“If any man is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7:37-38)
Where do we go to satisfy our thirst? To be honest, I find that I have several favorite watering holes. The company of friends is a good thirst-quencher. Productive busyness does well. Long hikes in the mountains take care of it for a while. The presence of Jesus is just one of several fountains.
I’ve not always been clear about where I really find His presence either. Religious meetings seem satisfying when they flow with melodious songs or driving rhythms, insightful exposition of Scripture, and the warm, caring companionship of other believers. And those meetings somehow reinforce the idea that the meetings themselves are the best place to drink. However, they can easily be superficial substitutes for a fuller and lasting presence of God. Jesus wants us to do more than come to Him for a quick refill when we feel a particularly spiritual thirst.
In a crunch, and faced with a choice, we drink of what we most believe in. How often is it something or someone other than the Lord? Noting what we turn to is instructive. If we believe that Jesus quenches our every thirst we will pursue Him for everything. And we drink as deeply as we believe. When our belief in Jesus has captured our innermost being He satisfies our innermost thirst.
But He goes beyond satisfying us. When we believe exclusively in Him and quench every thirst in Him, we stop sucking people dry; instead, His presence overflows with life-giving water for others. Imagine what our casual interactions and deeper relationships will look like as we learn to live this way.