"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." - Galatians 2:20

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Friday, March 15, 2013

*SATISFY YOUR THIRST

John 4:14 "Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst."




Two things about water are intriguing: accessibility and necessity.  We often turn our faucet on and take for granted that water will come out.  It is rare with today's modern facilities we would be out of water or not have access to its immediate use.  Secondly, our need for water is vital.  Our bodies need about three quarts a day to operate efficiently.  Our blood, which is 90% water, carries nutrients to our cells.  As a cooling agent, water also regulates our temperature through perspiration.  This liquid refresher is necessary for our survival.

Physical thirst visits us daily, but sometimes we forget that our spiritual thirst is equally crucial.  Being aware of our need for something more satisfying and fulfilling is imperative.  Water is available that won't dry up or leave us parched. This water is easy to access and dependent upon our survival.  We get to choose how much we will consume.

In John 4:1-26 Jesus encounters a Samaritan woman at a well.  Samaritan's (and women) during the first century were second class citizens.  The fact that Jesus speaks to her is significant.  He refers to Himself as living water in verses 10-13.  She inquires how to get this substance.  Jesus offers an invitation for this woman to thirst no more by receiving this living water through Him.  

In verse 13 he tells her, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."  This needy and imperfect woman has been dehydrated for a long time.  Verse 17 reveals she had had five husbands and the man she currently is with is also not her husband.  

She has thirsted and been hydrated with the wrong things for too many years.  She recognizes her need to experience this living water because she desires to no longer thirst for what cannot fill her.  Jesus offered her Truth.  Truth that would set her free. Truth that extended grace and mercy. Truth that she could be fulfilled and not look elsewhere for gratification.  

We often have the same trouble as this lady:  looking to other things to complete us. The enemy wants to convince us the living water Jesus offers is not enough.  Money, business success, beauty, kudos at work, compliments from others, job title, dream vacation, model home, trophy kids, possessions, owning the latest and greatest, getting the biggest and best are all temptations of superficial fulfillment.  Here me out, it's not wrong to have money, a job title or go on vacation . . . until these pursuits become a misplaced idol.

Performance and praise.  These are two areas I need to be on guard with.  In my heart I truly desire to excel at the things God entrusts to me and I like to know how I'm doing.  Compliments build me up.  But, if I'm not watchful, I can falsely think it is others job to boost my self-image.  Wrong.  Clearly, I must live in the truth that I am made in the image of God.  When I'm tempted to find fulfillment this way God beckons me.  He rearranges my motives for living, reminds me of the audience I serve and ultimately replaces my empty heart to an overflowing one.

But, if I give in to this vain pursuit, the vicious cycle starts.  Compliments are greedy and need to be fed.  So, the more I perform at various activities the more positive feedback I get.  It may feel good for awhile, but it's fleeting.  If I don't stop the sequence the internal gnawing will only get deeper and create more havoc in my heart, reminding me I feel desolate for a reason.  Whether or not I am uplifted by others, I must not expect it or look for it, but rather remain constant that God alone is my audience.  This also helps to keep my motives pure.

Every lustful obsession and addiction serves the desire to be satisfied apart from God.  While many things may bring temporal pleasure or joy, ultimately they leave us empty and disconnected to our true water source.  There is no permanent completeness in the delights of this world.  Jesus makes it clear He is our only supplier of lasting fulfillment.  When we are satiated in Him we will never thirst because His living water replaces our worldly desires.

Living water satisfies our spiritual thirst.  As water is to one's body, so living water is to one's spiritual life and relationship with God.  Physical thirst takes place in our mouths but spiritual thirst takes place in our souls where earthly things cannot refresh.  It's time to thirst for water that won't leave us thirsty.  Desire the whole spring, not just a spoonful.  How thirsty are you?






Heart Work:
Consider this quote from John Piper, "God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in Him." What does this mean to you?

Evaluate how necessary Living Water is to your life.

Heart Exam:
How thirsty are you?  What counterfeit worldly fulfillment tempts you?  How is the living water Jesus offers enough for you?

Heart Transforming Word:
Psalm 42:1-2 (NIV 1984) "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God."

John 4:15a "The woman said to Him, 'Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty.' "

John 7:37b "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink."





Copyright 2010 by Hester Christensen.  Edited 2013.  All rights reserved.