Streams Of Living Water Flow
October 12, 2010
What Jesus promises in John 7:37,38 is fantastic! He says, “If a man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” Or, His words could be translated instead like this: “If a man is thirsty, let him come to Me, and let him who believes in Me drink. As the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” Either way, only the person that believes in Jesus will decide to drink from Him, and when that person does, he will have streams of living water flow from his inmost being. And we know from verse 39, “By this [these streams of living water] He meant the Spirit.”
So, if someone comes to Jesus in faith, they will drink, and the result will be that Christ’s Spirit (the Spirit of God / the Holy Spirit) will flow in streams out of the person as spiritual living water. And this water will quench the thirst of those who drink from it, and they will continue to the Source Himself from which it flows –Jesus. This is how we are to minister to one another. And it is how we are to minister unto the Lord too. –By letting the streams of living water (the Spirit) flow out of us in praise, prayer, intercession, service, and quoting and proclaiming God’s Word.
Now, if this stream is not flowing –not flowing out of a person– what does that mean? It means that the Spirit is not in control. For if the Spirit is in control of a person, He absolutely desires to flow out, and thus He will! The Spirit is not content to be boxed in, kept hidden, kept on a leash, or left to stagnate. No, such insulting treatment toward the Spirit comes from a rebellious, disobedient heart, and such a one will soon become “like a branch that is thrown away and withers…” (John 15:6)
We’ve all seen people who claim to have the Spirit of God in them, but who do not give forth streams of living water. Sometimes there’s a trickle, and sometimes there’s a stench. The latter is from the sinful nature, and the former is fast headed there. “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows…” (Gal. 6:7) And we know from verse 8 that sowing to please the sinful nature reaps destruction, and sowing to please the Spirit reaps eternal life. It’s one or the other that is pleased: The sinful nature OR the Spirit. Thus the harvest is one or the other: Eternal destruction OR eternal life. As Jesus warns in Matt. 7:19, “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” Good fruit cannot come from sowing to the please the sinful nature. It can only come from sowing to please the Spirit. And if the Spirit is not able to flow out in streams to please God and minister to others in holiness, then the Father will cut off from the Vine (from Jesus) that branch that bears no good fruit. (John 15:1,2 & Matt. 7:17-19)
Is it work to allow the Holy Spirit to flow out of us in streams? No. Streams just flow naturally. To try to dam them up is what takes work! Back when we were kids, we used to make dams across streams so we could catch fish and shrimp more easily as they were better exposed by the water becoming more and more shallow. But the water was usually too strong for us. It’d soon enough push away the rocks and break our dam. It was frustrating, but… –where was the flowing water supposed to go?! It had to go somewhere –for the source was certainly still flowing– and the easiest place for it to go was to “go with its flow.”
This applies to us too. If we really are “in Christ”, we will be continuously drinking from Him. And because we are continuously drinking from Him, His Spirit will be continuously flowing into us and from us. The more we drink, the stronger the flow. No one will be able to dam up our flow; nor would we want a dam erected! Why?! The stream is life! No stream, no life. The fish would die –or get caught and then die. Everything below the dam would dry up. But of course this couldn’t happen unless the source of the flowing water was stopped or redirected.
Same with us. We will flow. It’s a given. Unless, of course, the Source is stopped… if we aren’t going to the Source and drinking in The Water of Life.
How do we go to the Source –this Water of Life? We drink in His words. We listen, we hear, we meditate on, we obey… –His words… –He who is the Word of God. (John 1:1,14 & Rev. 19:13) As Jesus says, “The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and they are life.” (John 6:63) “The Spirit gives life” (same verse), so the supernatural words that are found in God’s Word, the Scripture, become “living and active” (Heb. 4:12) as they are taught to us by the Spirit. (John 14:26 & 1 Cor. 2:10-14 & 1 John 2:27) That is how we drink from Jesus.
Way back in Isa. 55:1-3 God said, “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters… Listen, listen to Me, and eat what is good… Give ear and come to Me; hear Me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, My unfailing kindnesses promised to David…” –the promise of His Spirit which we receive through repentance and trust in Christ Jesus (Acts 2:29-39), and by listening to the Word of God and obeying Him. (5:32)
So, again: Everyone who believes in Jesus will drink from Jesus. It will be a continuous drinking… a continuous abiding in… so that, as Jesus promises, “… he who believes in Me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35) Indeed… for the flow continues from the Source, gives Life to the drinker, and flows right on out –in streams!– to the thirsting world!