What do you think of when you think of living water? Maybe you think of a cool mountain stream rushing its way through mossy rocks. Maybe a majestic waterfall with white sheets of water cascading from high above. Or possibly the ocean, with waves that steadily rise and fall. Whatever comes to your mind is likely moving, and filled with action. You definitely will not think of some swampy, stagnant lagoon with black murky water. The colors you will imagine will be blue, clear, or white, not black, brown, or gray. Living water! What a refreshing and invigorating substance! It supports, encourages, and sustains all manner of healthy life. Living, running water washes away dirt. It cleanses and purifies.
“For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters, To hew for themselves cisterns, Broken cisterns That can hold no water.” (Jeremiah 2:13)
God says He is the fountain, the source of living water. Revelation 21:6 says, “I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” Living water is free, and God delights to give it to those who are thirsty. He wants you to have this water of life, and truly to have life more abundantly. Not only does He delight in imparting this water to us, but He wants us to invite others to drink from this living stream as well. Isaiah 55:1 says, “Ho, every one who thirsts, come to the waters.” It is an open invitation for everyone.
We live in a world that is dry and parched, drinking at the stagnant waters of sin and self. This stagnant water is full of bacteria, filth, and death. It is poisonous, and the result of consuming it is eternal death. Does this bother us? If we truly are drinking from the streams of living water, we should not be able to sit back and watch the world drink the poisonous water of sin without inviting them to drink of the living water of life.
Living water should flow through us to others.. Jesus said in John 7:38, “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” If you believe in the source, the fountain of this living water; you will not only be filled with living water, but it will flow out from the deepest part of your being. We should not be able to hold this water in.
Jeremiah describes the containers that they were holding their counterfeit water in, as being ‘cisterns’. Cisterns are for holding, not pouring, water.” To try to be a cistern and hold in this gushing fountain of living water is impossible. But it seems too often we selfishly attempt to hold it in, or we are afraid of how people may react if we let it flow out through us in our everyday life. This doesn’t work. If you are not growing in Christ, and spreading His love and light, you are dying! You may try to build a cistern to hold living water in, but living water cannot be contained in a cistern. Living water must flow, and the cisterns we try to selfishly construct will break.
Let’s spread the good news of water that truly quenches and satisfies thirst! May we not commit either evil of rejecting the source and fountain, or digging cisterns to try to contain it. Let’s be faithful channels of living water to the dry world around us! As Oswald J. Smith said, “The church that does not evangelize will fossilize, so the Christian who tries to self-contain living water will become a broken cistern that is useless in God’s Kingdom.”
For the Glory of the King,
“Channels only, blessed Master,
But with all Thy wondrous pow’r
Flowing through us, Thou canst use us
Every day and every hour”
(Mary E. Maxwell)