The Holy Spirit is the true fulfilment of the living waters. He desires us to drink of him and as we do the life we receive from him will flow to others. He longs for this river to flow from within us because we are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 3:16). These waters only flow from the altar, they have their source in the cross’s work in our life. As we come to Jesus and drink the living waters he freely gives, we ourselves become a source of living waters, just like he was and still is.
This water satisfies the depths of a person. Every other “water” is shallow, bitter or even poisonous. It refreshes partially but does not reach the depths of a person’s spirit. We may still be weary even after drinking from an ice-cold spring on a hot day, or after drinking in the latest entertainment after a gruelling week. But Jesus’ waters refresh and renew the most inward part of us, they cause us to long and thirst for more. After our first drink of this water it now becomes our daily and continual source of life.
The word translated “within” in the NIV and TNIV is more revealing in the Greek. Koilia literally means a person’s belly, the seat of his desires. Or it may be defined as a womb, the source of life. God’s living waters reaches to a person’s deepest desires and needs. It quenches every desire that will lead to death and meets our every need. This living water meets our thirst for fellowship, acceptance, love, significance and purpose. It satisfies the need for peace and joy. It even opens the eyes and causes us to see, just like the waters of the pool of Siloam opened up the eyes of the man born blind. Jesus was so full of life that even his saliva brought healing to the dumb, deaf and blind (Mark 7:33, 8:23; John 9:6).
Remarkably, Jesus spoke the words of John 7:37-38 on the last and greatest day of the Feast of Tabernacles. In this festival the Jews would read from Ezekiel 47 and Zechariah 14 and both passages speak of God’s living waters. The Jews would also take a pitcher of water from the pool of Siloam and pour it out in the temple by the altar. It was meant to be a symbolic picture of the living waters given in the wilderness when they lived in tabernacles (tents).
Right now, spend some quiet moments drinking in the freshness of the Spirit’s living waters. Jesus’ waters will truly satisfy your soul.