“On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit…” – John 7:37-39
Our family of seven lives in the desert of Arizona. In the desert, the most important thing is to have water. Since the body dehydrates in the dry desert quickly and easily, we make sure that the entire family packs a large water container to take with them each day. When we hike, we make sure to bring with us sufficient water supplies.
On occasion, our hikes take us along rivers up in the mountains. Surrounding the rivers is nothing but a dry and dusty desert. But, wherever the water flows life erupts. Along the river up in the legendary town of Sedona, for example, is one of my favorite family hikes. The air is cooler and the landscape is greener because the water feeds life to everything it touches.
This world is, spiritually speaking, a desert. There is nothing in culture to nourish the life of your soul. Living in this worldly culture, your soul quickly becomes dehydrated–worn out, weary, parched, and thirsty. Jesus promises that those who belong to Him receive a never ending well of life giving flowing spiritual water called the Holy Spirit.
In the Bible and in this world, there are two kinds of people.
Life draining people do not flow with life in the Spirit and as a result take life from you rather than put life in you. Throughout John’s gospel we see these people grumbling, arguing, and attacking. They do not bring life because they do not have the life of the Spirit. Being with them is like being in a desert.
Life giving people do flow with life in the Spirit and as a result put life in you. When you are with a life giving person, you can sense that the Spirit flows in them to make them life giving, and flows through them to bring life to others around them. Being with them is like hiking along a cool river shaded by trees as an oasis amidst a desert.
How about you? Are you more life giving or life draining? Do you flow with the Spirit, or live in the desert?
Every time you have something to drink, remember that your soul needs the Spirit at least as badly as your body needs the sip.