I can see why the pillars of the religious establishment were at their wits’ end. A good crowd had come to town for this festival, but now that fellow was standing out there shouting, “Is anyone thirsty? Then come to me, believe in me. Rivers of living water will flow out of your heart.” Can you imagine the scene?
Just who did he think he was, anyway?
Well, they knew who he thought he was. And that was the thing that really upset them.
Once we stop chasing mirages and we find the true fountain of life, the real oasis in the desert, an amazing, miraculous thing happens. That Source comes to us and we become a part of Him.
Isn’t that astounding?
These rivers of living water that God promises to refresh and revive His children — this is not for our sake alone, it is also so that we become conduits of that water.
Jesus said He was the light of the world; then He turns around and tells those who follow Him that they are the light of the world. He said He was the living water; then He says that once we come to Him and drink, the living water will overflow, gushing out of us.
Why flowing OUT of our hearts?
Why not just “bubbling up” or “filling up” or even “overflowing” ?
No, He said “flowing OUT.”
Could it be that our refreshment is also meant to flow out to others?
Many people believe that when Jesus was talking about streams of living water, He was talking about the Spirit of God living within us. The true fountain of life. The real oases in the desert. Living right with us, to slake our thirst in parched land, to revive us when we are ready to collapse from exhaustion.
I believe that’s what Isaiah is referring to when he talked about drinking from the fountain of salvation. With joy you will drink deeply. (Isaiah 12:3).
He lives right here with us. Our own oasis of refreshment is never too far away. Only a prayer away: “Revive me, Lord.”
And then, the living waters not only revive us but also pour forth to refresh fellow pilgrims trudging wearily through their own deserts.
I lie in the dust;
Revive me by your word.
MORE on God’s promise of refreshment: Psalm 23:2,3a; Psalm 34:18; Psalm 63:1; Psalm 85:5-7; Psalm 103:5; Psalm 107:4-9; Psalm 119:49-50; Psalm 119:81-82; Isaiah 12:3; Isaiah 35:4-7; Isaiah 41:17-20; Isaiah 44:3; Isaiah 49:10; Isaiah 55:1; Isaiah 58:11; Jeremiah 2:13; Jeremiah 6:16; Jeremiah 17:7-8; Matthew 11:28-30; John 4:10-13; John 7:37-39; Acts 3:19, 20