Thirsty Worship

I don’t know about where you live but here in North Alabama, it’s hot.  I mean h.o.t. HOT.    I cannot get enough to drink.  I stay thirsty.   Can anyone relate?

image via Microsoft Office

The truth is though, we should stay thirsty spiritually too.  Consider these verses from the Psalms:

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.  Psalm 63:1

I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.  Psalm 143:6

 

Often I believe we miss the depths God has for us in knowing Him and growing in Him because we fail to ask Him to make us thirsty.

We’ll end this week with one final truth about thirsting for God:

Keep thirsting! The more we long for Him, the more He reveals Himself to us.

Today, can I just simply offer you a challenge … When you feel thirsty physically, will you pray for a spiritual thirst as well?

Same Thirst, Same Grace

As we’ve explored these truths about thirsting for God, so far we have identified two:

1.  We were created to thirst for God.

2.  Our thirst can only be quenched from the inside out.

Today, we’re going to look at a familiar story from the Gospels as we discuss the third truth about thirst:

Each of our thirsting is quenched by the same grace.

Before we begin, please take a moment to read John 4:1-43.

Image via www.freebibleillustrations.com

The woman at the well … one of my favorite accounts in all of Scripture.    I absolutely love this passage of Scripture.  There is much rich truth in here about so many different aspects of a believer’s life.  Today, though I want to focus on just a few verses and what we can learn about thirsting for God in them.

First, look again at verse 4.   Jesus had to pass through Samaria, it says.  Like me, you’ve probably heard countless sermons about  how He really didn’t *have* to pass through because the Jews always took the long way around Samaria. But in this one phrase, I have gleaned something so precious – Jesus longs to quench our thirst.   It’s what He left heaven to do.

Next, read over verses 7 through 10.   We don’t normally see Jesus as demanding but He said to this woman, “Give me a drink.”  Why?  Because Jesus longs to help us see our need for Living Water.   The whole conversation was designed to point her to her need for Him.   He does the same thing for us … asks us to do those things we cannot do outside of Him – from loving our enemies to living in the fruit of the Spirit.   Christ continually draws us closer to Him through revealing the depth of our need for Him.

Look again at verses 16 – 26.   This is my favorite part!  Here is where we see the most beautiful picture:   Jesus offers us all the same grace!   Yes, this woman had been married to five men and she lived with a man outside of marriage.  But that wasn’t really the point … the point was grace.   She knew her sin just like we know ours.  And undoubtedly she’s had her sin pointed out by others as many of us have.   The beauty of grace is this … is the same no matter what.   Whether we’ve had five husbands or just treated the one we have with contempt … the same grace covers it.   Whether we’ve lived in public sin or gossiped about the sin of others … the same grace covers it.   Whether everyone sees and knows our sin or even if it’s hidden and no one around us is aware … the same grace covers it.   That Living Water is grace!  And grace quenches the thirst!  Always.

Finally, though, let’s look at the end of this story, verses 39-42.   The result of that grace is this:  When Jesus quenches our thirst, we tell others about the Living Water.   Her shame was replaced with joy and she could not wait to tell others.   I wonder about me, about us … we’ve received that same grace, drunk deep from that same Living Water … and yet, how many people are drawn to Christ – believe in Him – because of our testimony?

Perhaps you need to be sharing the sweetness of quenched thirst with someone you know … in fact, I’d imagine, that for many who read this, a name has already popped into you head and heart.   Will you respond?  Will you be obedient?  

 

What are You Thirsty For?

Yesterday we looked at the first truth about thirst:

We were created to thirst for the Lord.

Did you learn anything from our exploration in Genesis?  Whenever I read those first few chapters in Genesis I always get stuck on the reality that Satan wants us to believe God isn’t enough.   So often I find myself believing that lie … I need to do more, be more, learn more … more, more, more.   It’s a dangerous lie that can lead us straight down the path of a works-based faith and ultimately into legalism.   

Because I have learned that I slip into this “more” mentality, I have also learned several Scriptures to counteract that lie.   Today, we’ll look at one of my favorites as we explore the second truth about thirsting for the Lord:

Truth #2:  Our thirst can only be quenched from the inside out.

Two years ago my daughter got a stomach bug.   Within thirty-six hours she was completely dehydrated.  No matter how many cool baths we gave her or cool cloths we put on her forehead, she didn’t get better … she needed to be hydrated.   In the emergency room, they began treating her with IV fluids and grape popsicles.   By the time that first bag of fluids was gone, she looked and felt a hundred times better.   The only cure for her dehydration was to be rehydrated.

