Similar to the offer of rest for His children, Jesus gives us another incredible promise in the same vein. “Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst’ ” (Jn 6:35). The word “never” is a powerful word. I try not to use it very often. The word “never” doesn’t allow for loopholes. Yet, in this passage, Jesus makes the incredible promise that “he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” What narrow corner has Jesus backed Himself into with this kind of promise; a promise with no loopholes?
What Jesus has promised is that in your spirit, in the real you, He will so fill you up that you will never be unsatisfied; you will never thirst. Jesus is your complete sufficiency. The challenge, of course, lies in how we allow this to permeate our daily lives.
Jesus expanded on the promise in John chapter 7. “Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, “From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.” ‘ By this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (Jn 7:37-39).
Notice the prerequisite for experiencing the river’s flow in John 7 is the same as the prerequisite for never thirst in John 6; believe in Jesus Christ. That is it. To experience the promise of never thirsting is only contingent on being a believer; embracing the gospel message of Jesus Christ. There is no continuing or further requirement. No level of spirituality. No keeping a New Testament version of the law. No second baptism. Only believe.
How does Jesus keep the never thirst promise? By filling us with His Holy Spirit (Jn 7:39). And this filling is not stagnant. It is to play itself out every day as we experience the supernatural Christian life. The Greek word for “rivers” in this passage is often translated floods or torrents. The Spirit is a rushing river of the all-sufficient power of the risen Christ. Our role is not to strive to find the river, our role is to open the floodgates and allow the river – already rushing within us by the promise of Jesus – to flow out into our daily experience.
This, in essence, is the supernatural Christian life. When we face life – family challenges, financial setbacks, health issues, ministry disappointments, job woes – by tapping into the river within, we are listening to the Holy Spirit in each of these situations. How is God leading us to respond to these issues? What would allowing the Spirit’s power to work in these areas of our life look like? The short answer is this: God has given us the power such that the challenges of life do not have to lead us to despair, discouragement, or sin. The power to overcome is within us; not by some will-power or virtue on our part, but by the power of the risen Christ. You have the rushing river within. Let it’s power flow into every nook and cranny of your life. He is waiting to be unleashed!