Dying of Thirst
John 4:14 Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
Years ago, when I regularly stepped on a scale for wrestling, I would use dehydration to make my weight. I would stop drinking and sweat off the last couple pounds every time we had to weigh in. In that dehydrated state, I fantasized about drinking water. Though I take it for granted now, a tall glass of ice-cold water was the most important thing in the world after sweating off five pounds.
Now, I love everything about water. I love the sound of the waves on the shore. I love how it reflects the light of sun, moon and sky into my eyes. I love the feel of being submerged in it. Though I often take it for granted, I still love the taste of it. Water is life, and without it, I would not last long.
Jesus said, in today’s passage, that He is the source of living water (v 10). He said that when we follow him, we are filled with this living water, which becomes a never-ending well, sustaining our spirit lives. This living water is none other than God’s spirit in us, which we receive when we believe in Christ.
Just as we rely on a continual intake of physical water to sustain our flesh, we require continual consumption of this living water for our spirit. The sad truth is, many of us are living in a constant state of spiritual dehydration. We are spiritually dying of thirst despite having this perpetual spring available to us. Just as we must make the conscious choice to drink physical water, we must choose to regularly consume the living water which God freely supplies.
Though I rarely go hours without drinking a glass of water, I have gone years, refusing to drink deeply from the well of God in me. If I go a day without water, I am miserable. I must have the same attitude about living water. I cannot dehydrate my spiritual life to dust and then wonder why my faith is so pathetic. Just as my flesh life weakens without physical water, my spirit life dwindles without living water.
Why do we tolerate this state of profound dehydration? We have this endless well of living water available, yet we insist on pursuing everything but living water. We pursue meaning, joy and pleasure in temporal fleshly pleasures that, like salt-water, leave us more dehydrated in the end.
It is only when we realize that this living water is the answer to all our deepest needs that we will drink deeply. We need to understand that God’s spirit in us is the solution to our profound thirst for meaning, purpose, joy, peace and love. It is only in him that we can be soul-satisfied. We pursue fulfillment in drinking in the water of the world, but Jesus insisted that our deepest needs are only met in his living water.
The Seeds of the Spirit is a daily blog based on a walk through the New Testament. Written from the perspective of my own addiction, it explores the common defects of our flesh nature and the solution, our spirit life. If you find it helpful, sign up for the blog as a daily email, tell your friends and like/share it on Facebook.