John 7:38, “Rivers of living water will flow out of your innermost man” (Jn. 7:38).
Here’s the condition, though. He said, “This will only happen if you believe on Me in the way the Scripture says”. Rivers will flow. You could call it a flowing river; you could call it a fiery heart or a fiery flame; it’s the same thing. Whether it’s a flowing river on the inside, as in John 7:38, or rivers flowing in the innermost man, or fire burning on the heart, it’s an identical concept.
• Jesus said in John 7:38, “Rivers will flow.” I’m paraphrasing, but there’s a condition. People don’t read the condition, and the condition is this: “If you believe on Me in the way the Scriptures describe believing on Me.”
• If you go through the New Testament looking for it, you find the biblical definition of believing is believing that incorporates a spirit of dedication, a spirit of devotion, and a spirit of grace.
• I’ve found that many, many people approach the Word with two of the three. You have to believe on Him in the way the Scripture says. You can’t pick two out of three and then expect the rivers to flow. It’s three out of three. We have to feed our spirit on all three things. We need to have the vision to be wholehearted. There’s no substitute for the yes in your spirit, for the determination to have a hundredfold obedience. There’s absolutely no substitute for a big yes in your spirit. You may not walk it out, but it’s a fiery determination in your soul to get through those issues. The Lord says, “I see that. That’s real to me.”
• It’s not enough to be a rule keeper who says, “I’ll stay out of all the bad mud holes.” You have to have a spirit of devotion, and an “I love You” in the journey.
• That’s not enough either. Some people who have devotion and dedication, but they aren’t established in the spirit of grace. They have an “I will obey You” and “I love You,” but they say, “Lord, I know that You don’t take me seriously yet and I know that I’m still on probation. I know that I still haven’t earned the right yet to enjoy Your presence.” They don’t have the spirit of grace operating yet. They end up giving up on the miraculous power of the written Word touching the inner man. They give up on it. They say, “Well, I read the Word and it just didn’t work.” No, you didn’t believe on Him in the way the Scripture says. You believed on Him in the way your denomination taught you. You believed on him in the way your fellowship taught you. You believed on Him in the way your Bible camp taught you. That’s not enough. We need to believe on Him in the way the Scripture teaches and then, like He said in John 7:38, it flows like a river on the inside, in time. I don’t mean that night, necessarily, but over time, it flows like a river on the inside.
THE HEART IS SET ON FIRE BY FAITH IN THE WORD
• 2 Thes 2:13— It says this: the way that you enter into sanctification, the way that you enter is by faith in the Word and by the Holy Spirit. The way the heart is set on fire is when we have faith in the Word. We believe what the Word of God says, but particularly about the need for the spirit of dedication, the spirit of devotion, and the spirit of grace. You can call those three things different things if you want; you can use your own terms. You can call it a spirit of obedience instead of dedication; you can call it a spirit of “I love you” instead of devotion. You can call it what you want, but those realities need to be present in the heart.
• Let me tell you, when those things are present, the Word of God has a miraculous dimension of releasing fire, or releasing the living waters. It has a miraculous dimension of changing your emotional chemistry. It changes you for real if you do this consistently. I’ve never seen it fail, ever. I’ve seen people give up on the process and I’ve seen them approach with two of the three or, more commonly, one of those three elements. They approach reading the Word with one of those three elements, or sometimes two. Sometimes they have all three of the elements, but they give up in a month or two. At least give it a good five-year run before you conclude that the Word of God doesn’t work. Don’t give it three months; give it five years. It won’t take five years, but when those five years come and go, you’ll look back over it and say, “Oh, my heart is flowing like a river; I don’t even know when it started.”
• I absolutely assure you that there’s a miraculous dimension where the Word of God touches the human heart with these three components: the spirit of dedication, the spirit of devotion, and the spirit of grace. I find that the most difficult is the spirit of grace. I find that the easiest is the spirit of dedication. If you have 1,000 people out there at a conference, 800 will say yes to a spirit of dedication. Large numbers of people will say, “I will go all the way.” The vision to be wholehearted is a very important vision. It’s a life vision. It’s a personal vision in your heart, a determination, saying, “I will be wholehearted.” Continue reading