Jesus often taught kingdom concepts using everyday metaphors. He once referred to relationship with Him as being ‘water’. Jesus used ‘thirst’ as a picture of the spiritual need and longing that everyone has.
Jesus met a woman at the well (John 4). It was the middle of the day. You don’t fetch water at the well in the middle of the day – you go in the morning when it’s cool. She was riddled with shame. For being a woman, and for having a not-so-good past, she didn’t have the best reputation. She was hiding, but she was ultimately thirsty. As Jesus recognized, she wasn’t just thirsty for literal water, she was dry and thirsty spiritually. She had been trying to fill her void with a mere mirage of water – men. What she really needed was the ‘living water’ of Jesus.
Why does Jesus refer to himself as ‘living water’? Well, let’s consider the characteristics of water:
1. Water carries you. When a force of wind acts upon water, it causes a current – a movement of water. Currents of water are powerful. When caught in a current you will exhaust quickly trying to fight it, the best thing you can do is ride the current. Likewise, the powerful love of God carries you. Your efforts in trying to fight it are frivolous. You will never out-swim the intense current of God’s love. In whatever season, let the mighty love of God carry you. Rest and ride the rapid!
2. Water refreshes. Possibly the most obvious purpose of water is to satisfy thirst. At least 60% of the adult body is made of water. Every living cell in the body needs it to keep functioning. Your systems can only go a week maximum without water. Our souls are equally designed to operate on the living water that Jesus offers. We need it to keep functioning. We can’t go long without it. Anything else is a fleeting mirage of truly satisfying water.
3. Water cleanses. We use water to wash ourselves. It cleanses and cleans. It cuts through the grime and dirt, and eliminates opportunities for infection. When Jesus invites us to part-take in relationship with Him, as ‘living water’, it is an invitation to be cleansed and cleaned, to sort out the muck out, and position you for health.
Wherever you are at in your faith journey, we all need the living water of God. Like we daily consume physical water, we need the living water of God to carry us, refresh us, and cleanse us.
A daily devotion for a better way of living.