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Living Water

If you were to see this small stream, you wouldn’t think it impressive. It isn’t very long. It does little more than drain a swamp. The picture was taken at the spot where it crosses under a gravel road. On the other side of the road, trees and brush block the path of anyone trying to follow its course. In the summer that foliage would nearly hide the tiny stream.

This photo obviously represents a winter view. Yes, forest growth still slows part of the stream. But look carefully. The creek still runs. A few miles to the southwest, a lake that is at least a mile wide and long lies frozen over, its ice buried in snow. A river big enough for canoes lies a few miles to the north. It is ice enshrouded. A well-known canoe river lies a few more miles to the north. It, too, is covered with ice. Yet, this little stream flows on. Even at twenty degrees below zero (Fahrenheit) it would develop but a thin sheet of ice that would disappear when temperatures rose. 

I don’t know the scientific details, but I’m sure one of two things keeps this stream from freezing over. Either it develops enough current to prevent freezing or else the heat generated by decaying vegetation in the swamp through which it flows keeps it too warm to freeze. Through factors beyond its control, an insignificant creek flows when important bodies of water freeze over. 

Jesus said: “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38) The Bible continues the account with this explanation: “(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” (John 7:39)

Jesus likened the work of the Holy Spirit in one’s life to living water. We all face the cold buried state of death. We also face spiritually immobilizing pressures and struggles in life. But if the Holy Spirit is working in our lives, He can’t be stopped. Death can’t freeze Him out because He gives our souls eternal life. If we stay true to him, the temptations of life cannot paralyze our relationship with God because God’s Spirit is keeping that relationship active.

Life on one’s own is like a pond, spiritually speaking. There is no life, no flow, no major source of heat, only a limited expanse of soul. That soul will crust over and become increasingly worthless. But the person who has received salvation through the Lord Jesus receives life from His Spirit, a River of Living Water that neither the forces of hell nor the chills of death can stop.

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