A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog on my thoughts about a verse from Proverbs, titled “Have A Heart.” The verse reads, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” I’ve been thinking about that blog and this verse a lot lately, because I’ve had a nagging feeling that I didn’t go far enough in my analysis. The safety of our heart’s is kind of a big deal, after all. I alluded to J’s assertion that he wants us to have more than just life, he wants us to have abundant life, which if you’ve read many of my previous blogs, you know I’m a bit obsessed with finding that promised quality of life. Maybe that’s why I felt like there was more in there than I had previously considered.
A few days ago, I began rereading John Eldredge’s “Waking The Dead,” and he mentions Proverbs 4:23 early on and also quotes a verse from the Gospel of John, “Whoever believes in me [Jesus] as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” When I read these two verses side by side, it was like a key (John’s verse) opening a lock (the verse in Proverbs), and I felt like I was beginning to understand something. The paradox I found in Proverbs in that while we had to guard our hearts because it was the wellspring of life, we, at the same time, needed that wellspring to have the ability to guard it had been perplexing me. Was this some sort of “what came first, the chicken or the egg” irony? What I realized after considering these two verses side by side is that, once again, a verse in the New Testament confirms, or explains something from the OldTestament.
Jesus says streams of living water flow from within believers. Proverbs states that the heart is the wellspring of life. Notice the “water” connection here? This is where I see the connection, if we believe, we literally have Jesus in our hearts, and from that wellspring of faith comes the “streams of living water that flow from within.” Our faith in Jesus is the “wellspring of life” that gives us the strength to guard our hearts. See the correlation? There are other instances where seemingly meaningless or not very important phrases take on greater meaning in the context of the New Testament. For example, a line in the book of Psalms that reads “taste and see that the Lord is good” is artistic but doesn’t necessarily move me intellectually. However, if you think about it in terms of taking Communion it makes more sense, to me anyway.
Before I leave this subject, I think it’s worth noting that there is something awesome that’s going on here. It’s not just that faith in Jesus gives us the power to guard our hearts, we now also have streams of living water that will flow from within us. If that water is flowing from within us, then it is flowing out of us as well, and extends the love and power of our faith in Jesus that can affect the hearts of others. To quote one of my favorite phrases, “pretty cool, huh?”