Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Ever Drinking the Living Water
The above was today's verse on my perpetual calendar, a gift from a sweet daughter in law. A perfect promise for this day, and for every day. For He ever proves Himself faithful and true.
I've been asking God lately to revive my Spirit within me, for in many ways, I resemble the believers in the church at Ephesus, who Jesus said lost their first love. He told them in His first of seven addresses to the seven churches in Revelation 2:2-5:
"I know your works, your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot tolerate evil. You have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and you have found them to be liars. You also possess endurance and have tolerated many things because of My name and have not grown weary. But I have this against you: You have abandoned the love you had at first.Remember then how far you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place — unless you repent."
So many things distract me from my first priority. There are too many good books to read, movies to watch, crafts to do. I spend time with Him in the morning but somehow lose the closeness as the issues of the day press in on me. My world crowds out Christ, just like it did when there was no room for Him in the inn. Slowly, Jesus gets put on the back burner of my life, even though I have the best of intentions, and I've lost my first love.
The other evening at a ladies Bible study we talked about Jesus' remarks to the woman of Samaria in John 4 and how the water He offered her represented the Holy Spirit. I made the comment that we probably never in this lifetime could fathom the depths of what Jesus was saying when He told her about the living water He could give to her.
Thanks to the wonderful BlueLetterBible.org website, I looked into some of the words we talked about:
Jesus answered, “If you knew the gift of God, and who is saying to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would ask Him, and He would give you living water.” John 4:10
If I only knew (oida)which can mean, in its Biblical usage:
to know of anything
to know, i.e. get knowledge of, understand, perceive
of any fact
the force and meaning of something which has definite meaning
to know how, to be skilled in
to have regard for one, cherish, pay attention to (1Th. 5:12)
the gift (dorea) a free gift with emphasis on its gratuitous character (definition from Hebrew and Greek Lexicon Spiros Zodhiates, ed.)
living water: a metaphor of an inanimate thing:bubbling up, gushing forth, flowing,with the suggested idea of refreshment... is figuratively used of the spirit and truth of God as satisfying the needs and the desires of the soul
(from Thayer's Greek Lexicon) http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G2198&t=HCSB
That is what Jesus was offering to the Samaritan woman: the gift of the Holy Spirit, freely available to anyone because of what He did for us on the cross. I get tired and weary, but the Holy Spirit that He gives is ever fresh and ever bubbles forth real life. It is not something we can produce ourselves, but comes from a realm totally outside of us.
Jews never spoke to Samaritans, yet there was Jesus, offering this freely flowing spiritual water to a woman who obviously had some failures in her life, just as I have failures in mine. He offered her something we all crave: a drink of refreshment that quenches eternal thirst. This thirst can't be satisfied by possessions, by prestige, by the accolades of others. It only comes from having a relationship with the God who created the universe. We become forever cleansed from our old lives and old habits by taking one sip of this Living Water. Once we have truly tasted it, nothing else in this world will satisfy us.
The Samaritan woman was not alone in her thirst, so was the Psalmist:
Psalm 42: 1-2 "As a deer longs for streams of water, so I long for You, God.I thirst for God, the living God. When can I come and appear before God?" ~ Psalm 63:1 "God, You are my God; I eagerly seek You.I thirst for You; my body faints for You in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water." ~Psalm 143:6: "I spread out my hands to You; I am like parched land before You."
Though I have partaken of some of that living water, I still have so much more to drink! Every morning I need a fresh sip and every time I step out of bounds, I quickly can name the sin for my sake to God, and quickly refresh myself in the living water of the Spirit again. There is yet so much more to take in, so much more of His Spirit to drink, so many more promises to believe. In all of the ten thousand distractions, there is still only one way to be satisfied in this world:
Taste and see that the LORD is good. How happy is the man who takes refuge in Him! Psalm 34:8
He gave me a reminder of the treasures, of the riches that are behind every single one of His statements to us. And He also reminded me that in eternity, we still will be musing on the wonder that came the moment we drank from His life giving fountain.