Anyone who believes in Me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.' John 7:38
If you have been following along with our daily devotions lately, you may recall my rather embarrassing confession that I love coffee so much that often I forget to drink water in the mornings. This realization, you might assume, has helped me to correct my not-so-great coffee habit and drink more water. Well, I am currently staring at a full cup of coffee that is ready to be consumed and an empty cup that should be filled with water. And, of course, I am thirsty! You see, it is not enough for me to know I need water, I have to actually fill up my cup and drink the water in order to quench my thirst.
We've been talking this week about the fact that only Jesus can quench our thirst and satisfy our deepest needs. My concern is that you and I may know that only He can satisfy and quench our thirst, but not change the way we live our lives. You see, even though we know we must look to Him for fulfillment, we will always be tempted to continue to chase other things. Because, the truth is, we must actually "drink" from the living water He offers in order to be truly changed.
In John seven, Jesus was teaching during the Feast of Tabernacles. This was a celebration where the Israelites acknowledged how God brought them out of slavery in Egypt to Israel and how He provided food, water, and shelter for them along the way. At this festival, Jesus declared that He would provide living water for anyone who came to Him. Some believed Him, but many did not. Don't miss this: these people were celebrating God's provision for them, yet many of them were missing God's ultimate provision. They knew Scripture, and they were in the presence of Jesus, yet many of them missed Him. Most of them were looking for a big political leader for Israel. They were looking for a kingly person. They were a little bit like me, knowing I needed water, yet still drinking coffee.
Friends, I urge you, do not take your cue from those Israelites who were looking for a political leader and ruler rather than a suffering servant, Jesus. They should have known better! By now, I'm sure you understand that the only One who you can turn to for fulfillment is Jesus. However, it's not enough to just know that He alone satisfies. Much like I have to put water in my cup and drink it, you must turn and look to Him to satisfy you.
Do you remember the last time you were on fire for God? Reading Scripture was a privilege rather than a chore. You could not stop telling others about Him. You were praying for others to know Him, too. Then, perhaps you lost focus. You began to stop spending time with Him and turning to other things to fulfill you. Now, you find yourself thirsty and dry. He can renew your heart. Spend time journaling today, asking God to consume your heart again. Tell Him you know only He provides living water. If you are in a place in your relationship with God where you are on fire for Him, write out some ways you can continue to stay there. Praise God for being your source of living water.
Read John 7:37-44 (NLT)
On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” (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.)
When the crowds heard him say this, some of them declared, “Surely this man is the Prophet we’ve been expecting.” Others said, “He is the Messiah.” Still others said, “But he can’t be! Will the Messiah come from Galilee? For the Scriptures clearly state that the Messiah will be born of the royal line of David, in Bethlehem, the village where King David was born.” So the crowd was divided about him. Some even wanted him arrested, but no one laid a hand on him.