How many times have I come to Christ simply because I desired all His benefits? Lord, give me this so I won’t have to struggle again. Lord, make it easier for me. Lord, make it more comfortable for me. Lord, take away this burden. So often, we desire physical comfort over spiritual growth. We want the benefits of Jesus without any sacrifice. We want to get but not give.
The encounter with the Samaritan woman was no different. Upon meeting Jesus, she didn’t know who He was. Her response to His offer was strictly physical and material. She desired what He offered because it promised earthly contentment and convenience. It allowed her to avoid the discomfort of thirst and the work of having to go to the well daily. Oh, how I can relate to the response of this woman.
Give me this water...so I won't have to worry.
Give me this water...so my problems will go away.
Give me this water...so my pain will disappear.
This was a heart check, and heart checks are hard. What is my heart in following Christ? Is it earthly comfort? Or an escape from pain? Is it to feel good or more highly of myself? Or to make things in my life more convenient?
It’s normal to desire these things. It’s human to yearn for physical comfort. It’s natural to crave the easy path. It’s even easy to get wrapped up in wanting all the benefits and gifts Christ offers. But He challenges us to look beyond our temporal satisfaction to the eternal. I will be the first to admit that this is not always easy. But when we get stuck only wanting the benefits of Christ and not allowing the inner transformation, we become stagnant and weak.
We must allow Him, as painful as it is, to reveal the sin in our lives, to penetrate our conscience in a way that only He can, and to reveal ourselves to ourselves. It is only when we allow Christ to lay hold of our inner life, that we recognize the need for the living water that He offers. This was true for the Samaritan woman and it is true for us today. Christ did not come to take away challenges. He came to change us on the inside and to give us the only thing that completely satisfies. Himself.
For years, I was eager to accept the gifts He offered but refused to allow Him to actually transform my heart and my life. I was thirsty but resistant. I wanted to get but not give. I wanted all the physical comfort while avoiding any spiritual pain. I refused to allow Jesus to quench my spiritual thirst. And when we don’t allow Him to quench us spiritually, we become tempted to look for other things that will. We begin to thirst after things besides Christ. We begin drinking from the wrong fountain. We begin craving the gifts but refusing the Giver. We experience a spiritual drought.
"My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water." -Jeremiah 2:13
Sometimes, we have to slow down and get real about our relationship with Christ. Only Jesus can truly satisfy and quench the thirst within our soul...but we must be willing to look beyond the temporal benefits. We must allow the transforming work of our inner selves; the transforming work of our hearts.
"To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life." Revelation 21:6
Digging Deeper: Have you ever been distracted by the desire of physical comfort or earthy contentment? What are some things you have tried to quench your spiritual thirst with?
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