On the last day of the feast known as the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus stood up and cried out after the processional led by a priest carrying a golden pitcher of water drawn from the Pool of Siloam was poured on the base of the altar:
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 yet glorified.
What strikes me about Jesus’ words is that he issues an invitation to anyone who is thirsty.
Secondly, he is offering a free gift; no price tag except to come and drink; no suggestion that this drink must be earned… simply come if you are thirsty.
So that begs the question. Are you thirsty?
The eternal drink is for those who are thirsty and the promise is that out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.
At the expense of your thinking that I am not in my right mind, I want to tell you about an experience I had many years ago when I was pregnant with my second child. I had never attended a Bible study but my mother and I decided to go to one in a nearby church together. The priest prayed for me a simple prayer one day:
Lord, I pray that you will release your Spirit in Joanne.
Pretty innocuous prayer right? Not so. That night, I woke up with a sensation in my arms and legs that felt as though water were running in my veins. Now don’t leave me just yet. I am a pretty sane person (sometimes). The sensation that I felt went on all night. Since I was pregnant and near my due date I called my husband who was on call at the hospital describing what I was feeling. He reassured me this was not labor (what does he know about labor anyway, right?!!) And of course I knew this was not labor; I just did not know what it was. A few weeks later I was in the hospital after delivering my baby girl (named aptly Hope) and the priest came to visit me. I told him what happened after he prayed for me and He opened the Scripture to John chapter 7:
And out of his heart/inner most being will come rivers of living water.
I knew in that moment that the Lord Jesus had released His living water– His Spirit upon me. Why?
Because I was thirsty.
I would not presume to build doctrine on my experience, however I can assure you that it was real. And why not?
God is real. And he is still at work in our lives today. From that day until now, I have been thirsty and pursuing the Lord. Perhaps He knew that for me it would take an experience that was so undeniable real that I would continue to go to the well of His Presence.
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