This concept applies to our spiritual lives … We cannot quench the thirst within us from the outside in.   Our thirst for the Lord can only be quenched from His work on the inside of our hearts and minds.   We can’t do enough Bible studies or visit enough sick people.   We can’t  spend enough time with others who are thirsting for God to have that rub off on us.  Jesus spelled out clearly the answer to quenching our thirst in the Beatitudes:

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.  Matthew 5:6  

In this verse I find three attributes of this quenching from the inside.

  1. Blessing.   Jesus said there is a blessing in this thirst.   Basically He was invoking God’s favor upon those who thirsted in this way.   I don’t know about you, but experiencing God’s favor and goodness in my life is of utmost importance to me.   I long to experience the blessing of living within the Lord’s desires for my life.
  2. Righteousness.   As we thirst (and hunger) for righteousness, we align ourselves with what God’s desires and purposes.  The result of this alignment is a deeper understanding of Who He is … and a more intimate relationship with Him.
  3. Filling.   When we thirst for Him, when we realize He is sufficient and simply long for more of Him, not more of anything else, we find ourselves filled.  Our thirst is quenched.   Far too many believers are living unfilled, unfulfilling lives.   Christ said that in Him we can experience abundant life, life to the full … this happens when we thirst for Him and believe He alone is sufficient to quench our thirst.
Today, as you are making beds, answering questions, driving to work, or fixing meals, will you also recognize your thirst can only be filled from the inside, through a relationship with Christ?   Tomorrow, we’ll look at someone familiar who learned that lesson as we explore the third truth about thirsting for God.
How have you experienced the quenching of your thirst?   

Created Thirsty

In April the Scripture Dig team was all together.   These women amaze, inspire, and challenge me.   Sometimes I find myself in shock that they all said, “Yes!” when I asked them to join me in writing a blog designed to help others dig into the depths of God’s Word.    While we were meeting and planning in April, I shared with them that the Lord had laid Psalm 42:2 on my heart as a guide for us here on the site over the coming year.  My desire is that Scripture Dig is a place that leads you to have a greater thirst for the Word of God and deeper longing for relationship with Him.

As I’ve prayed about what to share with you all during “my week,”  I’ve gone through at least five different topics.   From preparing our hearts for revival to understanding Sabbath, all sorts of themes have been considered and even outlined.  But, this afternoon (Sunday), it just clicked!   Thirst!

Several places in Scripture reference being thirsty … from the physical thirst of the Israelites wandering in the wilderness to Christ’s promise of blessing to those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.   Over the next four days, we’ll examine what it means to thirst for the Lord.

Truth #1:  We were created to thirst for the Lord.

While this may seem elementary, it is important for us to begin with this simple understanding … We all thirst for something.   Within each of us is a longing and desire for something more.   The Bible clearly teaches that from the beginning, God intended us to have relationship with Him – that we would thirst for Him.   Sin, however, affects how we fulfill that longing within us.  Some attempt to use relationships or achievements to fill the void.   Others may use work or addictions and I’ve even seen people try to fill this God-given desire with church.   But the truth is:  We were created to thirst for God.

Read Genesis 1:26 – 31.   Humans were created in the image of God.   How does that communicate the truth that God desired relationship with us?

Read Genesis 3:1-7.   The serpent (Satan) introduced to Adam and Eve the idea that God might not be enough.   He led them to question God’s goodness and as a result their own desire for Him.   Have you found yourself in that same type of place?  Wondering if God is enough?  Questioning if there is something more?  Looking around to fill your thirst with other things or people?   How does this one lie affect all of us, even today?

Read Genesis 3:8-10.   One of the main results of sin is shame.  Always.  And that shame often pushes us farther away from the Living Water of the Lord.   We begin to feel unworthy of relationship with Him.   Have you experienced those feelings of shame and unworthiness?   Notice this from these verses:   God sought Adam and Eve – though He already knew they had sinned.  He seeks us as well.   When have you been pursued by God?  How can you see that He has drawn you back to Him?

The beginning of thirsting for God is realizing our need for Him.   Perhaps you have never quite grasped what it means to have a relationship with the Lord.  If you are uncertain about this or want more information, please – PLEASE – email us at scripturedig{at}gmail{dot}com.  We would love to share with you and answer, as best we can, your questions.

Come back tomorrow for the second truth about thirst!