New American Standard Version
11 Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Neither can salt water produce fresh.
Can both bitter salt water and clear, fresh water pour forth from the same spring? Can a fig tree produce olives or a vine have figs growing from it? So also it is impossible to draw fresh water that is healthy to drink out of an ocean filled with salt water.
“How does this help me become more like Him?”
One of the most dramatic examples in Scripture of the believer’s potential to betray his devotion to the Lord through his words comes from the experience of the Apostle Peter. In Luke 22:24-34, Peter promises the Lord that he is “ready to go with you to prison and to death”. Only a few days later, Jesus prediction of Peter’s denial comes true (Luke 22:49-62).
Peter’s promise had not been insincere, just brash and arrogant. Peter’s denial did not represent the true intent of his heart, for moments after uttering it in fear, “he went outside and wept bitterly” (v.62). His heart was immediately filled with shame and remorse because he had acted in a way that was totally inconsistent with who he was as a follower of the Savior. The fresh water of Holy Spirit controlled speech had been polluted by words prompted by a lack of faith and an attack of fear.
We have no evidence that Peter ever came close to denying the Lord in such a way again. In fact, early church tradition suggests that Peter was martyred by being crucified upside down, claiming that he was unworthy to die in the same manner as his Lord. Whether that account of his death is fact or legend, historical accounts verify that his life following the denial was one filled with faithfulness to the command he received from the resurrected Christ, “Feed my sheep!” (John 21:17) Faithful service even unto death is what flowed from the life of Peter because that is who he really was.
We must live and act and speak in ways that are consistent with who we really are – redeemed children of grace. The fruit of the Holy Spirit must grow in abundance in our lives and the Living Water must flow through us to others. We may have failures – even bitter, tragic failures like Peter’s along the way – but we must return to who we really are. Following his shameful failure, Peter received the mercy and forgiveness of His Lord and began to live for Him again. So must we. The dam of failure may temporarily impede the flow of Living Water through our lives but God’s mercy and grace will restore it once again.
Then words and actions that are consistent with His character will begin to pour forth in our day to day lives. They will come because that is what is in us because of Who is in us. As Paul said in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (NIV)
“How should I pray for Him to change my life?”
Pray that the One who lives in you would be seen through you today. Praise Him that the life you are to live for Him is not to be in your strength, but His. Thank Him that your life is new and different on the outside because He has changed you on the inside.