Psalm 107:8-9 (TLB)
Oh, that these men would praise the Lord for his loving-kindness, and for all of his wonderful deeds! For he satisfies the thirsty soul and fills the hungry soul with good.
This morning when I woke up I was thirsty. No, really parched and dry like I had walked in the desert all night. Going to the kitchen, I quickly drained a bottle of water. Yet, still I was not satisfied so I kept drinking. When I opened the Word of God, naturally thirst was on my mind. God let me straight to this Truth. He satisfies the thirsty soul and fills the hungry soul with good. The Living Bible is not one of the usual translations that I study from. I am not sure how it ended up in the browser unless the Lord wanted me to look at this familiar passage in a different light. The Light of His Love will do amazing things to enhance our knowledge and understanding of what God is saying and how He moves in our life. We can praise the Lord in each day because of His Loving Kindness, but instead we work for a love that is freely granted. Concentrating on making our life acceptable before the Lord, sometimes I think it is forgotten that such righteousness is established by grace alone. I can do everything right for the rest of my life following every single commandment in detail and walking the rest of my days out in complete sacrificial love for God, Jesus, and all mankind yet still fall short of the glorious standard of living found in Christ alone.
Christian burnout comes from trying to find satisfaction, contentment and completion in our actions rather than placing our life in the Love of Jesus. There are thirsty and hungry souls in churches every day who know the Lord but have no idea how to receive from Him. There is nothing I can do or say to ever be deserving of the Love that I have been given. It is futile to try. The only way that I can receive the loving kindness and wonderful things that the Lord has for me is to step out of my doing and into His Love. That’s really all there is to it. It seems so small that all He wants to do is stay close and love me. I am not worthy. No one really is. Even great preachers like Billy Graham and T.D. Jakes have fallen short of God’s Standard of Living and committed transgressions against God. Being great teachers of the Word does not change the fact that they had to come to Jesus and step in His Love like everyone else. The difference is that they learned to live there.
Today the Lord is reminding me that I have all of His Love right here and right now to live in. I do not have to do a single thing but surrender my life to Him – body, mind and spirit. If I give all that I am to Christ, He will do the rest. I don’t have to do a thing. I must hunger and thirst for more of Him. Just as I was thirsty when I got out of bed this morning, I knew that in the kitchen we had bottles of water that would quench that desire and need for hydration. My soul cries out for such relief. Do I respond by receiving? Do I run to His Word, or step into His Presence to be filled yet again? Today my natural thirst has revealed a spiritual thirst. The Lord wants to satisfy us today with His Loving Kindness.
John 4:10-15 (TLB)
He replied, “If you only knew what a wonderful gift God has for you, and who I am, you would ask me for some living water!” “But you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this is a very deep well! Where would you get this living water? And besides, are you greater than our ancestor Jacob? How can you offer better water than this which he and his sons and cattle enjoyed?” Jesus replied that people soon became thirsty again after drinking this water.14 “But the water I give them,” he said, “becomes a perpetual spring within them, watering them forever with eternal life.” “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me some of that water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again and won’t have to make this long trip out here every day.”
It takes a desert to dry us out sometimes. I am not at all surprised that this journey has led us to the woman at the well. She was thirsty for love. There is no doubt that she was ready to be satisfied and made complete. Her opportunity met her at a well. The place where she would dry water to sustain her home for another day. She was in the process of providing water for others when the Lord came to water her. I think religion offers us a bucket and rope when we really don’t need it at all. We forget that living water comes from our relationship to Christ alone. The woman was given access to the well because of her “ancestor” – Jacob. When Jesus came and offered her living water without a “bucket or rope”, she was perplexed because she could not see how He had access to the water or what the Lord would use to pour it in her life. It would require faith to receive living water from Jesus. The Lord offered this empty, broken woman water that “becomes a perpetual spring within (her), watering (her) forever with eternal life.” She asked for the living water right then and there. The Lord would go on to make the way of repentance for her that day. Though He had not yet died for her sins, or provided a way to His Kingdom, this woman was well on her way to salvation and satisfaction in Jesus Christ.
We all have our moment that we meet the Lord. Repenting of our sins, we accept His Loving Kindness, His Grace and Mercy because in that moment of complete brokenness – we are filled. To worship the Lord in Spirit and Truth as he told this woman we must do requires remaining in such a humble place of receivership. If she had not had multiple husbands in her pursuit of love and care, she would not have been at the well alone broken and ready to meet Jesus. Her position in the community would have allowed her to join the other woman as they journeyed there together each day to draw water and fellowship together. She came alone. She bore the weight and burden of her life in solitude. She met Jesus there.
Isaiah 35:3-7 (TLB)
With this news bring cheer to all discouraged ones. 4 Encourage those who are afraid. Tell them, “Be strong, fear not, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.” And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unstop the ears of the deaf. The lame man will leap up like a deer, and those who could not speak will shout and sing! Springs will burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. The parched ground will become a pool, with springs of water in the thirsty land. Where desert jackals lived, there will be reeds and rushes!
