Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7:38 ESV)
I was recently reading this passage and thinking around what it meant to have rivers of living water flowing out of your heart and the thought came to me that it is from the overflow of the heart that the mouth speaks. I have often wondered what the rivers flowing out of the heart looks like and is there some tangible expression of it. I know we can be so full of the Spirit that people near us are effected by his presence, I know we pray for people to be touched by the Spirit, and both of these cover part of what it means. But, I would like it to be more tangible, I would like to consciously know the river coming out of me. Maybe the seasonal hiddenness of the river is to keep me walking by faith, knowing that though I may not perceive the river, it is there because I believe. Maybe it is because of my fellowship with him that from my heart there is an overflow of his life, an overflow of truth, perceived or not perceived, he overflows to those we meet, those who we share life with. That is why it is so important that we keep our hearts pure. Bitterness is perceived in a moment, in a phrase, in a breath and the river is soured and people will not drink. We’ve all been around that person who has the bitter heart. Sometimes we can’t put our finger on it, but we perceive it, we sense it in the Spirit. And that is why it is so important to keep our hearts pure and clean.
See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. (Hebrews 12:15 NIV)
I regularly ask the Lord to search my heart, as it says in Psalm 139:
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24 NIV)
And I pray that before Him my heart may be right:
Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression. May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:13-14 NIV)