Thursday, December 11, 2014

Satisfied at the Fountain of Living Water ~ by Stephani

Imagine if we embarked on a journey for an entire month without taking any water. By the end of the trip our clothes would be begging for a wash, bodies aching to be cleansed, teeth longing for a scrub, and tongues craving a drink. Nothing would be able to satisfy our longings except water!

If at the end of the journey there was a fork in the road, one way directing us to a fountain and the other to a dessert land, how foolish we would be to turn into the dessert, hoping to be refreshed!
God led his people, the Israelites, to this fork in the road again and again in the Old Testament. When he called his thirsty people out of Egyptian slavery, he invited them into fellowship with him – the Fountain of Living Water. Sadly, as they wandered in the wilderness, they grumbled and complained instead of trusted. After entering the Promised Land, they forgot the Lord and sought pleasure in sin rather than in keeping God’s good commands. As they settled in the land, they looked around and decided they wanted a king “like the nations around them” instead of rejoicing in the leadership of the Lord. In their weakness, neediness, anxieties, and sorrows, they turned to everything and anything… except the Lord.

In Jeremiah 2:12-13, Jeremiah recorded God’s words concerning the Israelites’ foolishness:
“Be appalled, O heavens, at this;
be shocked, be utterly desolate,
declares the LORD,
for my people have committed two evils;
they have forsaken me,
the fountain of living waters,
and hewed out cisterns for themselves,
broken cisterns that can hold no water."

Instead of going to God when they were thirsty and weak, they decided to walk into the desert to dig cisterns (large holding containers for water). However what they didn’t realize was that their efforts were like broken cisterns. They held no water.

I have been thirsty like the Israelites. Although I haven’t had to wander in the wilderness, establish a nation in a new land, or organize a government, I have been dry, weak, and needy.

What does it look like to find SATISFACTION in God when we are THIRSTY?
If you have been brought into a relationship with the Father by trusting in the death and resurrection of Christ for your sins, then you have been invited into FULLNESS of life in Jesus! In the Bible God reveals to us who he is so that we can trust in him to completely satisfy us.  

Below are a few examples of “thirst” we may feel in our lives. Following each example are Bible verses that reveal how God is able to satisfy that thirst.
– Have there been seasons in your life when you have had no friends? No one to talk to, laugh with, serve alongside, or seek counsel from?
Come to HIM and drink "…fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."  Isaiah 41:10 (The Lord is ALWAYS with his children and he is our strong Helper and faithful Friend.)
Sinfulness – When we disobey God’s commands and walk in our own way instead of his, feelings of sorrow, guilt, and shame can fill our hearts and tempt us to try and hide instead of turning to him.
Come to HIM and drink "...if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness…if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins…" 1 John 1:9, 2:1b-2a (Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross paid for believers’ sins once-and-for-all. His love is steadfast and when his children come to repent, he hears and restores.)
Suffering – When sickness, disability, death, pain, and loss lead us into grief and confusion, it can be easy to think we’ve been abandoned by the Lord.
A Satisfying Drink - "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good…" (Romans 8:28) "…according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will…" Ephesians 1:11b (The Lord is directing everything according to his plans and nothing is outside of his control. He is working all things for the good of those who love him.)
Responsibilities – Have there been days when homework assignments, chores, and projects piled up so high that you felt you just wanted to give up?
Come to HIM and drink. "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work." 2 Corinthians 9:8 (In Christ, you will lack nothing you need to accomplish all that the Lord calls you to.)
Disappointment – When our desires are pushed aside and we are forced to accept an outcome that is very different than the one we were hoping for, disappointment and sorrow can leave us feeling overlooked.
Come to HIM and drink. "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?"

Romans 8:31-32 (God never overlooks his children. He withholds nothing that is really good and we can trust that all good things will be ours one day with him.)

Our weaknesses remind us that we are thirsty and we were not created to be satisfied in ourselves. We were created to be SATISFIED in who God is for us in Christ.

Every day we encounter forks in the road. We can turn toward broken desert cisterns or to the Fountain of Living Water. One path leads to greater thirst. The other path leads to satisfaction and fullness of life. Are you thirsty right now? Go to the Bible, trust that God is who he says he is, and DRINK DEEPLY as you find satisfaction in the Lord.

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