Summary: Jesus declared that out of our belly will flow ’Rivers.’ This message explores the impact of such rivers in our lives and walk with God
“Where There’s Rivers”
INTRO: 1.It was the feast of tabernacles, a feast that represented God’s provisions for his people in the wilderness wanderings and during this feast there was a special ritual that I believe Jesus used to reveal how he was the fulfillment of what they were celebrating..
a.The priest would draw water from the well in Soloam and joyfully carry them through the streets to the temple, at the temple the priest would pour the water into a large basin and in another basin they would pour wine.
b.Now we know what the water and the wine represents in God’s word - the Holy Spirit.
c.At a certain time the priest would rase the basins and pour out the water and the wine which would run down the huge marble steps of the temple which looked like a raging river.
d.To the hebrew it symbolized the river that flowed from the rock in the wilderness - but Jesus knew that it meant more, it pointed to a time when rivers of living water and new wine would be poured out on God’s people.
2. It was in this context that Jesus stood and cried out;
(KJV) “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”
3.Little did they know it but the rock that had given their fathers water to drink had now come in the flesh to give them “Rivers of Living Water”.
1 Corinthians 10:4 (KJV)...”for they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ”.
a.Like the priest that poured out the wine and water - Jesus came to be our baptizer in the Holy Ghost.
4.Just a few chapters earlier Jesus had mentioned this “Living Water” to the Samaritan Women.
a. It was similar because it would also satisfy her thirst.
b.But it was different, for with her he promised not rivers, but a “well” of living water “springing up into everlasting life”.
c. But here in the seventh chapter of John, John clears up the difference in the two.
d.The well that Christ was talking about was the Holy Spirit’s work in Salvation - like an inner well of satisfaction.
e.But in his declaration at the feast, John made it clear that he was referring to the Baptism of the Holy Spirit - that becomes rivers that can’t be held back.
5.The fact that Jesus used “Rivers” as a symbol for the Spirit-filled life is significant considering who he was.
a.His hand carved out the Amazon, it directed the Nile, He put the might in the mighty Mississippi.
b. And he chose “Rivers” to describe the work of the Holy Spirit in us.
c. Note it was plural “Rivers” (started as a well, but it became rivers).
d. Mightier than our natural rivers, because it channels the “Living Water”.
I. WHERE THERE’S RIVERS THERE’S LIFE.
a. Bring a river to a desert and it produces an oasis.
b.The Amazon basin with it’s miles of rivers, holds more species of plant and animal and produces more of our oxygen than any other place in the world.
c. An abundance of rivers mean an abundance of life.
A. RIVERS OF PURE LIFE.
1. Life is not just produced in us, but pure life (“living water”) flows through us.
2.This life is not diluted or partial but 100% life flowing from the “Resurrection & the Life”.
3. You can’t be any more alive than when the Spirit is free to flow freely through you.
4.But be warned, we can quench or damn up that free flowing of His Spirit with doubt, fear, discouragement, unforgiveness, bitterness and sin. Nothing worth loosing it.
B. RIVERS PRODUCING LIFE.
1. Wherever the river flows it produces life.
2. Let the living waters touch those dry, dead areas of your inner man.
3. We are a “Walking Oasis” in a world that is a desert wasteland filled with lifeless men.
4. Let the rivers flow! Let it revive those that work & live around us.
C. RIVERS ATTRACTING LIFE.
1. Animals line the river banks drawing life from it, attracted to it by it’s life-giving flow.
2.As we let the Spirit flow through us it will bring us into fellowship with other Spirit-filled believers.
3. Life draws life and rejoices in it’s company. (Fellowship, not fighting)
II. WHEREVER THERE’S RIVERS THERE’S CONSTANT CHANGE.
a. By it’s very nature the river undergoes constant change.
b.If we are willing to be a channel of the Holy Spirit we too must be willing to undergo sometimes radical change in our lives - and be willing to live our life in a flux of transforming power.
A. A CONSTANT CLEANING.