I forgot to take my water with me today when I went for a walk around my neighborhood. In Arkansas, I would not have given it much thought in March. Today I didn’t get to the end of the block before I considered turning around. I didn’t; by the end of the walk, I regretted it. The dry heat of New Mexico certainly made me thirst for something refreshing.
I quickly downed the bottle of water as soon as I walked into the house. I could relate to David’s cry: “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1 ESV
Tonight at women’s Bible study another thirsty passage was referenced. ““Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Matthew 5:6 ESV I thought back to the thirst that I had, especially in the last stretch of my walk.
One of the ladies is participating in a water challenge trying to drink enough water to stay hydrated. She had brought with her this large jug of water. She shared how the more she drinks water, the more she craves it.
The majority of the U.S. population is chronically dehydrated. We substitute other drinks for the water that out body needs trying to fill the gap. There are effects from dehydration that we don’t recognize because we are used to living in that chronic state. We don’t realize what we are missing until we finally get hydrated and our body starts to crave water. When we start drinking enough water we start to notice the benefits to our body.
I thought about how the whole picture is such a representation of the state of many Christians. Most people in 1st world countries, outside of fasting, would not consider going without food or water for a day, let alone a week or months. Yet many Christians expect to live on an Easter and Christmas service. Other’s put forth the effort to make it to Sunday service, and maybe throw a little midweek service for good measure. We walk around representing Christ not realizing how hungry and thirty we really are.
“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” John 6:35 ESV
We need to hunger and thirst after Christ, because He is our source. We need to be filled continually. The more that we seek after God and fill ourselves on the Bread of Life, the more we crave more of Him. I know that if I don’t spend some time with Him daily, my spirit man is quickly depleted and my flesh takes over.
We can not fill our lives with substitutes and expect to walk in the fullness of Christ. We can not feast on the secondary relationship of preachers and televangelists and think that will satisfy what we need. We haven’t tasted the goodness of God, because we are substituting the overflow of others instead of seeking Him for ourselves. My glands might water, and I might savor the smell of a ribeye steak my husband cooks. But I will not be satisfied on the fumes if he is the only one who eats it. I won’t be satisfied with the scant leftovers on his plate either. Why do we think we can be satisfied in spiritual things when we don’t seek them for ourselves?
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8
We have settled for a powerless walk because we are willing to let other things take the place of what we really need. The world needs us to demonstrate God’s power, but we have watered down our faith bringing in the things of the world trying to fill a gap only God can fill. God’s ways are not the world’s ways, and if we have to reach the world thru human tactics we void God of His place and will have to keep them by the same means they came.
I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. 1 Corinthians 2:3-5
I never realized how much I needed God until I started to seek Him for myself. I was raised in church. Even when I walked away from the church, I knew the word of God, because I had memorized scriptures as a child. When times got tough, and they did, I turned back to the Bible. I sought out answers. God met me there. He started to heal the broken pieces. The more I thirsted after Him, the more He filled me.
I started to notice a difference in what I surrounded myself with, what I wanted to do. It didn’t happen overnight, and for a long while I walked sipping on the holy water but drinking from the worlds cup. I started doing more and more of the “right things”, but I didn’t realize how thirsty I was.
When I finally submitted to the God challenge and started seeking Him for myself daily, my world changed. I changed. I know sometimes that seems scary, to leave all you know. When I realized the fruit of the Spirit tastes so much better than the lusts of the flesh in the long run, I was making changes before I realized everything I left behind. The things I used to do lost their hold me me as I changed. My life was filled with peace, joy, love, goodness. You don’t realize how sweet that is until you walk in it and then someone tries to take it away.
There are times still that I know I could increase my thirst for the Lord. I want it, but making change still comes hard. The reward of walking with the Lord is worth it, but there is still a cost to the comfort of the flesh. It’s littler things now that can go unnoticed by others, areas where God is saying “Drink from the deeper well.” Its more about time and heart now than giving up destructive habits. I want to stay hydrated in the Lord, I don’t want to get dehydrated again. He offers a cup that never runs dry.