He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive…) (John 7:38–39 KJV)
In a prior Deshen Daily devotional, we answered the question, “what is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit?”. In that piece, we established that the primary meaning of the outpouring of the Spirit is God’s giving of the Spirit. The Father gives or pours His Spirit upon us, and we receive or become filled. But there is an implicit sense in which the Holy Spirit pours out of our bellies as rivers of living water as in John 7:38.
The Holy Spirit flows out of the believer’s belly( or heart) as rivers of living water. Imagine an extensive reservoir of water inside your heart that flows out as multiple streams from within you to water whatever is outside you. In an implicit sense, this flow can be considered rivers pouring out from within us into the world around us.
Rivers of the Spirit flow from our hearts to those around us. This is ministry—ministering the Spirit to people. It describes the Spirit working through us to touch the lives of those we encounter. You minister to the Spirit when you bring people under the influence, power, or presence of the Spirit. For example, When God heals someone through you, He ministers the power of the Spirit to that person through you; a river of power just flowed out of your belly to give a heavenly drink to the one who needed healing! The New Testament minister is the minister of the Spirit. Paul says “ “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life” (2 Corinthians 3:6 KJV). So as a believer and minister, the Lord has called you as a minister of the Spirit so that rivers of power, wisdom, love, kindness, grace, etc., will flow out of your belly to those around you!
The rivers pour out only after there has been pouring in. God pours out His Spirit upon us and then uses us as partners to pour His Spirit from within us to give drink to a dry and thirsty world around us. So a significant purpose of the outpouring of the Spirit is the outflow of rivers from within us to the world. And prophet Ezekiel saw this river, the same river of the Spirit, flowing with dramatic results:
“And wherever the river goes, every living creature swarms will live, and there will be many fish. For this water goes there, that the waters of the sea may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes” (Ezekiel 47:9 ESV)
As the river was flowing, as soon as it touched dead fishes, the fishes were leaping or jumping back to life. What does that mean? Dead bodies will come to live by healing as the rivers of living waves gush out of us. People deadened by sin will spring back to life; those overwhelmed by sorrow, depression, anxiety, or fear will bounce back to joy, peace, and life; addictions, whatever kind, will lose their grip on destinies they have killed; prodigal children will come to their senses and find life as they return to the Father; dead marriages and relationships will be rekindled, etc. Imagine every believer, everywhere, having rivers of living waters pouring out of their bellies—that will be nothing short of glory on earth! And behold, it is what the Father is about to do!
May the Lord pour His Spirit upon us and help us cooperate fully with Him so that rivers of living water will pour out from within us and give life to the dying world around us.
What is the difference between the outpouring and the outflowing of the Spirit?
Apply the Word
As a believer, there is a heavenly cistern, a limitless reservoir inside of you. Let those rivers gush out and pour out from within you. Grow in your fellowship of the Spirit.
Ask the Father to help us become proficient in letting the rivers gush out from our bellies.
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