“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
John 7:38

This verse should challenge us. Is the flow from our heart a river of living water or does it trickle like a blocked stream?

Honestly, I feel like I fail the river test. What do we do to increase the Holy Spirit’s flow from our heart? It isn’t in our power to increase this flow through our own willpower. We are incapable of it on our own.

But the Holy Spirit has limitless power, and the river is ready to burst forth and break the dam we have built that holds it back. The answer, then, is that we let the Holy Spirit do His thing. We pray for more of Him and ask God to show us what creates barriers to His flowing river. Then we surrender as God removes those barriers and releases the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

What barriers should we be looking for? Pride, selfishness, fear, unbelief, anger, bitterness, or sins that we’ve accepted as “that’s just the way I am.” Some of these may seem small and insignificant, but taken together, they build up and create a dam that blocks the flow of living water that is meant to pour freely from our hearts.

Let this verse challenge you. Embrace the discomfort of facing whatever it is that holds back the river of living water. Ask God to dynamite that dam and enjoy the sight of raging waters tumbling down the dry riverbed to cleanse, refresh, and renew all that it touches.

This river is not just for you, but it is meant to amplify the lives of all those around you. Rivers enhance the world and help sustain life as evidenced by the lush vegetation that grows along riverbanks. The richness of the river feeds the wildlife and draws birds and beasts to its shores to feed and satisfy their thirst. This is what the life of a Christ-follower is meant to be. A life of richness that nourishes, cleanses, and satisfies those around us.

We must be careful to remember that we are not the source of this living water. The source is Jesus Christ. We are only dry riverbeds without His Spirit flowing through us. However, when we open the dams that hold the river back, His Spirit is free to perform miraculous and life bringing works in and through us.

May we spend this week searching out the dams and praying for the Spirit’s breakthrough in our lives and the lives of our neighbors, friends, and families.

A small spark can light a fire, a small trickle can turn into a rushing river.