Living Water

Living Water
"But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."– John 4:14

A few years ago in southeastern Texas, we experienced a record setting drought. During the typical rainy season, it was very hot. The lakes and the aquifers were going dry, the crops were dying, and the grass appeared brown and lifeless. Everyone was miserable as sweat dripped down our bodies. This misery lasted for months but to those who were experiencing it, it felt more like years. One day, a cloud came over the horizon and dropped a heavy downpour. The temperature eased, puddles formed, and the lakes and aquifers rose slightly. The wind offered us a boisterous handshake as if it were saying "remember me?" The next day the grass was green, and the heat was not so bad. We all hoped that we would have another evening shower. There were more smiles and people's dispositions were more pleasant. All it took was a little rain during a dry time. That is what Jesus calls us to be.

The world seems to be suffering a spiritual drought. A few troubling statistics reveal that the Church has a divorce rate similar to that of secular society and 60 percent of Christian pastors admit to regularly viewing pornography, while most people in our society admit to feeling hopeless and ask, "Isn't there more to life than this?" We have jumped through hoops that are said to bring us happiness, such as working hard, gaining wealth and having a model family. Yet, we are still suffering from thirst and are yearning for refreshing.

Jesus promised that He would produce in us living water, if we would simply drink of the water that He would give. The Holy Spirit is the living water that bubbles up inside us if we listen to His prompting. Paul addresses this in Galatians 5:16-17, "This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do things that ye would." He then lists all the deeds of the flesh versus the fruit of the Spirit. We each choose daily which one we will follow.

The good news is that our transformation from fleshly to spiritual is not based on our willpower or our decision to be good. Too often we decide that we are tired of our sins and will just try to stop sinning. Then we fail again, for the hundredth time. God already knows every sin we have committed, are committing, or will commit, and will forgive them if we truly repent of what we have done. He loves us despite our failures. His love is not conditional on our being loveable. That is grace! Our transformation does not come by keeping the Law or obeying rules, it comes by walking in the Spirit, recognizing God's gift, and loving God by loving our neighbors. The Holy Spirit springs up in us reminding us that we are renewed and shows us how to live and to love. His love, grace, and mercy are what make up the living water that not only sustains us, but also flows out from us to this drought-stricken world.

When there is a drought, it is hard to remember the rain. We get uncomfortable and it is difficult to bear fruit. We cannot offer refreshment to others because we are dried out ourselves. But, like the lifeless appearance of grass in a drought, rain reveals the life that is hidden within. We are saved and are alive in Christ. Residing in each of us is the living water that can bring life and refreshment to the world.

Satan wants us to feel defeated and dried out. We may believe that we are imposters and have failed as Christians, but God has already paid the price. He loves us and will refresh each of us with His Spirit, so that we can come alive and offer fruit of love, joy, and peace to a drought-stricken world that desperately needs it.