. Then the husband may ask his wife, "Are you springing up with water?" and the wife may ask the husband, "Are you digging within?" This kind of singing and speaking to one another will stir up and release their spirits.
John 16:8 says, "When He [the Spirit] comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and concerning righteousness and concerning judgment." Our experience upon drinking the Spirit is to see our sinful condition. Feeling sinful and being convicted of sin are proof that the Spirit has entered a person and is working within him. Believers often ask how to be filled with the Spirit. Being filled with the Spirit is not a matter of feeling excitement but of letting the Spirit search us and dig out our sins and shortcomings. If we are willing to receive His shining and to confess and deal with our sins one by one, the Spirit will be able to fill us.
Stanza 3 of Hymns, #250 says, "I will dig by praying, / Dig the dirt entirely, / Thus release the Spirit, / Let the stream flow freely." The dirt in us is sin. As soon as we are saved, the Spirit indwells us; however, He cannot fill us, because we are still full of sin. This can be likened to a glass that cannot be filled with water because it is filled with dirt. The dirt must be emptied out before water can be poured in. The amount of dirt that is removed is the amount of water that can be poured into the glass. Water can fill the glass only when the dirt has been removed. We should ask ourselves whether we have ever thoroughly confessed our sins to the Lord even once.
It was eight years after my salvation that I had a thorough confession of my sins. In 1925 I repented and was saved. I knew that the Holy Spirit lived in me. However, it was not until 1933 that I began to confess my sins daily to the Lord. During that time, when I prayed, I cared for nothing other than confessing my sins. The more I confessed, the more there was to confess. I spent several days and nights confessing my sins until I sensed that I was free from the heavy burden of sin and was assured, refreshed, and uplifted in my spirit. I began to mount up with wings like an eagle (Isa. 40:31); I was full of joy within and could not stop singing and praising. That was an experience of being filled with the Spirit.
There are believers who have been saved for many years but have not had a thorough confession of their sins. It is not that the Spirit does not visit them or shine on them but that they have refused to confess their sins. As a result, they are clogged by the dirt of sin.
I have spent a substantial amount of time before the Lord to consider the condition of the saints. Many saints, experientially speaking, are deadened in their spirit. Merely preaching doctrine is futile to these saints. They must be led to "dig wells." It is not a matter of receiving the Spirit or of the Spirit coming upon them. These saints are closed; their soul is like a fortress, even though they appear to be without sins or problems. Such a condition makes it difficult for the Spirit to flow; thus, they need a thorough digging.
The river of water of life has flowed into us, but it cannot flow through us because we are closed, clogged, and unwilling to open and confess our sins. It is not that we do not have the sense of sin but that we refuse to confess our sins. If we are willing to confess a sin when the Lord shines on it, He will shine on something else for us to confess. If we confess this, He will shine on another item. This can be likened to a house that has not been cleaned for many years. Before it is cleaned, we may not see the dirt, but once we begin to clean it, we discover the filth that is everywhere. The house will look like new only after a thorough cleaning, that is, after all the filth is cleared away. This is the type of cleaning that we need.
Even though some of the saints are in their teens, they have accumulated sins. They profess that the Lord Jesus is their Savior, and they believe that He bore their sins on the cross, but they have never spent time to thoroughly confess their sins. Therefore, they are not living, and they have pushed the Spirit into a small corner so that He cannot move within them. The Spirit has no ground to reign in them. They initially drank the living waters for their salvation, but this water has not become in them a fountain flowing forth as rivers of living water (John 4:14; 7:38). Therefore, even though the Spirit is within them, they are poor and dry because the Spirit does not flow out as rivers of living water.
In order for the Spirit to flow out as rivers of living water, we must have a thorough confession of our sins. There is no other way. The Spirit is waiting for us to confess our sins. It might be that He has been shining on our sins for more than three years, but instead of cooperating with Him, we refuse to confess our sins. When the Spirit comes to us and we sense our sins, we should confess them immediately. This is the work of the Spirit (16:8). We should say, "Lord, forgive me." If we receive more shining, we should continue to confess until we are filled with the Spirit. This is the kind of digging spoken of in Hymns, #250.
In order to be filled with the Spirit, all the dirt within us needs to be dug away. One of our hymns says, "Dig Thou, Lord, completely" and "Dig the dirt entirely" (Hymns, #250). We must ask the Lord to dig us, to dig the dirt entirely. The way to dig is by praying and confessing, that is, by spiritual breathing. The more we pray and confess, the more we empty ourselves and the more we are filled with the Holy Spirit. Then we must continue to pray day by day. Every morning we must go to the Lord, contact the Lord, pray, and spend time in the presence of the Lord. After a certain time the Holy Spirit will be poured upon us. The early disciples prayed steadfastly for ten days (Acts 1:14), and the Holy Spirit was poured upon them, clothing them with power from on high.
In Numbers 21:17 and 18 Israel sang a song to the well: "Spring up, O well! Sing to it!/The well which the leaders dug,/Which the nobles of the people hollowed out/With the scepter and with their staves." (For a hymn on the spiritual significance of digging the well, see Hymns, #250.) According to this song, the well was dug by the leaders and the nobles. Those today who seek after the Spirit and take the lead to dig the well are noble and are leaders.
