The heart of every person on the globe senses a deep lack of fulfillment, a sense that there’s got to be more to life. This is a universal thirst that affects everyone. You’ve been built with it; it was created in you. Romans 8:20 tells us that the creature was made subject to emptiness by design of the Creator Himself. God created us with this emptiness so that we might reach out to Him and find a meaningful relationship with Him. It is the only way to fulfillment.
That is why Jesus cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink” (John 7:37). This is the essence and the heart of the Gospel in a very brief and beautiful form. Jesus is the answer to man’s thirst. He is the only One who can satisfy our thirst for God. He is the only One who can bring fulfillment and completion. He is in essence saying, “In the deepest part of your being you need God. Come to Me!”
And what did He say would result from accepting His offer? “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38).
The original Greek text here is far more dynamic and intense than the King James Version indicates. The word translated flow in Greek is actually the word gush, while the word translated rivers is the Greek term for torrent. So a better translation would be, “Out of his innermost being there will gush torrents of living water.” The King James might cause us to picture a gentle stream trickling quietly through the woods, but the original Greek pictures a mighty deluge cascading down a mountain gorge.
At this point, John departs from the Savior’s words to comment, “But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (John 7:39).
Why is it crucial for you to realize that the Spirit wants to flow forth from you as a mighty, gushing torrent and not merely as a gently bubbling stream?
The Lord is never satisfied with the subjective work of the Spirit within us. He never intended that the Spirit be kept bottled up within us to bless us. His objective is always that you and I be the instruments through which the Holy Spirit might flow forth to the needy world around us. It is crucial for our service to God that the Spirit be released as a mighty, gushing torrent.
God’s Spirit wants to use you and me to bring the love of God to others. He wants His Spirit to flow like a torrent of living water out of our lives and into the lives of those who have yet to quench their thirst at the fountain of God. ©1996, 2001 and 2007 Chuck Smith
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version.
Taken by permission from “Living Water,” by Chuck Smith, published by The Word for Today, Santa Ana, California.
Chuck Smith (1927-2013) was pastor of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and the founder of the Calvary Chapel movement, which now numbers more than 1,700 churches around the world.