On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” John 7:37-38 NRSV
When we go to God in prayer it’s appropriate we ask for the tools we need to live in and for Christ. We talk about being fed, about being filled with the Spirit, to give us what we need to get through the day, or whatever we’re facing in our lives.
Jesus tells us in this passage that our spiritual thirst will be quenched when we come to him. The Holy Spirit, which resides in us, wells up when we surrender our worries and abide in Christ. That’s great news! But, it’s only half – and I’d argue the lesser half – of the great news.
There’s a second part to this verse, and a second part to our relationship in Christ. When we drink of the living waters, when we unlock the Spirit, yes, we are filled. But that fulfillment isn’t the end of the line.
From the heart of the believer – from the one who abides in Christ through the Spirit – flows rivers of living water. Rivers. When we drink of the Spirit, that small act of surrender opens us up like a riverbed, allowing a torrent of the Spirit to flow from God, through us, to a world in need.
God wants us to open our hearts to the Spirit – to drink of the living waters, and to be filled. But, far greater than that gift is the immeasurably more powerful way God desires to work through us, to build His Kingdom. When we drink we are filled. When we drink, and surrender to the flow of the Spirit, and let it take us where it will – then we become a river no earthly obstacle can withstand.
Lord, help us to break down any dam of pride, fear, or greed that is blocking the flow of your Spirit in and through us. Allow us to become an open channel, in which we will not only be filled, but become an unceasing flow of your love into this world. Amen.