By: Erica Hunt
Congratulations! If you are reading this, you have survived the year 2020! Whether you are sighing with relief; bedraggled and barely creeping forward; or even a little saddened to see the end of the year; we can be assured that God has not changed and will continue to go before us as we begin 2021. The year 2020 has taught me many things about myself and my God. One thing being the gift we have in God’s Word! Scripture to our spiritual life is like water to our physical life. When we don’t drink water, our whole body suffers, and in the same way we spiritually suffer when we neglect to water our souls with scripture.
There are two main ways that humans use water: to live and to cleanse. Plants, animals and humans all need water to live. Water is also used to clean what is dirty. We wash our hands, children, pets, dishes, cars. Water is important for the health and well-being of the world. When you are thirsty your whole body lets you know of your need. Thirst can consume our thoughts and when water is scarce it can be considered more valuable than gold. It is not by chance that God’s Word also does these two things in our spiritual lives and that Christ refers to himself as Living Water. As physical thirst drives us to sustain our bodies with the nourishment that water provides, our spiritual lives also thirst after the person of Jesus Christ.
Psalm chapter one compares a righteous person who meditates on and delights in God’s law to “a tree planted by steams of water that yields its fruit in its season…” The Bible, God’s law, helps us grow in our knowledge and understanding of God; just as trees growing by a stream are well-watered and provided with nutrients. His Word nourishes and sustains us in both our spiritual and physical life. Jesus makes this connection in a conversation with a Samaritan woman he meets at a well. He tells her that He can give her a water that would eternally quench her thirst. This piques her interest, no more trips to the well! But Jesus using the physical example of water is showing her that she thirsts for deeper spiritual purpose. He says to the woman, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13-14). Jesus was offering a life that is rooted and sustained by him, and as the Samaritan woman was realizing, everything else we try to quench our thirst with, only leaves us thirstier. Spending time with Jesus in his word quenches our thirst as we learn about him and his character and how to live a life pleasing to him.
Just as scripture leads us to the Living Water, God’s Word also cleans our hearts. It accomplishes this by pointing out our need for a pure heart. Because of our sinful nature we cannot dwell with a holy God. Scripture cleanses our hearts by renewing our mind, (Romans 12:2; Hebrews 10:22) so we can become pure and holy, like Christ. The Holy Spirit reveals to us our need for salvation, and we are made pure by the cleansing of our hearts. Ephesians 5:26 says, “having cleansed her [the church] by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in spender, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing that she might be holy and without blemish.” Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we are washed and made right with God. Christ’s righteousness allows us to now be with God for eternity.
Anyone is able to receive the Living Water that Christ offers. But the Bible also makes it clear that Jesus is the only way that we can have eternal life (John 14:6). Jesus provides and offers living water, yet we actively participate in watering our soul by spending time in God’s Word.
If you do not thirst for God, scripture will be hard to swallow. Ask God to give you a thirst for him. You may be thirsty but are not taking the time to soak in God’s Word. If you do not drink, you will not be satisfied. If you are having a hard time drinking from the Living Water these days, allow God’s word to cleanse your heart, and revive your thirst and drive you to drink from the Word of God.
Erica grew up on the South Dakota prairie, along the Missouri River. Growing up her parents introduced her to Jesus and taught her to walk in His way. She keeps busy teaching 7th and 8th grade students who keep her laughing and humble. Along with her love of the land she enjoys traveling, learning fun facts and historical information, and is always up for coffee, ice cream and a good conversation with friends. She and her husband, Justin, have been married just over a year and live in eastern South Dakota.