I loathe sippy cups. Having kids roughly 2 years apart means that not long ago, my house had an entire shelf of them. My oldest drinks from a cup unless we are traveling, so I’ve finally begun to weed them out. It brings me great joy to see a top growing mold or a straw has a hole from chewing — and in the recycling it goes. Ah! One less!
But the transition from sippy cup to cup creates an unexpected issue. My oldest isn’t drinking enough water. When he totes a sippy cup everywhere, he was constantly drinking water. Now that he drinks from a real cup, and it stays in the kitchen (or else makes huge messes), some days he only drinks at meals.
Scripture is filled with references to water and thirst. I’ve written about water in scripture before. It is an easy metaphor for the average person to understand because everyone has been thirsty, and we all understand our need for water.
Jesus used thirst as a vehicle for the Gospel. He sought out the Samaritan woman in the middle of the day at a well. He asked from her, knowing that she was the one that needed something from Him. Then he offered her the very thing she never knew she needed: living water. He explained that “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 that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13b-14.
Our souls are thirsty. Sin destroys our relationship with the holy, living God and cuts off our supply of living water. In the Garden, Adam experienced a perfect relationship with God. Adam was told that if he ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that he would die. Well, he ate of it and kept living, right? How does that make sense? Adam did not physically die that day; his body kept living. We are body, soul, and spirit. Our Body is how we relate to our environment; our soul, how we relate to others; and our spirit, how we relate to God. He died spiritually. We died spiritually. When our spirit died, our relationship with God was broken, irreparable in our hands.
Living water is spiritual life. Later in John, Jesus explains that those who savingly believe, receive the Spirit. In this explanation, he uses water to convey his message:
On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.John 7:37-39
Living water flows in. Living water flows out.
Occasionally, my son will play hard and get thirsty enough to ask for a drink. Thirst is not a good indicator of hydration. (See Mayo Clinic) By the time you feel thirst, you are already dehydrated. Ouch. Think about that spiritually. By the time you “miss” the Living Water, you are already dehydrated. When the ache in your heart for God’s truth swells, ask yourself when you last drank deeply from the well.
Interestingly enough, one of the best indicators of your physical body’s hydration, is output. Don’t roll your eyes or giggle just yet. Consider, if your physical body tells you about your hydration through the amount and characteristics of its output, does your spirit do the same? Are good, God-honoring things the natural outflow of your heart, mind, and mouth?
Living water flows in. Living water flows out.
When you feel hungry, you may actually be thirsty. It’s called thirst confusion and is quite common. Your brain mixes up the signals between hungry and thirsty. The mixed signals may make you grab the wrong thing to meet your needs.
The World experiences spiritual thirst confusion every moment of every day. The desires of this world shouts out that you need to be content, have the perfect job, be fulfilled by your relationships, and follow your heart. It tells you that God’s law is holding you back from things you deserve that will make you happy. If you are spiritually dead, it’s so easy be be confused by these mixed signals. You know you need SOMETHING, but you aren’t sure what. The unfulfilled thirst makes giving anything a try make sense.
Being a good person won’t fill your needs. Your spouse or the children you long for can’t fix your heart. A better job and financial freedom won’t ease the longing. Only the Living Water can quench your thirst. Only Jesus. Trusting Jesus brings fresh, flowing water into your soul.
Consider your thirst. Are you reading this as one who has tasted the Living Water of salvation, but is thirsty from not spending time in the word and with a church family? Does the outflow of your life show that the Living Water hydrates every thought, word, and deed?
Or are you reading this realizing that you are so very thirsty? That your goodness won’t quench the longing of your soul? You need Christ to come wash you clean and fill you from the springs of life.