Saturday, August 13, 2016

Because He Lives: Thirsty or Satisfied?

Part 2: Abundant Life 
   (Part of a series sharing my devotional thoughts from almost two decades ago. For the back story & links to other posts, see the first post in the series.)

Are you longing for something in your life? Do you have a feeling deep inside that something is missing? Maybe you’re reading this and seeing that God is what you really need. Maybe you’re a Christian who hasn’t felt in love with Jesus for a long time. Regardless, do you have a deep, unnamed longing, a dissatisfaction that you can’t quite put your finger on, a yearning for something ... or someone?
Such longings are natural for human beings, created to be in fellowship with God. When Adam and Eve chose to disobey God, sin entered the world. Because of God’s holiness, sin separated man from God. The only way to reconcile man to God was through somebody paying the penalty for that sin -- and that’s what Jesus did for us. Because of His death and resurrection, we have the opportunity to be reconciled to God and restored to the fellowship for which our souls long.
Too often, though, we try to fulfill our needs -- needs that only God can meet -- in ways other than a relationship with Him. We listen to the world tell us that if we have this or that, we’ll be happy; if we fall in love with someone, we’ll be content; if we achieve success, we will find fulfillment. Sometimes we fall victim to letting our emotions and feelings dictate our lives, often throwing ourselves into destructive relationships or the downward spiral of drugs and alcohol -- just to fill the void. And when we acquire the item, or the relationship sours, or the business deal fails, or we become sober -- we wake up empty, often shattered, and left to deal with the consequences of our actions.
Jeremiah observed the same thing about the Jews in his day. Set apart by God, the Jewish people had a relationship with Him like no one else in the world. Yet by Jeremiah’s time, the Jews had decided to take matters into their own hands. Jer. 2:13 records God’s reaction: “For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.”
“Broken cisterns that can hold no water.” We look at that and wonder why in the world they would want something that couldn’t hold water when they could have God, the fountain of living waters. Just as the body needs physical water, and we wouldn’t be nourished by trying to drink from a cup that couldn’t hold water, we need God, the fountain of living waters, and nothing we can create for ourselves will satisfy us.
Broken cisterns. I’ve had my share -- relationships, sexual sins, alcohol, jobs. They all shared one thing -- an inability to satisfy my deepest needs. They couldn’t give me peace. They couldn’t fill that void.
Only when I accepted Christ’s death for my sins, believed He was resurrected, and asked HIM to be in control of my life rather than myself, did I find peace and fulfillment. Only then did my relationships become all that He wanted them to be. Only then did I find the power to say no to sin. Only then did I feel like all my needs would be met, forever. Only then did I realize the emptiness of my broken cisterns.
Jesus is all you need, too. In Him you will find peace and fulfillment and purpose. You will find answers to your deepest questions. You will find you are no longer thirsty, but that you are satisfied by His inexhaustible fountain of living water.

“There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, ‘Give Me a drink.’ For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. The Samaritan woman therefore said to Him, ‘How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?’ (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered and said to her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, “Give Me a drink,” you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.’ She said to Him, ‘Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself, and his sons, and his cattle?’ Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.’”
John 4:7-14

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