Life-Study of Exodusby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In the Bible we see that the drinking of the water of life and the flowing of the water of life go together. The drinking is connected to the flowing, and the flowing is one with the drinking. In John 4:14 the Lord Jesus says, “But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall by no means thirst forever; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a spring of water welling up into eternal life.” Here we see that if we drink the water of life, this water will become a spring within us welling up into eternal life. This welling up is what we mean by the flowing of the water of life. We find the same principle in John 7:37 and 38, where the Lord Jesus said of the one who believes in Him and drinks of Him, “out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.” The drinking and the flowing are thus two aspects of one thing.
Without the flowing of the water of life, our drinking is in vain. In fact, if we do not flow, we shall not be able to continue drinking. Drinking is nullified by the lack of flowing. The genuine drinking of the water of life depends on the flowing.
Let us use a water hose as an illustration. On the one hand, the hose takes in water from the faucet; on the other hand, it flows out water. Both the inflow and the outflow are necessary. The receiving and the flowing take place simultaneously. If we do not drink, we cannot flow; and if we do not flow, we cannot continue to drink.
It is a serious matter to have our drinking nullified by the lack of flowing. Of the many genuine believers in Christ who have drunk of the living water, not many experience the flowing of this water. Eventually, this causes their drinking to cease. If there is no outflow from within you, you cannot continue to take in the living water by drinking. Only the flowing can keep the inner current moving. It is not the drinking, the taking in, that keeps the current going; it is the outflow of water which does this. Many Christians either do not drink at all or find that their drinking avails nothing. The reason for this is that, even though they may drink, they do not flow. The lack of flowing causes the drinking to be of no avail. This is very serious. Therefore, in this message I am burdened to point out that concerning the experience of the living water the flowing of the water is even more important than the drinking of it. Yes, our experience of the living water begins with drinking. But if there is no flowing, there is no way for us to continue drinking. If the flowing does not follow our drinking, our drinking will stop. Our experience testifies that this is true.
Furthermore, the lack of flowing may cause our thirst to disappear. Before we first drank of the living water, there was a thirst within us. It is very good to have such a thirst, but it is dreadful to lose it. The proper gospel preaching is not mainly to minister the water of life to others; it is to stir up a sense of thirst within them. When people are thirsty, it is easy to convince them to drink. Good salesmen know how to arouse in people the aspiration and desire to buy the product they are selling. Without such an aspiration or desire, people will have no interest, even in the most precious items. This illustrates the fact that thirst is crucial.
By the Lord’s mercy we have been made thirsty for Him through the preaching of the gospel. I can never forget how my thirst was aroused through hearing a certain gospel message more than fifty-five years ago. I was so thirsty that I could have drunk an ocean of water. One message created a thirst within me that has lasted even until now. Although fifty-five years have passed since I heard that marvelous message, I still thirst for the water of life.
We need to be impressed how crucial it is to flow the water of life. If the flowing stops, our drinking will stop; and if our drinking stops, we shall lose our thirst. Then, before our thirst can be revived and recovered, we shall have to pass through a period of spiritual death. After passing through such a time of dryness, we shall be stirred up by the Lord in His sovereign mercy to repent and return to Him. Our thirst will revive, and we shall begin to drink once more. I am deeply concerned about the degree of our thirst. Many among us have had the experience of losing our thirst. If we wish to maintain our thirst, we need to keep flowing and to keep drinking.
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