John 4:7-15 says: A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give Me a drink." For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. 9 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, "How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?" For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. 10 Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water." 11 The woman said to Him, "Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? 12 "Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?" 13 Jesus answered and said to her, "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life." 15 The woman said to Him, "Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw."
In 1999 I heard a statement that forever changed my life. During a difficult time in my life, a gentle ex-pastor said to me, “When you get up in the morning, there is nothing that you can do to make God love you any more. And there is nothing you can do to make God love you any less. God simply loves you because He's God.” Wow! That was such a revelation to me. I had grown up thinking of God as this big dude in the sky holding a baseball bat ready to whack me when I messed up. I had been in some church situations where grace was scarce. So that statement, by this sweet gentleman, revolutionized my thinking about God and was just what I needed to hear! 1 John 4:16 says, "And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love."
1 Cor 13 says: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." We can substitute God each time love is used in this scripture.
Unfortunately instead of going to the Well, where we can rest in God's arms and feel this perfect love, we often go elsewhere to seek joy, contentment, love, whatever. I’ve found the reason I typically skip the well is because it requires stillness. Ps 46:10 says, "Be still and know that I am God."
In our frenetic, technology-driven world we just don't know how to be still. Knowing that He is God and that He loves you no matter what, requires you to be still. Our world seems to go faster and faster with each passing year, and it's like we've all become ADHD. We fall into the traps of technology, of trying to get ahead, of more and more success, of good works. We've gotten to a place where rest and stillness are foreign concepts.
We buy into marketing messages that tell us we need bigger and better stuff. We believe the messages that tell us we need to do more and more, that we need to chase this "dream" and that "goal". We feel we need to serve more in our church or synagogue, often at the expense of the well-being of our family. Well-meaning parents pass on this freneticism to their kids. The endless practices and activities the kids are involved in has replaced the family meal. It’s like we are all living on this hamster wheel that only goes faster and faster. We can’t figure out how to slow it down enough to get off.
We chase goals as if our life depended on them, and when we reach them, our identity gets wrapped up in that status as _______. Or we don't make the goal, or it takes what feels like forever and we start asking, "what's wrong with me?" We fall into the comparison trap. OMG why can't I be like so and so? We see other people accomplish whatever, and the green-eyed monster raises its head.
Now there is nothing wrong with having goals and dreams. I believe they are from The Lord, most of the time. But I can promise you God NEVER wants you comparing yourself to anyone. Comparison is a cancer. I also don't believe God wants us competing with people. Does that mean we never play games? OF course not, but competing often drives us to fear and control, and that's never God. He says perfect love casts out fear. If anything causes us to act with anything that is not love - see 1 Cor 13 - then we need to examine our hearts. We need to go to the well.
Our problem is that we don't go to the Well and as the song says – “we're running on empty and we can't find the remedy. We spend our whole life chasing what's missing. But that empty inside, it just ain't gonna listen. The world will try, but it will NEVER fill - it will leave you high and dry.” (The Well by Casting Crowns)
Those accomplished goals or good deeds that you do, they might feel good for a split second, but they are never going to satisfy long-term. There will always be that next thing you have to chase and you won't feel worthy until you've reached that. Then the next and the next.
But if you go to the Well, and you be still and know that He is God. If you take time to let Jesus fill you with His love and His approval, so you're not striving for the approval of man, “then you'll be full of love beyond measure. Your joy will flow like a stream in the desert. Soon all the world will see that living water is found in Him.” You'll be attractive to people and they'll draw near because they sense that living water flowing out of you. You'll accomplish your God-given goals easier and you'll enjoy the process more. When you drop comparing yourself to others and their journey, you'll be free to enjoy your journey and learn the lessons you need to learn. You'll thirst no more because you've found the Well. You'll find what your soul longs for.
IS 48:17-18 says, “This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: 'I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.'''
When people say no and you feel the sting of rejection, go to the Well. Jesus never rejects you!
When loved ones disappoint you, and they will, go to the Well. Jesus never disappoints.
When your spouse does something stupid, and we all do, go to the Well. Jesus never does stupid things.
When you don't make your goal for the 50th time, go to the Well. Jesus will let you know you are worthy, with or without the goal.
When someone criticizes you, go to the Well. God doesn't criticize. He may encourage you to work on this or that aspect of your persona - but He never criticizes.
When someone praises you, go to the Well. We need to go to the Lord more when we get praise, than when we get criticism. Being with Him helps our heads keep from swelling. He helps us not believe the publicity. It's important for us not to take anything personally - either good or bad. Seek the Lord's approval, not man's. People will always leave you high and dry, but Jesus won't.
Whether you are on the mountaintop or in the valley, go to the Well.
Going to the Well helps us realize, as Mother Teresa said, that we are all just small pencils in the hand of a loving God who is writing a love letter to the world.
Going to the Well helps you view every situation in the context of God as your Father and you as His child.
I encourage you today to leave it all behind:
Leave it all behind and go to the Well - the Creator of the Universe who loves you more than you can fathom - the One who is especially fond of you, welcomes you with open arms.
Leave it all behind and learn to be still in His presence - rest in His arms awhile and feel the change His child. And when your full of love beyond measure, your joy is going to flow like a stream in the desert. Soon all the world will see, that living water is found in Him. People will want what you have, they will want to tap into the Well of everlasting water - where you never have to thirst again!
The world desperately needs Jesus' living water - let's allow Him to flow through us to touch those He places in our path. Let's be Jesus with skin on - and that's only done by spending time in His presence and knowing Him.
Inspired by the song The Well by Casting Crowns https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79e8Te63INM
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