One of the most intriguing stories from the age of discovery is that of Ponce de Leon’s search, in 1513, for the “fountain of youth.”
Caribbean natives had told of a legendary fountain of water on a great island. This fountain, said the legend, had healing powers and power to sustain life forever. Ponce de Leon, of course, did not find this fountain, but he did discover the great island (at least what he thought was an island) and named it “La Florida.”
But there is a real fountain of living waters. This fountain is identified in Jeremiah 2:13, where God, speaking about His people Israel, states, “They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters”! God is the source of the true living water. What are the properties of this fountain?
Jesus Christ, speaking of the power available to humans from God said: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37-38).
Jesus was speaking of God’s Holy Spirit, the power by which God does everything He does. It was by the Holy Spirit that the earth was renewed (Ps. 104:30), and that the whole universe came into being (Job 26:13).
This fountain of living waters is perpetually flowing; never dry (Isa. 58:11).
In times of drought one whose well has run dry can become mighty thirsty, but, Christ said, “Whosever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst” (John 4:14)!
A fountain’s waters can be refreshing, renewing one’s strength on a hot, sunny day. The fountain of living waters also “gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength” (Isa. 40: 29). Those who drink from God’s waters “shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (v. 31).
In this fast-paced society, the gurgling sound of waters from a fountain can be comforting. The fountain of living waters is the fountain “of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation” (II Cor. 1:3-4).
Man has built fountains from which water literally explodes in an upward surge. Such fountains exemplify great power being released. But the fountain of living waters is the source of all power (I Chron. 29:12). Here is a fountain then, far more spectacular and versatile than anything of which Ponce de Leon could have conceived. But imagine, for a moment, that old Ponce had discovered the legendary fountain of youth. Imagine that, in his curiosity, he had found that bathing in its waters daily made him feel more youthful and energetic, and that his life was actually extended.
Do you think he would have minded bathing daily if it meant he could live forever? Yet, how much easier by comparison is it to come before the throne of God on our knees in daily, heartfelt prayer? God says, “I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely” (Rev. 21:6). We need simply ask for it!
As the waters of Ponce de Leon’s mythical fountain were supposed to have the power to perpetuate life, the water of the fountain of life (God’s Holy Spirit) has the power to perpetuate our lives forever. God is now making available, to those few he is calling in this age, the power of His Holy Spirit. That is the lesson of the Festival of Pentecost, one of God’s annual Holy Days.
Ponce de Leon’s health was failing in 1513, and this was probably a big motivation behind his search for the fountain of youth. How much would he have paid to bathe one time in the fountain’s healing waters? But he made two mistakes that resulted in his failure to find this fountain.
First, he didn’t search in the right place: “For with You (God) is the fountain of life” (Ps. 36:9).
Secondly, he didn’t properly fear God: “The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to avoid the snares of death” (Prov. 14:27).
If we want to find the true fountain of life, we should not make these same mistakes. That fountain of living waters is available to all who seek it. Peter gave the key to finding it in Acts 2:38.