Have you ever wondered how we could tap in to the river of living water Jesus promised to believers? In many places today, the people of God seem dry, powerless and spiritually bankrupt. This is in stark contrast to Jesus’ promise of a river of living water we could tap into at any time.
The only condition he mentioned at the time was that we believe in him. Yet many believe and remain dry, wounded and hurting. Some pursue other means to alleviate pain or negative emotions. So where are the living waters we were promised?
“He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38)
I think many Christians are confused about ‘the heart’. Many Christians think prayers in their head and think that is a prayer of the heart. But if we look a little closer, we will see Jesus spoke of something quite different.
Did we invite Jesus into our head or our heart? When that happened, did we feel that experience in our head or somewhere else?
When Jesus spoke of the source of living water he used the word koilia meaning womb or belly or even bowel.
So, in this case, the King James version more accurately translates what Jesus was saying.
“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38, KJV)
If you think about it, this is the location where we engage with life. We talk about having a ‘gut reaction’, a ‘gut feeling’ or ‘feeling gutted’. When we are anxious, we speak of having butterflies in our stomach.
Later on, when John is writing about showing kindness to the poor, he uses the word ‘splagchnon’ meaning spleen, bowels, inward affection, tender mercy, intestines.
“But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart (splagchnon ) from him, how does the love of God abide in him?” (1 John 3:17).
This verse also tells us that we can open or shut this place. This is like a tap we can switch on and off.
It is the place where we feel fear and anxiety. It is the place from which the living water that Jesus promised will flow. But if we have the tap switched to fear or anxiety, it is difficult for the living water to flow. Fear and living water cannot flow at the same time, from the one tap.
Try this exercise: Take your hand and place it on your belly. Close your eyes and think of some really happy memory. Where do you feel the happiness? Now think of a person or situation that tends to give you anxious thoughts. Where are you feeling that anxiety? Isn’t it in the place where your hand is?
Now put those thoughts aside. Keep your hand on your stomach and speak the words of Jesus…
“He who believes in me, out of his belly will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38)
Just focus on where your hand is and open that place fully to Jesus. Let the living water flow. Don’t allow your head to take over, keep your focus on where your hand is. Allow the Holy Spirit to flow and the Father to speak to your spirit.
I have been doing this everyday over the Christmas break and have found this a very helpful thing to do. All we need is in that flow of living water.
Let me know how you get on.