Have you ever been in a dry, desert or wilderness and seen what happens when there is water from a spring or river? The land closest to the water transforms into a garden oasis. The brown dryness of the desert may surround, but the land around the flowing, life-giving water is lush with vegetation. The water transforms the nature of the landscape.
On a certain occasion, Jesus said to a crowd gathered in Jerusalem for the Festival of Tabernacles, “Whoever believes in Me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow form within them” (John 7:38). Jesus described what will proceed from one connected to Him: rivers of living water. The image He chose had a pointed significance for His audience who understood the impact of living water upon dry lands.
As followers of Jesus, what does the world around us look like? Does life-giving water flow out of our hearts and lives bringing vegetation and signs of life into the dry, parched land around us? Or don’t we see any difference? Does our presence in our world make any difference?
Jesus’ words indicate that the evidence of whether or not we believe in Him is, in part, whether or not rivers of living water flow from us. If we do truly believe in Him, which means we obey Him, then the natural result is rivers of living water flowing from us. You cannot have a desert where living water flows, and the land around it not be transformed.
It is common today for Christians to blame the forces of secularism, the media, politicians, and Hollywood for the decline of religion and morality in the world. This would not be the opinion of Jesus. Jesus’ statement in John suggests that the reason for the dryness, bareness in our world today is because of us.
Water brings life. This is true in the natural world; it’s true in the spiritual world. Jesus said that rivers of living water will flow from those who believe in Him. Our faith in Him evidences itself in the world around us, in the lives we touch. So how is the river flowing from you impacting your world?
Father, help me through my obedient action to demonstrate my faith in Jesus. May life-giving waters flow from me into my world for Your glory. Amen.