A river runs through you!

Around here we don’t worry much about drought, on occasion we will be told to not water our lawns, or to burn, but that is normally about as bad as it gets.

We love to watch water, it is so soothing to sit at Ohio Pyle, on stop on the bike trail and watch the river, or sit at the ocean and watch the waves.

We do take water for granted I think, as I have traveled around the world, I have come to appreciate being able to go to the tap and turn it on and water comes out, water that you can actually drink.

In ancient Israel, water was a precious commodity. A well was a place cities and villages were built around to fill in someone’s well was to destroy the community. A drought could decimate a nation. God was known to use water as a blessing or to hold it back as a means of bringing people to repentance.

Where would we be today without water? I have fasted for 51 days without food but I am not sure I could go more than a few days without water.

The people of this world can not survive without water either, but water of a different kind that the Lord has given each one of us and we are to allow it to flow from us just like the river or the ocean.

If we don’t realize we have it nor understand how it flows, we can’t affect others and what maybe worse is we live a life below our potential

Jesus met the Samaritan woman at a well, the community had built up around the well and it survived because of the well. The power of natural water is limited the water Jesus offers that we have inside is unlimited…here is what Jesus said

John 4:14

Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”

There is a difference between dead water and living water. Dead water was water that was stored or was standing water like water in a pot or in a well. Living water referred to fresh water that came from streams, rivers, or rainfall. There were no rivers in Samaria so the woman was doubly perplexed. Jacob had to dig a well because there were no streams and where is Jesus going to get this living water.

The taste and sweetness of living water versus the stagnate water of the well was very appealing to the woman. 

Jesus promise here is two-fold one for her and one for all those around her.

First, if we like the woman at the well are willing to drink then we will be refreshed with this sweet water that bubbles up from inside us. We don’t make it bubble it just does because it is God’s work in us. There is no striving or work to make it happen just simply surrender on our part and staying close to the source and these living refreshing, sweet waters like a fountain will bubble out of you.

Second is reflected just in that…if this water is bubbling like a fountain out of us then it will naturally splash on all of those who are near, refreshing them, filling them, giving them new life. This is one of the reasons I have shared with you that no Christ follower should ever be miserable. You should have these fountains flowing out of you because you are staying close to the source, He fills you with his Spirit and the fruit of that is this fountain of life….

So, is it hard to get this fountain of life bubbling up in you and pouring through you? What did Jesus say….

John 7:37,38

Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “ If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”

Jesus is in the temple on the last day of the feast of booths, this was the driest part of the year, a ceremony was done throughout the feasts where the priests poured water over the altar and cried “all who are thirsty, come and drink” This being the last day of the festival the ceremony was repeated 7 times and the priest cried aloud seven times…..Jesus then says if you are dry, if you want to be refreshed, if you want life, the believe in me….

When he says, “believe in me,” he is not saying just acknowledge me….the Bible tells us even the demons and Satan believe. What he is saying is stay close to me, keep me as your source, live a Christ-filled life and out of our relationship as you are then filled with the Holy Spirit will come Rivers of living water.

What happens when something is in the way of a river? One of two things happens, either the river finds a way around it, or the river overcomes it and it is no longer seen.

As you allow this river of God’s Spirit to flow and I say it is God’s spirit pouring through you because John tells us that it is…

John 7:39

(When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)

This same river, if you will stay close to Him and be filled with the Spirit, will over come every obstacle. The Lord will either show you a way around it or you will go through it…Remember this verse from Isaiah 43:2

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”

But this theme is repeated in the New Testament as each writer assumes that every believer is filled with the Spirit.

Jesus said…

John 16: 33

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

John said….

1 John 5:4,5

For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 

John 1:5

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (Jesus called us the “light of the world”)

1 John 4:4

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

Paul said….

1 Corinthians 15:57

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 8: 35, 37-39

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This River, fountain Jesus promised will bubble up inside of you, flow through you, not only for your good but the good of every person in your life right now and in the future.

This river doesn’t care about the news, the latest decisions in Washington or Harrisburg. This river isn’t limited in anyway accept by your choosing to stay close to the source.

Is the Lord concerned about what happens in our homes, neighborhood, state, nation and world? Yes, but similar problems were going on in Israel at the time and he dealt with it by bringing life to all who would come and they in turn brought life to all around them.

Many have grown weary, some have fallen away, others are a train wreck, but ladies and gentlemen if we will but believe Jesus’ words, not mine, but His, we can overcome today and in everyday, regardless of what comes down the road.

You can choose to remain fearful, panicked, miserable, suspicious, under siege, feeling out of control or you can choose to have life bubble out of you, a river flow through you that refreshes you daily and others.

But it is up to you….

A successful Christian is not measured by their whining, fear, melancholy, misery but by their freedom despite chains, their joy despite the condition, their love despite being surrounded by hate.

Life is very frustrating right now, life can be very fearful right now, life can be very miserable right now or it can be freeing, joyful, full of love and life but you must surrender to the source and stay close to Him.

If you do rivers of life, fountains of freedom will flow through you, setting you free, and bring freedom to others as well!