God uses our droughts to drench us in His Loving Kindness and Goodness because we become broken open and willing to receive in such a place. Broken is open. The Lord doesn’t have to break our heart. Life is hard enough to do it on its own. Sin has made this world a terrible place. Evil seems to be prevailing. Love has grown cold. People are callous. Just yesterday, someone got so angry in traffic that they shot into a car killing an innocent four-year-old riding in her car seat with her parents. Road rage. They got so angry driving to their destination that they opened fire on a family in a car. Last week in other news, a woman was attacked and killed by someone. This story is already tragic enough until you read further to see that her body hung on the fence that kept her from escaping for more than a day because people thought she was a Halloween decoration. People, I can’t make this stuff up just read the news. There are other tragic stories that are not as senseless as the ones I just mentioned. Like that of the famous football player whose wife battled cancer valiantly for many years yet still succumbed to the illness leaving him a widower with four children to raise. Sickness and disease are a part of this life but not what the Lord intended for His People. Life is hard. The enemy is prowling around looking for people to devour, discourage, detour and destroy. These are all opportunities for the Lord to reach His People as through the darkness He offers the Light of His Love, in the midst of such rampant evil He give us hope that one day it will end as we step into His Kingdom forever. In the midst of such brokenness, we can be satisfied as He fills every void with His Loving Kindness and Compassion…if we come to Him thirsty, dry and broken and allow Him to fill us up!
Isaiah 55:1-3 (TLB)
Say there! Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink—even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine and milk—it’s all free! Why spend your money on food that doesn’t give you strength? Why pay for groceries that do you no good? Listen and I’ll tell you where to get good food that fattens up the soul! Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, for the life of your soul is at stake. I am ready to make an everlasting covenant with you, to give you all the unfailing mercies and love that I had for King David.
A local church decided to bless some people sitting in rush hour traffic by handing out cold bottled water. There were no donation buckets in hand or intent to deceive but rather just to satisfy some thirsty people. So they went to an intersection and when the light was red, walked up and down the roadway trying to give people a cold bottle of water no strings attached. The ones who would open their window received a bottle of water and told, “Jesus loves you!” That was it. It took them over three hours to get people to take the “free water”. People were afraid to open their windows in the car. Most wouldn’t even make eye contact.
The Living Water given to us by Christ is a powerful drink. It satisfies our soul. It completes us so that we lack no good thing. It may be free to us but it costs Christ everything. Have we closed our life to is overflow? Are we afraid to partake because it might cost us something? The invitation still stands – “Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink.” The Lord invites us to come to Him and He will do the rest. He will fill us. He will satisfy our thirst from the inside out. He will meet our needs and our longings, too. If we will just meet Him at the well, He will be there.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (TLB)
I will say this: because these experiences I had were so tremendous, God was afraid I might be puffed up by them; so I was given a physical condition which has been a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to hurt and bother me and prick my pride. Three different times I begged God to make me well again. Each time he said, “No. But I am with you; that is all you need. My power shows up best in weak people.” Now I am glad to boast about how weak I am; I am glad to be a living demonstration of Christ’s power, instead of showing off my own power and abilities. Since I know it is all for Christ’s good, I am quite happy about “the thorn,” and about insults and hardships, persecutions and difficulties; for when I am weak, then I am strong—the less I have, the more I depend on him.
2 Corinthians 11:27 (TLB) says, “I have lived with weariness and pain and sleepless nights. Often I have been hungry and thirsty and have gone without food; often I have shivered with cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm.” This is Paul describing his life AFTER he met Jesus Christ. This is not what most of us imagined coming to the Lord. Remember, Paul was a Jew. He was a Pharisee. He was not killing Christians out of blood thirst but because his religion gave him hatred for these people because he thought they were contradicting his God. Now, he came to the Lord after the dispensation of grace so God is not punishing Paul for his actions – they are under the Blood now. Where is the prosperity message in the persecution of believers? I will tell you were it is. It’s in 2 Corinthians 12.
Paul begins to tell of his wonderful experiences in Christ and all that the Lord is doing in him and through him. Paul talks about suffering for the Lord and also preaching the Gospel and building His Church. He then reviews a “thorn in (his) flesh.” Brokenness is openness. That thing which challenges us, breaks us open, keeps us exposed creates a spiritual thirst that nothing in this world can fill but Jesus Christ alone. This is the thing that keeps us connected to the Source of Life otherwise our religion and self-righteousness would carry us away. It is in our absolute and utter devastation that we are filled to the max with His Loving Kindness. I have been broken and for months now have tried to pack the wound. But the Lord has kept it open, not for my destruction, but to fill me with His Loving Kindness so that I can overflow with joy and gladness once again. The things in life that are tragic, unexplainable, and unexpected leave us open and exposed to the Love of God all over again. They are the very instances that drive us in His Presence for relief. I wonder if we learn to live there if we will finally be released…
John 7:37-38 (TLB)
On the last day, the climax of the holidays, Jesus shouted to the crowds, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water shall flow from the inmost being of anyone who believes in me.”
Jesus wants us to live fully satisfied and complete lives. (John 10:10) The enemy will have none of that and works to drain us of faith and hope in God every single day. Those who use these times as an opportunity to allow Jesus to pour Himself in our wounds and fill our brokenness with His Loving Kindness will soon have rivers of living water flowing from their innermost being. We just have to believe. Living water requires a living Savior. Jesus wants to overflow our life. Are you thirsty today? Have you hit a dry spot? Are you in need of refilling? If you are broken, you are open. Christ can fill your every void with His Love, Grace and Mercy – if you come thirsty and ready to be filled! You don’t need to bring a thing – it’s free. Just be ready to receive!
Revelation 21:5-7 (TLB)
And the one sitting on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true: It is finished! I am the A and the Z—the Beginning and the End. I will give to the thirsty the springs of the Water of Life—as a gift! Everyone who conquers will inherit all these blessings, and I will be his God and he will be my son.