It’s helpful to explore how these truths Christ proclaims in John 7:37-38 relate to the Christian life on an ongoing basis. For instance, perhaps some or many of you are thinking: “I certainly don’t feel like I have rivers of living water flowing out of me all the time and if I’m honest, I rarely, if ever, feel like that. Instead, I often feel dry and empty.” Well, first of all, everyone would relate to that at some points in their lives. Our beings are comprised of a body and soul and so what happens in our bodies can certainly affect our beings.
However, if dryness and emptiness is the ongoing temperament of your life, then that is evidence of a problem and that problem is one of unbelief. Are we really relying on Christ and what he offers throughout our days OR are we consumed with the things of this world, even if those things are not sinful? Unbelievers operate in this world just fine in the tangible realm and do so completely apart from Christ. However, when someone tries to add Christ to their tangible pursuits, not because they found Christ to be the sole solution to their thirst, but because he’s presented and accepted as someone willing to give a few sips whenever the need arises for a little something extra to pursue our own goals and desires—that approach to Christianity is wearisome. God will not bless that half-hearted allegiance with his empowering grace.
Furthermore, Christ is an all or nothing Savior and for those who understand him to be their all, there is an undercurrent of joy and peace of our salvation that remains consistent despite changing circumstances—though the outer man is decaying, our inner man is being renewed day by day (2 Cor. 4:16).
If this isn’t your experience in the Christian life, consider what you need to turn from in order to turn to Christ. If we are playing around with sin and not repenting from it, then we are grieving the Holy Spirit and clearly won’t be experiencing any significant measure of his fruit in our lives. Perhaps we could have misplaced priorities. Maybe we’ve decided that pursuing earthly goals and desires is important enough to put pursuing Christ on the backburner—“It will just be for a little bit; just until I can accomplish this one thing.” No one should expect to do that without spiritual consequences. God is not mocked—you will reap what you sow (Gal. 6:7).
So in what ways can you be leaning on Christ more as you live out the will of God in the power of the Spirit?