June 12, 2016

The Holy Spirit as Water

John 7:37-39

“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”

—  John 7:38

Here’s some sound advice: Drink more water. A person can live for 60 days without food, but can’t survive three days without water. We must have water to live. We all know how a plant can droop and die without water. How much more our physical bodies!

The New Testament uses water as an image of the Holy Spirit. On the last day of the Festival of Tabernacles, the setting described in John 7, a priest would use a golden pitcher to draw water from the Well of Siloam and pour it out at the foot of the altar while worshipers sang the Hallel of praise and thanksgiving from Psalms 113-118. On this particular occasion in John 7, over the din of the crowd, Jesus announces the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

“Rivers of living water” represent the Holy Spirit’s presence and power poured out on Jesus’ followers. The Spirit’s presence points to his cleansing and sanctifying work in the hearts of God’s children. The Spirit’s power points to the spiritual ability to know, follow, and glorify Jesus and to participate in his coming kingdom. The Spirit’s presence and power flow out of the believer’s heart like water in a parched world.

By all means, for your physical health, drink more water. But for eternal health, accept the refreshing spiritual presence and power of the Holy Spirit in your life today and always.

Holy Spirit, fill our lives with your presence and power today, so that your love may flow from our hearts like streams of water in a dry and thirsty land. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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