John 7:37-39 – “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 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.” NKJV
There is more that could be said that I have the time, space or even ability to say so let’s focus on that which is overflowing in my heart today. Jesus addressed a thirsty crowd and His choice of words for in the ritual and celebration of the feast we have the water pouring ceremony and to a people of an arid region, the often scarcity and preciousness of water was on everyone’s mind. The people understood that the water pointed to the Messianic Age and the Hebrews longed for the coming Messiah. Jesus took their quest for the Messiah to drive home a powerful message. They were observing water poured by the priest and no matter how pronounced we make that flow it is still incredibly limited. It was symbolic but Jesus cries out something that went beyond any dream they could have short of the Messianic Age’s arrival.
Jesus cried out, “If you want God as a constant in your life and are, as David cried, like the small deer that is panting for God like the deer at the watering places then here is the path to that reality. If you are thirsty, truly thirsty and consumed with desire for God then here is the means whereby you can climb that pinnacle and have that which you are longing.” The solution is JESUS! If we want what He is offering the two things must transpire: Come to Him in repentance and faith and receive His Lordship and then Drink. It is one thing to believe something real and another to embrace it so completely in your heart, mind, and life that you become one with it. That is what He is speaking of. He is identifying thirst that compels one to action.
The promise that Jesus gave was that if they did this then the Living Water of God would, like an artesian well that would be a continual flow and the most natural picture was a river. This spiritual flow from within the core of the being would be constant, consistent and continual. The Bible says it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks and Jesus is talking about a heart that is so completely one with Him that only that life can proceed.
Then He explained how this could be and as John tells us, this was a reference to the Holy Spirit who was to be given in the days to come. That time could not come until Jesus went to the Cross, rose from the dead and ascended to the Throne of Heaven Glorified. Then the reality of Acts would be introduced in this world to believers. The Holy Spirit’s indwelling in the heart and life would produce a continuous flow of God’s Living Water.
I have people tell me they are filled with the Spirit but their lives are in shambles, out of their mouths proceed blessing and cursing and rather than manifesting Christ they manifest carnality. I cannot believe that is the Holy Spirit for it is inconsistent with the Scripture and most assuredly inconsistent with this passage. The Holy Spirit is our comforter and teacher, not our confuser! He takes the deep things of God and communicates them to us and as His name declares He is Holy! If anything comes from Him but that which is Holy He is no longer Holy and not the Spirit of God. So, if things are flowing out of your heart or mouth that is not consistent with the Living Waters of God I suggest that you and I find an altar and once again lay our hearts on it asking God to let the river flow in our lives. I long for the river!
May God be with you as you go through this day!