*Pastor’s Note: This is another short article I wrote in the late 90s along with some others for the Church section of the local newspaper where we lived in Globe, Arizona. I thought it might interest my readers and I HAVE updated some of the Scriptures references. All in all, it is pretty much as it was published in the Church editorial of the newspaper. The pictures were added for this posting. I am placing it in a new category for other articles like this, Vintage Message.
As Christians we are all familiar with the phrase “Living Water” but how many of us have really given it any thought?
Water is, of course, life giving. We as humans need it to survive, but just for a bit; I want you to also think about spiritual health. Many of you know that in your drinking water, there are tiny microbes and bacteria. Most are harmless and your body just absorbs them, without you even knowing it. That’s not the living water I’m talking about.
Physicians and nutritionists tell us that we should drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day under normal conditions just to stay healthy. But what about your spiritual health? We all know the familiar story of what Jesus told the woman at the well, “Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” – John 4:10. Later John recorded this statement from Jesus, “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” – John 7:38. Have you ever wondered how it gets there in the first place so that it might flow out? The next verse tells us; “But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” – John 7:39.
In the physical world, when you are thirsty you turn on a faucet, or take a drink from a stream, etc. In the spiritual realm you get it by turning to the source of Living Water, and the only source is Jesus Christ. Jesus was not making false claims when He said that He was the source, or fountain, of Living Water. Later in John’s Gospel, Jesus told some of the gathered Jews, “I and My Father are one.” – John 10:30. Early on in the Book of Jeremiah, the Lord is speaking to the families of Israel; “For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns – broken cisterns that can hold no water.” – Jeremiah 2:13. Farther along Jeremiah cries out, “O LORD, the hope of Israel, All who forsake You shall be ashamed. “Those who depart from Me Shall be written in the earth, Because they have forsaken the LORD, The fountain of living waters.” – Jeremiah 17:13. That’s why the Beloved Apostle recorded Jesus crying out saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.” – John 7:37.
As we commune with Him, (pray), and read His word, and as we practice loving one another, then we abide in Him and He in us, “By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” – 1 John 4:13-16. Imagine! He abides in us. The source of the Living Water, in us! As we continue to drink it in, we actually develop an overflow. The real life giving properties of this spiritual water is in the giving of it to one another, just as our prime example, Jesus Christ, wanted to do for the woman at the well. Springs of Living Water that flow out that others may also drink from.
The Prophet Isaiah said it this way in Isaiah 58: 11, “The LORD will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.”
People love to be in and around a garden that is well cared for and lush, not one that is dead and dried up, and so it is with each of us. We live in a dead and dying world, surrounded by people who are looking to quench their thirst. We are in the last days. All you have to do is turn on the news and it becomes obvious that the prophecies of the Bible are coming to past so much quicker as each day goes by. This is why it is so important to allow the Holy Spirit to fill us with His Living Water. People around us will feel comfortable and at ease, as well as desire what it is that they see in us. It puts me in mind of a commercial I once saw for a soft drink. As a person popped open this can of soda, everyone around them started to thirst for it. So it is with the Lord’s Living Water. They may not know why at first, but soon they want that which we have.
In 1 Corinthians 9:24 and Philippians 3:14, Paul likens our Christian experience to a race. We all know that the kind of physical exertion required in a race demands plenty of water intake lest we dehydrate. So it is, and much more so in the spiritual realm. To keep running this Christian race, we need to keep drawing from the Fountain of Living Water.
Yes, it is an ongoing process; we have to drink our 8-10 spiritual glasses of Living Water daily, under normal conditions, to stay and grow spiritually healthy. As we do, we can then direct others to the Fountain – Jesus Christ.
Peace and Grace to all who abide in Christ Jesus.