If we are not getting what we need from God, then we are getting what we need from somewhere else. Or at least we think we are getting what we need. Therefore, our hands are clinging to a broken cistern. We cannot ignore for long the emptiness from the lack of time spent with the One who truly satisfies.
A Thirsty Woman
One Bible passage I have gone back to many times is John 4. It is when Jesus met with the Samaritan woman. This woman is not named, but her encounter with Jesus has encouragement me time and time again. She was an outcast, so much so that she went to the well at an hour when she knew others would not go. For one, she was a Samaritan. They were not fully accepted by the Jews. It is also interesting to note that Jesus, a man, was speaking to her, a woman. Men did not usually speak to women in public. I am so thankful that He reaches out to those whom others would not touch. One of the things that we find out, through Jesus' talk with her, is that she had been married several times...and was with a man that she was not even married to!
You Read Correctly
She had been married five times! Think about that for a minute. Someone who has been married five times in today's age would be frowned upon. They probably would be called a few degrading names...and thought of as 'used up.' In the time of this passage, this woman was shamed and unfit to be speaking to the Messiah. But, He approached her and offered her more than what she could fill in her water pot. Christ spoke of living water, that she would never thirst again. As a Samaritan woman, divorced 5 times, and with another man that she was not married to- she was thirsty! She was thirsty for more than the water at Jacob's Well, and Jesus told her He would give living water if she asked. This woman could only be satisfied by God. It is also true of all of us; We can only be truly satisfied by Him.
"Jesus said to her, 'Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water I will give him will become a springs of water welling up to eternal life'."
While catching up with a dear wise woman, our conversation took a turn. After bit more of talking, I realized I had been clinging to other things to satisfy me. They were 'Christian' things, but they were not Christ. To be honest, most of that conversation, though helpful in the moment, has been blurred over in my mind. However, One short statement I find myself thinking of is "You got to get what you need from Him." Once stated, that one sentence began to roll over in my brain throughout that night. I realized it was so true. Isn't it, more often than not, that the most simple/obvious things are the ones we don't see? You may be thinking "duuuuh Josephine, we know this." But, I became so caught up in living this Christian life, and depending on the gifts of grace God has given, instead of Christ Himself.
We cannot get what we need from Him until we let go of the other little pleasures we fill ourselves with. Think back over this past week. How much time did you spend with God? I don't mean looking up a quick verse to check 'quiet time' off your list. I am not talking about an encouraging Instagram or Tweet you might have read. I don't mean a christian book or a couple of sermons. PLEASE do not misunderstand me! All those are amazing, and are blessings to us. I am asking, did you meditate on what you read or heard? Have you thought about how it might affect your relationship with the Lord? Did you digest any of that? Or, did you only read or listen quickly? Now, look back over your week again. How much time did you spend on social media? How many episodes of Netflix did you finish? How much time did you spend with other people (even Christians)? Again, PLEASE do not misunderstand me! These can be good and relaxing and encouraging to us. However, could you say you have filled yourself with more quality time with God or have really pondered the things you have read or heard about Him this past week? Can you say you have filled up more on God or with the snacks that we are so tempted by each and everyday? I hope you can say yes, and if you did...that is so encouraging. I, if honest, can say that I am still learning to intentionally go to the Christ instead of my phone or a friend. I would guess I am not alone in this. What a need for repentance, and what a blessing it is that God would open our eyes to see that we need to come to Him.
"But from there you will seek the LORD, your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul."
When I say go to Him with all of your heart, what are your thoughts? Think about them now. I personally feel a hesitation to sing 'I surrender all.' or to sing hymns that say words like 'take myself, and I will be Ever, only, ALL for thee.' There is always a small part of me that think "but." Oh! I truly HATE that part of myself...that part called the flesh. If we are to truly find all we need in God, we have to give all ourselves to Him. You maybe thinking..."Okay, but how? What do I do?"
"For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot." Romans 8:7
I once read that, many times Christians try to wrestle with the flesh. We try to improve it, we try to sanctify it. If you have tried long and hard enough, you know IT DON'T WORK. Why? Because it is at enmity with God. Our flesh does not want God. We cannot make it want God. The flesh cannot be sanctified or improved, it must be considered dead. We die to the flesh and live by the Spirit. That means God will help us want Him!! He works in us to want and to do what pleases Him. Philippians 2:13 is where we can find that promise. We as Children of God, only need to come.
Don't go to Him with a striving in your own ability. Throw yourself at His feet, with the confidence that He will warm your heart towards Him. He alone can work in your heart and help you to want to surrender all. We are completely dependent on God for everything we need. I will end this post with a quote from a man named Andrew Murray. I hope it will help you as it has me.
"As you go to your inner chamber, however cold and dark your heart may be, do not try in your own might to force yourself into the right attitude. Bow before Him, and tell Him that He sees in what a sad state you are and that your only hope is in Him. In such a trust you are in a right relationship to Him. You have- nothing- He has everything."
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