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, whom those who believed in Him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not glorified. John 7:37-39
Jesus was in His last six months of ministry on the earth. He was in Jerusalem for the Feast of Booths. The arguments about who He really was began to get more intense. Some people said that Jesus was a good man, others said that He led people astray. Jesus taught in the Temple that His authority was from God and asked them why they sought to kill Him. The crowd accused Him of having a demon while the chief priests wanted to arrest Him.
In the middle of all of the debates and questions, Jesus stood up in the middle of the arguing crowd and shouted out a question that cut straight to the heart: “Is anybody thirsty?” In other words, ‘you can argue and write Me off, but who will fix the hole in your hearts?’ We could ask the same question today. Many people say they believe in God, but when you start to talk about Jesus, or even use His name, people either argue, change the subject or tell you that you can’t say His name.
But to the few who are aware of their desperate spiritual condition, the bankruptcy of their lives, or their dissatisfaction with filling the holes in their hearts with stuff, drugs, or alcohol, money, even with busyness, this is the answer that they are looking for. To them Jesus says, “Come to Me and rivers of living water will flow from your heart.”
That river of living water is the Holy Spirit, which believers receive at their new birth. He comes and fills us and plugs those holes. The Christian life is a process of turning to God to meet our emotional needs rather than some poor substitute that ends up being bad for us in some way. It is also a process to learn to walk in the Spirit, to seek Him to empower you and to overflow in you to others.
Let God do His work in your heart. Begin each day asking that the Holy Spirit would be alive and active in your life, naming the activities that are ahead of you. Give them to God and ask Him to give you the power to obey Him, listen to His voice, and then victoriously and joyously go forth.
This isn’t just for new believers! Are you thirsty? Do you need God to do something that you can’t do? Are you calling out for God to work because you see the darkness getting darker and the pull of the world growing so strong you can barely stand it? Call out to Jesus to fill you with living water each day that fills your innermost being so that you are filled up and then you are actually overflowing with joy, with the Spirit, and with the power of God to speak into dry bones.
I am thirsty! Give me a fresh power and awakening that comes from God’s Holy Spirit.