“Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.” John 7:38
Christian faith is often thought of as agreeing with certain doctrines. We say things like the Apostles’ Creed and if we believe the things in the list then we are a Christian. Understood in that way, being a Christian is about agreeing with what happens on the outside.
Jesus sees being connected to him as being as much something that happens on the inside as it is something you agree with on the outside. The promise of faith is an inner transformation that is life-giving and fulfilling – an inner source of strength and life that transcends even the most difficult of circumstances. C. S. Lewis, a famous Christian writer, discovered this inner reality as he was journeying with his wife as she died of cancer. In spite of his grief, which was immense, he was also finding the love and support of God there for him.
There are many aspects of the Christian faith. It is far from just one thing. But many of us have given too little attention to the nourishment of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in the process can find ourselves struggling to get through things on our own, burning out, or wondering if somehow we have missed something important in our lives.
Jesus’ promise is, as we trust in him, God will nourish our insides and change us at the center. That may challenge us in a world that values images and how we look on the outside so much. But the fruit of faith is more than skin deep. Christ is able to change you at the very core.