John 7:37-39 On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. – NIV
Jesus was referring to Ezekiel’s vision in Isaiah 47 where he talks about the life-giving river of living water flowing out of the temple down into the dead sea. The river of living water Jesus was talking about is his Holy Spirit and the gospel of Christ. The river is flowing out of believers because believers are soon to be the temples of the Holy Spirit and the trees along the river also represent his believers.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple. – NIV
Psalm 1:3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. – NIV
Isaiah 61:3 They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. – NIV
Revelation 22:1 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 – NIV
According to Ezekiel 47 and these other scriptures, the Holy Spirit flows from the throne of God and Christ and through us (if we are positioned correctly in his will). The Spirit flows from within us, as temples of the Holy Spirit, into the world.
We Must Drink of the Living Water from Jesus
We do this by obeying Jesus’ first command by loving him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. This is accomplished by lots of prayer, praise, and Bible study.
Hebrews 13:15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that confess his name. – NIV
In order to receive the living water of God to overflowing, you must praise him physically by moving your mouth, not just listening to the praise of others. The more you praise, without neglecting Bible study and obedience to scripture and other forms of prayer and service, the more living water will transform you to prosper you. Join with others to praise and pray together in your church, maybe an hour a day or however often you can. It’s a sacrifice. Continually identify areas in your life that need transformation and ask the Holy Spirit to come into those areas and transform them. The more you praise the Lord and lift up his name, the more living water also bursts forth through you more and more out into the world.
The Living Water From Within Us Transforms the World
- We bring life to the world by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- We bring transformation to the world by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Evil has only two choices according to Ezekiel 47:
- Evil is transformed into good.
- Evil is move out of the way and be pushed to the side by the Holy Spirit (not by you!) into a undesirable, smelly marsh.
As you praise and worship and press into the Lord, you will find that you can break through any obstacle or trial. God shows you how to deal with evil people by applying the three spheres of love to every human interaction…
The Three Spheres of Love and Influence
Your enemies will fall before you or be moved out of the way if you follow the three spheres of Love of the Unity Venn Diagram:
- Accept your enemies as Jesus accepted you unconditionally.
- Build up your enemies. Be a loving coach: believe in them, praise them, carry their burdens and correct them in love.
- Be humble to your enemies and serve them. Treat them as better than yourself.
The Living Water From Within Us Feeds the Roots of Other Believers
When we are walking in praise, we also do three things in every human interaction:
- Accept all others as Jesus accepted you unconditionally.
- Build up everyone. Be a loving coach: believe in everyone, praise everyone, carry their burdens and correct others in love.
- Be humble to everyone and serve them. Treat everyone as better than yourself.
Notice that the trees in Ezekiel 47 (i.e. other people you are supposed to mentor and work with) are already there beside the river of living water. As you walk in praise and obedience to God, you will automatically come in contact with the right people who are bearing fruit and who you are supposed to also help to feed and support by the power of the Holy Spirit to increase their fruitfulness. Other believers (temples of the Holy Spirit) will likewise be led automatically alongside you (a planting of the Lord to display his splendor) in the same way to feed and support you by the power of the Holy Spirit to increase your fruitfulness.
The kingdom advances rapidly as bad water is transformed into good water or bad water is pushed out of the way by the Spirit (not by you!) and the Spirit works through us to build each other up and serve one another!