Episode 1. A Parched, Dry Land
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Life can feel so parched and dry – even when we’re doing all the right things. But God has a plan – a plan for rivers to flow through the desert, a plan for abundant life, a plan to quench …
Life can feel so parched and dry – even when we’re doing all the right things. But God has a plan – a plan for rivers to flow through the desert, a plan for abundant life, a plan to quench your thirst.
Sometimes life can feel, well, parched and dry. We can be doing all the right things – living life, being a parent, working, whatever it is we do – but it’s as though we’re giving out all the time and not drinking anything in. And we look at life and think, “Hang on, I’m doing all the right stuff. Why does it feel as though I’m running on empty?”
And so people go looking in all sorts of weird and wonderful places to fill up again. Day spas, meditation, holidays, coffee shops, yoga, you name it and we look in some funny places for that … I don’t know … spiritual reality.
So, how thirsty are you? How dry, how parched do you feel? Let me invite you on a journey this week because as it turns out Jesus understands that dry and parched and thirsty thing, and my hunch is He has a plan.
It’s funny reality, but living life can drain the life out of us, it’s a paradox isn’t it? But it’s true, whether you do work or study or maybe work at home, you’re a husband or a wife or mum or a dad or a volunteer or doing all the good things in life that we do. Giving out like we’re meant to do, it’s all great, but you can stand back and you take a look at that – all the things that we do in life, that stuff together that we call life – and even in the midst of all that good stuff there can be something missing.
We live in a world that’s thirsty for a spiritual reality. There’s a hunger in so many people’s lives and can I say, even in people who say, “I believe in Jesus.” There can be emptiness and dryness and an unsettled feeling to say, “I’m doing all these things but there’s something missing, there’s some spiritual reality that’s not in the puzzle and until that particular piece of the puzzle is there, I’m not whole, I’m not complete.” I wonder if you know anyone like that?
Our soul and our spirit can feel like a dry, parched land, like a desert and we need to drink in that authentic something, a deep draft of fresh, clear, living water. I wonder if it wasn’t always part of God’s plan that we need that something, that we need Him. Have a listen to what He writes. He says in the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament:
I will make rivers flow on the barren heights and springs within the valleys. I’ll turn the desert into pools of water and the parched ground into springs. I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia and the myrtle and the olive. I’ll set pines in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress together, so that people may see and know and may consider and understand that the hand of God has done this, that the Holy one has created it.
See, God knows that life drains the life out of us, God knows that sometimes our life is like that parched land, like that desert and He turns around, through Isaiah and says:
I want to make rivers flow, I want to put springs in that place, I want to turn your desert into pools of water and the parched ground into springs. I want to put trees and life into that void for you and the reason I want to do it is so that when you look at it, you’ll know it was my hand that came to do this for you, that it was I who breathed life into you, fresh, living water.
God uses this picture all through His word, through the Bible, the Old Testament, the New Testament about the way that He pours life and His sprit into us.
There’s a beaut story when Jesus … His disciples had gone on into the town and He’s at a well outside the town but He doesn’t have a bucket to put down into the well and draw water. And there’s a woman there, a Samaritan woman. Now the Jews and the Samaritans did not get on, I have to tell you, and this woman was out there in the middle of the day in the heat lugging water because she herself was an outcast. And He comes to the well and He says to her, “I need some water“. This is the story:
When this Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” because His disciples had gone into town to buy food and the Samaritan woman says to Him, “You’re a Jew and I’m a Samaritan woman, how can you ask me for a drink?” Because the Jews didn’t associate with the Samaritans, and Jesus answers her and says, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him for a drink and He would have given you living water.
She said, “Sir, you have nothing to draw with in the well it’s so deep, where are you going to get this living water from? Are you greater than Jacob who made this well?” And Jesus answers her, “Everyone who drinks this water, you get thirsty again but whoever drinks the water that I’ll give them will never thirst. Indeed the water that I will give them will become like a spring inside them, this water welling up to eternal life.
And the woman said, “Sir, give me some of that water so that I won’t get thirsty again and have to keep coming here to draw water.” And Jesus says, “Let anyone who’s thirsty come to Me and let the one who believes in Me drink and from their heart will flow rivers of living water.”
Now He said this about the Holy Spirit. So how thirsty are you? How much do you want this fresh, living water, the Spirit of God pouring into your life? Jesus said, “Come to Me and drink but it’s not for everyone.” He said, “Those who believe in Me can come to me and drink.” So what about you? Do you want this living water? Let me pray for you right now.
Father, sometimes when we hear what You have to say and we hear the words of Jesus it can all get a bit scary, we can get a bit apprehensive. God getting this close to us, I remember Father how scary that was for me and opening ourselves up and letting You pour your Spirit into us in abundance, we can get apprehensive.
Father I pray for each of us right now. Lord, will you give us the peace to know that what we just read and what we just saw is You speaking to us in a supernatural way. Lord will You open us up to be filled up afresh today with your Holy Spirit, this fountain of living water.
Father, we ask You in the name of Jesus to put that fountain inside us today. Lord, we want to have this fresh living water so that we are never, ever spiritually thirsty again. So that in an instant Father, we can turn to You and know that You are like a well in our hearts and in our souls and in our spirits to give us fresh life. Father we ask for this, to be filled with Your spirit in Jesus Christs name. Amen.
It’s an amazing thing that when we are in the desert, when our lives are dry, when we think that God has disappeared, that’s the very time that He shows up – like He has today through His Word – and makes a promise. And that promise is very simply this, He wants to turn our desert into a rich, abundant valley of life.
The promise is this, that if we believe in Him we can go to Him and say, “Father, give me this fresh living water, give me this well inside of me. Fill me to overflowing with the Holy Spirit so that every minute of every day I can know that you are in this place.”