On the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, the priests would bring water to the temple and pour it out as an offering to God. When that was happening, Jesus proclaimed:
“Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! 38 Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” (John 7:37-38 NLT).
In order to understand just what Jesus was meaning here, John offered the interpretation:
39 (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)” (John 7:37-39 NLT).
Ezekiel had given a prophecy around 571 BC that a river would flow from “under the threshold of the temple” and that this river would bring life, regeneration and fruitful trees that would bring sustenance and healing (Ez. 47/1-12). This river and fruitful trees are referred to over and over again in the Bible (eg Joel 3:18, Zech. 14:8, Rev. 22:1, Amos 9:13, Psa. 1:3).
Whilst the Holy Spirit had existed from eternity, there was going to be a time when ANYONE who believes in Jesus would experience this blessing from God. EVERYONE who believes in Jesus will become a source of spiritual refreshment and healing for others.
This is different to the new birth which Jesus likened to a fountain of water that springs from a believer “14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life” (John 4:14 NLT).
John spoke about a coming outpouring of the Holy Spirit without limit to all those who believe. The Spirit-filled life would be full of overflowing fullness.
Paul prayed for the abundance of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Colossian believers and it is also our prayer for you:
“We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 Then the way you live will always honour and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.
11 We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, 12 always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light” (Col. 1:9-12 NLT).
For more on this topic, see the upcoming link to the 1/5/22 8 am sermon on YouTube for the Mona Vale Anglican Church. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mxpdfi_6AF8