Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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Speaking of the Spirit of life that would be given to those who believed in him, Jesus promised, "Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water" (Jn. 7:39). God makes the lives of those who love Jesus a benefit to others. He waters them and they increase with love and faith and wisdom, and then He invites the weary to come rest in their shadow. He transforms His people from instruments of sin and death into food for hungry souls and drink for the those who thirst for God. He makes His people the light of a world that is lost in darkness; He changes them by His power into the preserving salt of the earth. God's people are the most precious thing on earth, and it is because of them that the world has not already been destroyed by God.
Men who claim to be servants of God but in reality have not been anointed by Him are called "wells without water" by Peter (2Pet. 2:17) and "clouds without water" by Solomon (Prov. 25:14). They may be the darlings of proud religious people, but they are a great disappointment to thirsty souls when they go to such men. Instead of water of life, God's children find only platitudes and tradition, pomp and circumstance, empty promises, and demands for reverence unearned. Carnally minded worshipers think it strange that God's children are not satisfied with their lovely buildings, the erudition and titles of their pastors and teachers, the elegant ceremonies, and the aura of sanctity that this world's religions have developed over the centuries. Children of God, on the other hand, cannot comprehend how anyone could be satisfied in his soul with appearances of holiness instead of the power of God.
This is not the way it is with the saints of God. They have water for each other and for all who thirst. They have testimonies; they have sincere love; they have faith; they have wise counsel. "Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water," Solomon wrote, "but a man of understanding will draw it out" (Prov. 20:5). When God's Spirit enters a man's heart, it brings with it all of God's goodness and power and wisdom. If you have the Spirit, you have the refreshing, living water of God's love in you! "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts," Paul said, "by the holy Ghost that He has given to us" (Rom. 5:5). Do you know how to draw the water of life out of God's people and to make it flow? Can you draw it out?
God's faithful people draw it out of each other whenever they meet. Each song breeds another from the heart; each testimony reminds us of our own; each need touches the other's heart so that the water of compassion springs to life with its healing and comfort. When we gather together in the name of Jesus, it is with great joy, just as Isaiah said, that we draw water from our brothers and sisters, the "wells of salvation" that God has created by His Spirit.
The living water springing from you refreshes me, and my water of life springing up from my soul refreshes you. We know how to draw water from each other, and how to let it flow from our own "innermost being". This pouring out for others and this drinking in what others pour out for us, this holy giving and taking, is what is called "fellowship" and "communion". It is the one thing that Jesus most wanted for us, that we would become one as he and the Father were one (Jn. 17). So earnestly did he desire it for us that he was willing to suffer greatly and to die to make it available for us. Not only do we draw water from those wells with joy but he, too, rejoices when we live together in harmony in his Spirit.