Posted on September 28, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Freedom Fighters
When I think of thirst, I think of summer camp during football practice. We would practice 3 times a day for 2 hour periods; it was definitely challenging. You knew what hard work and endurance were after coming off the field in the long hot days of the Virginia heat. We use to have these long PVC pipes with holes in them as drinking fountains. They sat by the training facility, which for those on the defensive field, was quite a distance away. During drills, those fountains might as well have been in a different state… your throat was dry from the dust, and your body was rung dry of the last drop of sweat. What relief we felt just sticking our heads in the fountain and letting the water wash all over you… in the heat of the struggle, there is nothing like that cold refreshing drink that satisfies your thirst.
Since my days on the field, I have found a greater thirst than I ever experienced there, one that a PVC pipe fountain could not satisfy. It was a thirst for meaning and purpose. When sports and school were a dominant part of my life, they dictated my schedule and gave sense to what I faced each day. But when those were things of the past, I began to need something to fill the void that opened up. Work and relationships helped at times, but when you place intense pressure on any of these, it crushes and destroys them, along with the people in the mix.
Twice, Jesus gave a very public invitation for all who were striving to make sense of life, and who were weighed down and thirsty to come to Him, and He would be the answer to their need. On the last and most significant day of the Feast of Tabernacles, when they were about to pour out the water portraying God’s provision of water that poured from the rock in the wilderness,
“Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let the thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.'” (John 7:37-38 NIV) John adds that He was referring to the Spirit; The Spirit who Believers in Jesus were to receive. (7:39 NIV)
Man’s thirst to make sense of life can only be satisfied if we first understand man’s purpose and dilemma. Man’s purpose in creation is to glorify God. Man’s dilemma is his rebellion against God, willfully leaving Him out of our lives. Mankind struggles because they cut themselves off from the One who fulfills their purpose… that is God. This is like using your car without operating according to its design or owner’s manual, putting water in its gas tank, not adding oil, or just pushing it around like its some toy. You were created for the glory of God, and you were made with highly sophisticated design features and capabilities, all of which are intended for particular purposes by a perfect God. When we choose to live by His purposes and design, we enjoy amazing qualities like joy, peace, hope, and the greatest of all… love. But when we choose to leave God out of our reasoning and lives, we sin against Him, wanting to cut ourselves off from all His amazing gifts. It’s this breach that causes our struggle and thirst. We strive to fill it ourselves, but that’s like building a house on the sand; when the storms come, it’s foundations are torn asunder.
Man is guilty, but Jesus is the solution. This is the foundation of His invitation, offering Himself up to fill the breach with God… the real need of mankind. It’s what John the Baptist referenced when he called Jesus, ‘the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.’ Jesus’ work of salvation on the cross satisfies God’s justice having poured out His wrath towards all sin on Jesus. Because He has shed His unblemished blood, forgiveness is made available to all who call on the name of Jesus. Those who believe are declared legally justified before God and receive The Spirit so we too can live and walk as Jesus did.
Do you thirst for answers and meaning? Are you endlessly striving to make something in life worthwhile? Are you trying to find these things in sports, employment, education, relationships, hobbies, or even taking risks? Are you finding yourself thirsty in every endeavor? There is hope, and His name is Jesus! Accept His invitation to come to Him, and humbly lay down your burdens and struggles at His feet. Take up His burden of glorifying the Father and know an everlasting peace and sustaining grace in His eternal rest. The choice is yours;
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church. He is the author of two devotional books, “From a Chair by the Window.” And “#PrayerWinsThe Day”.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.” Hebrews 9:27-28