...Hymns, #250, which is comparatively simple and easy to understand, was written based on Numbers 21:16-17. Stanza three says, "I will dig by praying, / Dig the dirt entirely, / Thus release the Spirit, / Let the stream flow freely." To say that we "will dig by praying" to "release the Spirit" may sound rather strange. It is common that we obtain water by digging a well, but how can we get the Spirit by digging? This matter is both wonderful and mysterious.
Then the Lord showed me that it is not adequate to have life and yet be without the Spirit. From then on I began to speak about the Spirit. At the same time, I also wrote a number of hymns. Under the Lord's leading eighty-five hymns were written within two months. Every morning when I rose up, the first thing I did after I prayed was to write hymns. At that time in my reading of the Bible, the light that came to me was all concerning the Spirit. I came to Numbers 21, which says that when the Israelites were thirsty in their journey, Moses told them to dig the well for water. While they were digging, they sang, "Spring up, O well! Sing to it! / The well, which the leaders sank, / Which the nobles of the people dug, / With the scepter, with their staffs" (vv. 17-18). As a result, they dug out the living water. I received an inspiration from this, seeing that today we also must dig the well. Thus, I wrote Hymns, #250: "Spring up, well, with water; / Dig Thou, Lord, completely; / Dig away all barriers / That Thy stream flow through me."
Dear brothers and sisters, simply speaking, this Spirit has already descended. The second stanza of Hymns, #250 says, "Christ, the Rock, is riven; / Living water's flowing." This Rock is the Lord Jesus, and the living water is the Spirit. Today the Holy Spirit is filling the whole earth. Whenever and wherever anyone would open his heart and his mouth to call, "O Lord Jesus!" there and then the Holy Spirit enters into him whether or not he knows it. This is the experience of our salvation, and this is the gospel of God. The gospel is that God created the heavens and the earth; then He became flesh and passed through death and resurrection to become the Spirit moving on the earth. When you hear the gospel and call on His name, the Spirit enters into you, and you become one spirit with the Lord. Then it is too late for you to change your mind, and you cannot give Him up even if you wanted to. Not only will He not leave you, but He will also be in you to transform you continually.
Many times the Scriptures speak of a fountain, a source, a well of water, a river, or a stream. From the very beginning, in the book of Genesis, to the very end, in the book of Revelation, there is the line of the river, flowing all the time with the living water. The river is in the second chapter of Genesis, and in Exodus 17 this living water flows out of the smitten rock. Then there is the well springing with water in Numbers 21, as we sing in Hymns, #250, "Spring up, well, with water." A well is a fountain of water. The Psalms many times say something concerning the living water, a living stream flowing all the time. There is also the flowing stream in Ezekiel 47. Then, when the Lord Jesus came, He told us that He has the living water which gushes up into eternal life (John 4:14). Christ is the spring of water, and the Holy Spirit is the flowing stream.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States
Numbers Life Study 31, page 234
“In Numbers 21:17, 18 Israel sang a song to the well: “Spring up, well! Sing to it! /The well which the leaders dug, / Which the nobles of the people hollowed out/ With the scepter and their staves. ” (For a hymn on the spiritual significance of digging the well, see Hymns #250. ). According to this song, the well was dug by the leaders and nobles. Those today who seek after the Spirit and take the lead to dig the well are noble and are leaders. ”
Irvine, CA, United States
From The Economy of God, chapter 10:
Forget about your needs, your job, your future, and your circumstances. Only seek the Lord’s presence, and ask Him to bring you into His light. Then follow His light to dig away the dirt in your conscience, heart, mind, will, and emotion. The more you dig away the dirt, the more you will be alive. You will be living, you will be strengthened, and you will be victorious. This is the key to solve your many problems. You must maintain the flow of living water, that is, the fellowship of life flowing freely within you. When the living water flows freely within you, then there is victory. All the problems will be solved spontaneously and even unconsciously. Although you do not know how to solve them, yet they will be solved by the flowing of the living water, the fellowship of life. This flowing of the living water is entirely dependent upon your digging.
Yoncalla, OR, United States
Numbers 21:17 then Israel sang this song: Spring up, oh well! Sing to it! The well, which the leaders sank, which the nobles of the people dug... Footnote: the digging of the well signifies the digging away of the "dirt," the barriers in our heart, so that the Spirit as the living water may spring up and flow freely!
Verse 3 " I will dig by praying,/ Dig the dirt entirely,? Thus release the Spirit,? Let the stream flow freely. " The dirt in us is sin. As soon as we saved, the Spirit indwells in us, however, He cannot fill because we are still full of sin. This can be liken to a glass that cannot be filled with water because it is filled with dirt. Dirt must be emptied out before water can be poured in. The amount of dirt that is removed is the amount of water that can be poured into the glass. We should ask ourselves whether we have ever thoroughly confessed our sins to the Lord even once. (from the book How God becomes Man's Enjoyment, p. 15)