Rivers Of Living Water


J.M. Beatty

John 7:37-39 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. (38) He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (39) (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) (KJV)

We read in these verses that those who thirst for spiritual enlightenment will come to Jesus. These verses also teach that those who believe on Jesus will discover a river of living water flowing out of their bellies. Jesus presented powerful spiritual principles in this truth that should impact our lives on a continual daily basis. Our religious thinking has the tendency to perceive these principles only in the light of our initial salvation encounter with Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

To Thirst

The invitation is clear; if any man thirsts let him come to Jesus. Our spiritual thirst will determine the degree we seek to draw near to Christ. Jesus will meet us at our leave of thirst, but we must first determine to draw near to Him (James 4:8). We must come to Jesus in order to quench our spiritual thirst, but we must come in honest humility not religious dogma.

To Believe

believe - pisteuo (pist-yoo'-o/4100); from 4102; to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), i.e. credit; by implication, to entrust (especially one's spiritual well-being to Christ): KJV-- believe (-r), commit (to trust), put in trust with.

pisteuo- (Thayer Greek/English Lexicon)

1) to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, to place confidence in

a) used of the thing believed, to credit, to have confidence

b) in a moral or religious reference

1) used in the New Testament of the conviction and trust to which a man is impelled by a certain inner and higher prerogative and law of soul

2) to trust in Jesus or God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something: saving faith

3) mere acknowledgment of some fact or event: intellectual faith

2) to entrust a thing to one, that is, his fidelity; to be intrusted with a thing

To believe is much more than a doctrinal confession of faith. It is an act of putting our trust in Jesus, the person, not the latest vogue doctrines.

Living Water Encounter

Please notice that those who put their trust in Jesus will become conduits for the living water of the Holy Spirit. How can living water flow out of our bellies? The belly is a metaphor of what spiritual principle?

belly - koilia (koy-lee'-ah/2836); from koilos ("hollow"); a cavity, i.e. (especially) the abdomen; by implication, the matrix; figuratively, the heart: KJV-- belly, womb.

koilia- (Thayer Greek/English Lexicon)

1) the whole belly, the entire cavity the upper (that is, stomach) and the lower belly are distinguished

2) the lower belly, the lower region, the receptacle of the excrement

3) the gullet, to be given up to the pleasures of the palate, to gluttony

4) the womb, the place where the fetus is conceived and nourished until birth; used of the uterus of animals

5) the innermost part of a man, the soul, heart as the seat of thought, feeling, choice

These definitions clearly indicate that the belly is a metaphor for the innermost part of man, the soul and heart as the seat of thought, feeling and choice.

Deep Water

Prov 20:5 Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out. (KJV)

The book of Proverbs teaches that the counsel of the heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw the deep water out of the well. Lets briefly examine this verse.

Counsel - `etsah (ay-tsaw'/6098); from 3289; advice; by implication, plan; also prudence: KJV-- advice, advisement, counsel (l- [or]), purpose.

`etsah- (Thayer Greek/English Lexicon)

counsel, advice, purpose

deep - `amoq (aw-moke'/6013); from 6009; deep (literally or figuratively): KJV-- (X exceeding) deep (thing).

`amoq- (Thayer Greek/English Lexicon)

deep, mysterious, depths

a) deep

b) unsearchable

The counsel of our heart is our plan and purpose for the life we live. Simply stated, our counsel if our hidden motives. Notice that these counsels are compared to deep water, and the Greek word "Amoq" has the application of being unsearchable. Deep water, in this verse, represents the unsearchable attitudes and motives of the heart.

understanding - tabuwn (taw-boon'/8394); and (feminine) tebuwnah (teb-oo-naw'); or towbunah (to-boo-naw'); from 995; intelligence; by implication, an argument; by extension, caprice: KJV-- discretion, reason, skilfulness, understanding, wisdom.

tabuwn and (feminin e) tebuwnah or towbunah- (Thayer Greek/English Lexicon)

understanding, intelligence

a) the act of understanding; skill

b) the faculty of understanding; intelligence, understanding, insight

c) the object of knowledge

d) teacher (personification)

The person of spiritual wisdom, insight, and understanding will seek to draw out the counsels (true motives and attitudes) of the heart. But this action can be more difficult than imagined.

Unsearchable Heart

Prov 21:2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts. (KJV)

Jer 17:9-10 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (10) I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. (KJV)

Ps 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: (24) And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

No man or woman can know the true spiritual counsel of their heart without the Lord revealing that counsel. Our secret motives and attitudes can only be revealed through relationship with Jesus.

Living Water Impact

Now that we understand the concept of the hidden counsels of the heart, lets consider a simple question.

What impact does God’s living water have on us when we encounter it in our hearts (bellies)?

As living water flows out of our bellies, the water will cause confusion, self introspection, and change in our hearts. Notice that our encounters with the Lord will include the pondering and searching of the true counsels of our heart.

Ps 90:8 Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. (KJV)

Simply stated: As we draw near to the Lord in true spiritual thirst, Jesus will quench our thirst with living water. Our spiritual thirst will be quenched but our secret sin will gradually be exposed by the light of His holy countenance and the living water of the Holy Spirit.

The living water of the Holy Spirit will search our hearts to manifest its true motives and attitudes (counsels). A man of understanding will allow the Holy Spirit to draw out these hidden counsels in order for healing and repentance to occur.

Stagnant Water

The counsels of our heart is like deep water, but deep water can stagnate when it no longer has a fresh flow of living water. We would think that Christians would all thirst for the rivers of living water, but this is not the case. People – Christian or not – do not like change. We become conformable in old religious attitudes, and our comfort zones create stagnant pools of water. Living water brings life to stagnate pools of water by bringing change. But change can cause us discomfort because of the impact the Holy Spirit has on our comfort zones.

Why is it important that I understand the impact living water will have on my heart?

God is doing a new thing at New Hope Christian Fellowship. the welling up of living water being seen in our midst is the first sign we have of living water coming as a river. The new thing that God is doing in our midst will impact our comfort zones, and the living water will expose the true condition of our hidden hearts.

Know My Heart

Living water is coming to our congregation, but the conduit will be through our hearts (bellies). We are the aqueducts of living water, and Prescott Estates will only drink of the living water that we allow to flow through us.

1 Cor 4:4-5 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. (5) Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God. (KJV)

Matt 7:1-5 Judge not, that ye be not judged. (2) For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. (3) And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? (4) Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? (5) Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. (KJV)

We must become men and women of understanding who draw out the deep water of our hidden counsels. We must examine our own hearts before we can be agents of healing to a broken world. It is so important that we confront our own faults and failures before we help hurting humanity confront their sin.

James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (KJV)

We must confess our own faults one to another not acknowledge the faults and failures of other people. When the Holy Spirit exposes personal fault, we often hide our pain by acknowledging the failure of other people. As God brings broken, hurting people into our midst minister to their need out of our own confession.