John 7:38-39, “38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them. 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.”
Can you imagine being alive during the time of Jesus when He spoke these powerful words? The Jewish people were celebrating the “Feast of Booths,” which was a festival to remember the time of wandering in the desert in tents. On the last and greatest day of the festival, they had a tradition of pouring out water on the altar in Jerusalem and would proclaim Isaiah 12:3, “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”
While this water was running down the altar Jesus stood up and said the verses above for all to hear. He was basically saying, “Your time of wandering in a spiritual desert is over, I will now make you the temple of God and flow the rivers of the Spirit through you and you will never be thirsty again!” Jesus was teaching them the principle of “in and through.” What God was going to do in them was going to go through them.
The Holy Spirit was given to us, to go through us. Just like how a river flows water to a certain location and changes the places it goes through; God wants His rivers to flow to you and through you, changing the world around you!
The first purpose of the rivers of living water in our souls is to refresh and satisfy our inner thirst. Everyone is looking for true satisfaction that is only found in the rivers of God. Second, not only do rivers provide drinking water for the people around them, but they also provide power. People for generations have been utilizing the power of water with such things as water wheels and dams. The Romans and surrounding people in the Mediterranean used water wheels in their mills to grind flour. Today, the Hoover Dam, built around the Colorado River, can produce more than 4 billion kilowatt hours in just one year! That much power from just one river is capable of serving over 1 million people for 365 days. Now try to imagine the spiritual power God’s rivers (plural) can produce in your life and the world around you!
God’s rivers flow from heaven to our spirit, in our soul (mind, will and emotions) and lastly, they go through our body to the people around us. Since the early 1900’s, the Pentecostal movement has been used to flow God’s rivers across the world, now with over 500 million adherents. But it started in America with unknown leaders holding services in a house and then in an old horse stable.
Read an eyewitness account of what happened during that time, at what was known as the Azusa Street Revival, as recorded by Eddie Hyatt; “The power of God now has this city agitated as never before. Pentecost has surely come and with it the Bible evidences are following, many being converted and sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost, speaking in tongues as they did on the day of Pentecost. The scenes that are daily enacted in the building on Azusa Street and at Missions and churches in other parts of the city are beyond description, and the real revival is only started, as God has been working with His children mostly, getting them through to Pentecost, and laying the foundation for a mighty wave of salvation among the unconverted.”
Remember, Jesus never considered the Spirit-filled life an “optional upgrade,” it was and is His best life for all disciples. I challenge you today to be filled to overflowing with the Spirit’s rivers of living water!
- Ask God to fill you with His rivers of living water.
- Receive the refreshing rivers of God’s love and salvation, as well as the power that comes from their flow.
- Let God’s rivers of living water flow through you to the world around you!