If you grew up after the war in Australia or another English speaking country, you may remember a conversation like this.“Mummy, where do babies come from?”
“Babies come from Mummy’s tummy.”
Of course we know that the tummy or stomach is for digesting food and babies grow in the womb, or uterus, a totally different thing.
But in all three languages of the Bible, Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic, there is an interesting word which can be correctly translated as stomach, belly or womb.
But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. John 7:39 (NKJV)
The word BELLY is the translation of the Greek KOILIA.
The equivalent Hebrew word is BETEN. When Jesus spoke these words in the temple, He may have been speaking Aramaic.
The Aramaic Bible uses the word: K'aRSeH, which can also mean BELLY or WOMB. These words are often interpreted figuratively as HEART or INMOST BEING.
But in the spiritual realm it is a different story.Jonah went down into the belly of the great fish or whale. When he came out of the fish’s belly, it was like a resurrection. The belly of the fish was like the womb giving birth to a new man.
The satisfaction of hunger and thirst sustains life. This is the function of the BELLY, to convert food and drink into life, to keep us alive and refresh us.
But the function of the WOMB goes further. The WOMB is the place where a seed sown grows into new life until a new person emerges. The stomach sustains life but the womb reproduces and multiplies life.
The inmost being of every born again Christian believer is potentially both a spiritual stomach and a spiritual womb. In this spiritual dimension there is no male or female. God desires to fill us with the Living Water of His Spirit to nourish, sustain and refresh us but He desires more. God fervently desires to satisfy our thirst but then to take us further, to make us bearers of new life for others.
To hunger and thirst for new life and refreshment in your own soul is not selfish. It is essential. But it is not enough. God wants his people to be like healthy young mothers, reproducing, multiplying, bringing new born again believers into the world.
The conversion of unbelievers is the birthing of new life. Nothing is more wonderful than the restoration of a sinner to the heart of the Father in Heaven.
But evangelism is not the only way to birth a work of God’s Spirit.
To sing an inspired song, write a book or paint a picture with God requires a joining together of the Spirit of God with the human spirit in an intimate connection like a husband and wife producing a new person.
Every work of faith involves the bearing of living fruit, like giving birth to a child.Have you been feeling tired and heavy lately? Maybe you need to stop struggling in your own strength. Get filled with the Spirit who can produce new life in you and then through you.
Or can it be that you are heavily pregnant in the Spirit?
Do you have a vision for a ministry, a mission, a book, a business, a child, a family revived and restored, a move of the Spirit in your city?
You may feel heavy because the baby is nearly due.
Christmas and New Year are seasons of New Birth, New Life, New Beginnings. Some of you are in labour now and your dream or vision is about to be transformed from faith into sight.