Have you ever been thirsty? Really thirsty? I have, but, thankfully, not in the physical sense. I’ve always had access to something to drink. But I have been thirsty spiritually.
Even after becoming a believer in Jesus!
I read verses like the story of Jesus talking to the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4:7-13.
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Jesus said that if I drank the water He gives, I’d never be thirsty again. But I was! What was wrong?
Again, a few chapters later in John 7:37-39, Jesus talks again about living water flowing from within us being the Holy Spirit.
On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them. By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
I still didn’t understand how I could sometimes feel so dry. I had been baptized in the Holy Spirit since the Jesus Movement in the 70’s. Was I not spending enough time in the Word and praying? I know we don’t get “holier” by our actions, and Jesus’ love is perfect, complete, and unconditional. And He has promised to never leave me. So again, Why?
What exactly is “living water?” As I understand it, living water gives life. Brackish water brings parasites, disease, and death. I’ll take living water, thank you very much.
Then, the other day, as I was reading the Gospel of John – in the Passion Translation this time – a truth hit me like a ton of bricks. It was like I’d somehow hit the mark and the bells were going off in my spirit. Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding.
John 7:38 I have read this verse hundreds of times.
Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them. (NIV)
Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ (ESV)
Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’(NLT)
Believe in me so that rivers of living water will burst out from within you, flowing from your innermost being, just like the Scripture says!” (TPT)
They all say basically the same thing, right? But there was a footnote in The Passion Translation that I had never seen before. For those who aren’t familiar with this version, it is translated from the Aramaic – the language Jesus spoke – and it also uses and compares this with the various Greek sources used by most other bible translations.
Here is what the footnote says.
“7:38 [can also be translated as] rivers of living water will flow from his throne within.”
Living water, the water of life, coming from under God’s throne and from where He dwells is mentioned several places in Scripture.
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. (Revelation 22:1 NIV)
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. (Psalm 46:4)
The man brought me back to the entrance to the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar.(Ezekial 47:1)
The question that began to resound in my spirit is this. Who is on the throne of my life? Me, or Jesus? Honestly, I’ve given my life to Him, but I’m sorry to say that too often I’ve been on the throne. I’ve not been seeking His kingdom, but my own. Maybe it’s through being distracted by everyday things to do. Maybe it’s because I’m wanting and expecting Him to do things my way. But whatever reason, when that happens, the living water is reduced to a trickle, and I get thirsty.
We each have a throne inside of us. On it sits the Lord / Ruler / Boss of our life. Who is sitting on that throne? Who oversees our life? Who is the ultimate decision maker? Me, my wants, my dreams, my pleasure, my comfort, my convenience, my reputation? Or Jesus?
Yes, we all have free will, but does our will bow its knee to Jesus? That is the heart of worship. There is a difference between choosing Jesus as Savior, and choosing to make Him Lord.
…no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. (I Corinthians 12:3b)
Living Water flows from the throne of God. Is He on the throne in my heart, my innermost being? Or have I taken the throne back? Do I want to stay thirsty?
So, who is on the throne of your heart? Are you thirsty?
Lord, I’ve been thirsty.
I want You to sit on the throne of my life.
Jesus, You are my Lord and King.
I can trust You to take care of me.
I can trust You to lead and guide me.
You are always faithful.
Use me to accomplish your purposes.
Fill me, Holy Spirit.
I want to be so full of
Your Living Water
That I’m never thirsty.
And so full that I splash on everyone around me.
And when I get thirsty again,
I’ll check who’s on the throne
And declare Jesus is Lord –
Of my life, too.
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