I read the following verse this morning and had some thoughts I would like to share with you. Here is the verse:

 

“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” (John 7:38 NIV)

 

I was reminded of a story that Peter Marshal had written called, The Keeper of the Springs. The synopsis of the story is that an idealistic village had a beautiful flow of water that passed through the town. It was clear, clean, and it provided water for the people and the farms around the community. It also flowed downstream, and as it did so it continued to bless the farms and people below the village.

 

It was decided one day by the city government that they needed to streamline their expenses. On the books they found a token amount being paid to someone called The Keeper of the Springs. This person was a forest dweller who lived in the mountain above the village where the springs originated. When asked why he had been on the payroll for so many years they were told that he was an old man who kept the springs healthy, and flowing. Well, the bureaucrats thought this was a waste of money, so they cut off the funding for keeping the springs clear. At first there was no apparent change in the clarity and beauty of the steam, and they felt that what they did was right with eliminating an unnecessary expense. They thought no one knew the Keeper of the Springs personally, and no one would miss him. But they found out later that this was not a true assessment, for the stream began to change color and become tinged red by the leaves that fell into it up stream. Then logs and limbs began to show up, polluting the beauty they all once enjoyed. Finally the stream through their village dried up completely. The farmlands turned to dust due to water shortage. The people became sick from drinking stagnant and polluted water. The town and people downstream from the village were also affected. People wanted to know what had happened to their stream.

 

The crisis led the officials to go the source of the stream in the mountain, and sure enough they found that it had been corrupted by trash and debris, for the Keeper of the Springs had not kept them clear. It was then that they recognized the value of the Keeper of the Springs, and they re-hired him immediately to return to his job. He did return, and he did his work. Eventually the damage was repaired, and the streams were cleared of the things that had hindered the flow, and once this was done, things returned to normal. What is the moral of this story?

 

Jesus spoke of rivers of living water flowing from within a believer. This “living water” is actually Him, for He identified Himself as the Source of living water. As long as we are dependent on Him to be our Source for living and serving others, then like that village in the story, many people will be blessed downstream from our life. But there more to understand.

 

The river of living water that Jesus promises to flow through our life must be protected, for just like the story I shared where a stream can be hindered with clutter, it can also be true with His Spirit flowing through our life. It is our responsibility to be a Stream Keeper for our soul, so that we can keep the flow of His Spirit passing to, through and out of our life to others. Like the trash and debris in the story stopped the flow of the water downstream, when our Source is corrupted upstream, it will eventually be seen and experienced downstream. What could be the “clutter” I speak of? Just think of the conditions that represent a continuous practice of sin, as an example. Is there bitterness, unforgiveness, or pornography, just to name a few with men? Is there slothfulness in our pursuit of Christ? This creates a condition that dries up God’s stream to us. Is there a selfish agenda in our pursuit of Christ, where our only concern is about what is good for me? This would be a like damming up a free flowing river to retain the water that was once flowing. What does this dam do in a believer’s life? It leads to spiritual stagnation.

 

The Living Water that Jesus spoke of has got to flow to us, through us, and out of us to be living water. It starts its flow from Christ to us individually. His water will not flow if there are hindrances in the way, and this is why we must be a Keeper of the Springs for our soul, if we hope to see the complete process of what Christ can do with and through our life.  So here’s my question:  “How’s your soul?”