There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
The potential of life with God is unlimited. The potential of life without God is defined by the limits of three great factors: our creativity, opportunity, and determination. With God these three factors reach an even higher potential because God works in us and through us to perfect them. Yet beyond these factors is the very life of God flowing through the life of the believer, preparing us for eternity.
The psalmist referred to the life-altering effect that faith has, when he mentioned “the river” in the city of God. Jerusalem, to which he referred, has no navigable water port, no river, ocean, or inlet to service its commerce or supply its people with water. In the days of the Bible, the needs for water were met from either cisterns that gathered the rare rainfall, or from underground artesian wells. But this was a great analogy for the psalmist to use to describe the life of faith in God. Unseen by the unbelieving world, faith in God, like a hidden underground stream, serves as a reservoir of help and strength for the believer. Are your circumstances discouraging? Do you feel dry and parched within your soul? Are you weary, worn, or perhaps bored? Trust in God.
Christ took this analogy and moved it one step forward – a very significant step forward – for He spoke also of the life of God through the Spirit. We read in John we read:
Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
So for believers in the New Testament dispensation, the age of the pouring out of the Spirit of God, our faith does not stand on its own, but it is the means by which we receive the blessings of God of His Spirit and life. He is like a river that flows within our hearts, refreshing us, bringing us life, leading us, encouraging us, empowering us, cleansing us, and uniting us as the people of God. The stream makes glad not just the believer but the entire “city of God.”
Lord, refresh us this day by the presence of Your Spirit. Increase our faith in You. Amen.