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Yearning for the Living Water

Elemental Essentials - WATER

Out of the deepest waters and the hottest fires have come the deepest things that I know about GodElisabeth Elliot

There are many elements of nature that the Bible uses to teach us in a way that we can relate to. A variety of things that we encounter on a daily basis bring life and relevance to His Word in a tangible way.

Like fire, one of the elements of nature that God uses is water.

There are many examples of how God uses water as a teaching tool in the Bible:

  • Purification - Hebrews 10:19-25, 22"let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water."

  • Deliverance - Isaiah 12:2-5, 3"With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation." - Isaiah 43:2, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze."

  • Wrath, Judgement and Destruction - 2 Peter 2:17, "These [speaking of false teachers] are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved." - Jonah 1:4, "The Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up." - Ezekiel 13:10-14, (13+14)"Therefore thus says the Lord God: I will make a stormy wind break out in my wrath, and there shall be a deluge of rain in my anger, and great hailstones in wrath to make a full end. And I will break down the wall that you [speaking to false prophets and teachers] have smeared with whitewash, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it falls, you shall perish in the midst of it, and you shall know that I am the Lord." - Psalm 83:13-18, "As fire consumes the forest, as the flame sets the mountains ablaze, so may You pursue them with Your tempest and terrify them with Your hurricane! Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek Your name, O Lord. Let them be put to shame and dismayed forever; let them perish in disgrace"

  • Baptism - John 3:5, "Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit." - Matthew 3:11-12, "I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."

  • God's Power - Psalm 107:29-30, "He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and He brought them to their desired haven." - Nahum 1:2-3, "The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord is avenging and wrathful; the Lord takes vengeance on His adversaries and keeps wrath for His enemies. The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet."

  • Life and Restoration - Isaiah 49:8-10, "They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water." - Isaiah 58:11, "The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."

Out of all the ways that the Word of God uses water as an illustration,

let's dive a little deeper into what it means to seek out LIVING WATER.

John 4:13-15, "Jesus answered the woman, 'Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.' The woman said to Him, 'Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.'”

Living Water

The concept of "living water" is a little hard to understand.

If you're reading this in the States, chances are, you have not had to worry about dying from thirst or having to work hard or travel long distances for your water. But, globally, approximately 771 million people still lack access to safe water(cite).

Coming from where Jesus was and in the time in which He walked the earth, people had access to water either by wells, cisterns or flowing water like a river or a stream. In John 4, when Jesus was speaking to this woman, she was drawing water from a well - a hefty chore that needed to be repeated to continue to live. So, when Jesus talked to her about giving her water from which she would "never thirst again", this got her attention. It was a now example - an in-the-moment link that the woman could make to the larger picture of what He was saying. All pointing to the fullness and life and salvation that could come from Jesus.

A few verses before, Jesus said, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” And Jesus, later, in verse 26, revealed Himself as the Messiah.

This is soon followed up by the "next stepping stone" in John 7, as we piece together the entirety of what Jesus is offering. John 7:37-38 says, "On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, 'Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.'” This is given further definition in the following verse, verse 39, where we are told: "By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified."

Are you thirsty?

Revelation 21:6, "He said to me: 'It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.'"

What is difficult for us to understand must be taken in in faith and believed, because we are given the Word of God.

Enduring your faith journey should make you thirsty.

We are walking through a land of spiritual drought

and must seek daily to be filled,

knowing that we have access to a never-ending well of water

that satisfies, sanctifies and saves.

David and others wrote love letters to God, penning out this craving for more of the Lord's presence.

Psalm 42:1-2 says, "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God."

And in Psalm 63:1 it is echoed, "You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek You; I thirst for You, my whole being longs for You, in a dry and parched land where there is no water."

The last chapter of the Bible leaves us with this promise and invitation: "The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let the one who hears say, 'Come!' Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life."

Do you desperately seek after more of God?

Do you know Him as your source of living water?

As your journey goes on, you will find seasons of rest and abundance - when you just soak in an overflow of His Spirit - plentiful after intense refreshing. And there will also be times when it seems like the water you are seeking is scarcer and you feel like you are in a spiritual drought, unable to capture even a drop to resolve your aching lips and dehydrated heart.

During times of refreshing - STAY.

During times of drought - STAY.

Let that pressing need for His Word always keep you seeking more.

Accept those times of showering as the blessings that they are. Sit in them and soak them in - allow yourself to be saturated. Let Him lead you beside quiet waters, as He refreshes your soul.

This world will parch even the most dedicated heart. When you find yourself dry, longing for something deeper in the middle of the desert, remember that He is the Living Water. If you continue to pull from that Well, you will find water because that Well never runs dry.

He is the Maker of the seas, the streams, the rivers and storms as much as He is the Maker of the fire, the wind, the wasteland and the desert.

Diligently seek what really matters.

Isaiah 43:2, "When you pass through the waters,

I will be with you;

and when you pass through the rivers,

they will not sweep over you.

When you walk through the fire,

you will not be burned;

the flames will not set you ablaze."

PRESS ON, knowing that the desert will not last forever. One day you will see God and your steadfastness will be rewarded.

Dear friend,

Our God is a God of Living Waters. His Spirit restores and refreshes. He longs to be sought after and He never empties of His ability to replenish those who pant for Him as though He is water in the desert. Let us come to the understanding that we can't go a day without Him. Strengthen yourself by knowing the promises of His Word. When you have discovered that you are no longer yearning for Him the way you once were, acknowledge the empty places in your life that need filled and search diligently with passion after the Only One Who satisfies.

With you in the journey,

Sarah Jane

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