Streams of Living Water
“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” (John 7:38)
I believe it was Shakespeare who made famous the phrase “too much of a good thing.”
In ancient history, Greek explorers discovered a great lake in the Arabah wilderness. They named it Thalassa Thanatos, or the Dead Sea. They gave it this foreboding name because, unlike most lakes, this one was unable to support life. The mineral content of the Dead Sea is such that nothing can live there.
Every day, 2 tons of water flow into the Dead Sea from the River Jordan. As the winter snows melt on Mt. Hermon and Mt. Nebo, water consistently flows into the sea. But if you look at a map, you’ll see there are not tributaries to take water out of the Dead Sea. So, once water gets there, it’s stuck. The only way for water to leave is through evaporation.
When I was a kid, we did a science experiment. We put water in a dish and left it in the sun. As the water evaporated it left the previously unseen minerals in the dish. Do that experiment on a grand scale and you’ve got the Dead Sea.
It is similar with us. Imagine, for a moment, the goodness of God consistently poured out on us. Day in and day out we constantly and consistently receive the ministry of the Holy Spirit, like the Dead Sea receives water from the Jordan. But if there are no avenues for ministry to others in our lives – no tributaries to take the water out – if we don’t serve others or give to others or minister to others – we can get too much of a good thing. We become self-centered. We become spiritually lifeless – dead!
That is why Jesus promises the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It answers our need – the Spirit brings us life and healing and abundance – but he also flows from us to other. The Spirit drives us to ministry, bringing life and healing and abundance to those around us. When that flow is present, we really live. When that flow is there won’t stagnate and die.
This is our topic of discussion this week in our sermon series “This Is Us.” I hope you’ll join us!