“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. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ 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 7:37,38)
Our house was the first on a dead end lane. Every so often the neighbors would put a little cash together and purchase red dog slag to cover the lane. Red dog made learning to ride a bike a bit tough (ouch!) Another thing about our slag lane was the sooner-or-later holes that appeared due to the wear-and-tear of the traffic. Those craters would then become mud puddles after a rain. Drivers (grownups) didn’t appreciate the puddles, but us kids did. They were good for stomping in, splashing a bicycle through, or even floating homemade boats across. But in truth, those puddles served little purpose. They just held a bit of water for a time and then dried up.
Christians and puddles don’t do together. Christians are to be streams that flow into the crooks and crannies of our world and bring forth life where there is only barrenness. The Lord says, “The poor and the needy seek water, but there is none, their tongues fail for thirst. I the Lord, will hear them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.” (Isaiah 41:17) He then promises to make rivers, fountains, pools and springs in desolate places. If physical thirst is satisfied by His hand, how much more is He willing to satiate spiritual thirst? And by what means does He do so? Us. “He who believes in Me, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
Oswald Chambers says, “If we believe in Jesus, it is not what we gain, but what He pours through us that counts. It is not that God makes us beautifully rounded grapes, but that He squeezes the sweetness out of us. Spiritually, we cannot measure our life by success, but only by what God pours through us, and we cannot measure that at all.” (My Utmost for His Highest)
We speak often and think much in terms of our being servants of the Most High who serve Him in word and in deed. And that we be and do. But the better picture is one where we appear as rivers, fountains, pools and springs from where the Holy Spirit flows freely to others. And indeed, that we are to be and do. Our call is to always be available to God so that He can pour His Spirit through us and give ‘living water’ to the thirsty. And as Chambers tells us, when we do so – “hundreds of other lives will be continually refreshed. It is time now to break the life, to cease craving for satisfaction, and to spill the thing out. Our Lord is asking who of us will do it for Him?”
Far too many of us Christians spend far too much time being puddles, taking in, holding, then drying up. Let this not be so. Instead, let us be those rivers of living water.