A few years back while visiting Israel, our guide told us about the water crisis that is affecting the Middle East. Water shortages can create havoc because water is considered the most precious commodity.
Israel has a rainy season and a dry season much like most of the world. During the rainy season, Israel is vivid green and fertile, but during the dry season, the hills look barren and brown. The Israelites talked of living water: “Mayim chaim.” This referred to water in the form of rain or flowing from a natural stream coming directly from God. It contrasts the water from the Dead Sea. You can float in the dead sea because of the high salt content, but you can’t drink it as it’s poisonous.
Jesus identified Himself as “Living Water” in John 7:37-38: On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let everyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” In this powerful statement, Jesus was identifying Himself as the same God as that of the Old Testament. Jesus made this statement at the Festival of Tabernacles. This was a celebration where the Jewish people would remember how God had taken care of them in the wilderness (Leviticus 23:39-43). On the last day of the festival, a specially appointed priest poured water from a golden pitcher over a rock, symbolizing God’s divine provision of water that gushed from the rock in the wilderness (Numbers 20:9-11). While the priest poured, trumpets blasted and choirs formed a procession, singing praises to the Holy One of Israel. Crowds of people marched and sang sections from the Psalms.
As we think of Jesus’ invitation to drink from Him as our living water, let us ask the question, what exactly is Jesus promising?
He Is Promising the Power of His Indwelling Spirit. When Jesus lived on earth, He told His disciples that it was better for them if he went away (John 16:7). How on earth could it be better for the disciples if Jesus left them? The secret lies in the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised that when He went away, He would leave His Spirit. For those who come to Christ, He gives the promise of the indwelling Spirit. Imagine! You have a 24/7 journey mate as you live out your life here on earth. Often I find believers forget that they don’t have to do their Christian walk alone. They strive to be better and to accomplish some form of righteousness. Here’s the thing: you cannot do your Christian walk alone. You need the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit to teach you truth and guide you in righteousness. Tucked within this declaration of Jesus is the promise of rivers of living water flowing out of us. In other words, the power of the Holy Spirit flowing out of our lives. When we are in alignment with God, the power of the Holy Spirit will flow unhindered from our lives.
He Is Promising Refreshment. Jesus never promised us an easy life. Case in point: Look at what’s happening in Ukraine. The other day I was visiting a friend who had discipled some women in Ukraine. She showed me emails and photos of women Bible study leaders hiding in houses as they seek to leave the country. What was remarkable was that these women were at peace. Even as war has been breaking out, the living water of Christ has been refreshing their souls. They are trusting in the abiding presence of Christ. The Psalmist referenced this refreshment when He wrote, “He makes springs pour water into the ravines” (Psalm 104:10). Friend, rest assured, even in the deep and dark ravines of life, Christ pours out refreshment from the living water gushing out of our lives.
He Is Promising Daily Renewal. As we continually come to Him daily, moment-by-moment, to meet our needs – He pours living water through our souls. We are renewed in Him. Our strength is renewed and our minds are renewed. The Apostle Paul wrote about the renewing of our minds in Romans 12:1-2. In other words. our minds need a reset daily. When we come to the fountain of living water, our minds are washed and purified and reset to follow Jesus more closely. Each of us needs to renew our minds constantly. Every day our thinking is assaulted by the news, by systems of thought contrary to God’s Word, and by the discouraging voice of the enemy. As we come to the source of living water, our thinking is refreshed and cleansed.
Friend, the promise of living water is profound. Pause a moment. No matter what’s going on in your life, pray:
Lord Jesus, thank you for the promise of living water. Holy Spirit, bring my heart into perfect alignment with yours so that out of my life gushes springs of living water. May I continually come to you for refreshment and renewal.