They went to the cisterns and found no water. They returned with their vessels empty. [Jeremiah 14:3]
When was the last time you enjoyed a cool, refreshing drink of water? Was it from the kitchen sink or a container in the fridge? Or a pristine stream in the mountains?
Most people don’t really think about such a simple convenience. We get thirsty, we get a drink. Something as simple as quenching thirst isn’t high on our worry list. Yet it is estimated that three out of ten people in the world (approximately 2.1 billion) do not have safe, readily available water at home. Yet hydration is one of the primary needs of survival.
Imagine for a moment you are hot and thirsty. You go to your usual water source and find it dry as a bone. No water from the faucet, nothing in the fridge, the store shelves are bare. You go fully expectant, yet return empty. Regardless of your desperate search, you remain thirsty. You are parched and withered, yet you find all your sources are dry. Now, you’re not just thirsty but also confused and irritated.
Physical thirst is bad enough. Aside from those parts of the world where it is not readily available, most people can eventually satisfy their thirst.
Spiritual Thirst – Quenched by a Spiritual Source
But what about spiritual thirst? What about that deep emptiness, inner longing, parched realization that leaves the soul gasping for relief? No peace, only turmoil. No relief, only restlessness. Visiting your mirages of relief (pleasure, wealth, materialism, entertainment, avoidance, addiction, abuse, whatever), you find them unreliable streams and waters that fail. Your desperation equals that of the rich man in hell who asked for just a drop to quench the tip of his tongue. Now what?
How comforting to know there is a reliable, everlasting water source that never runs dry [John 4:13-14]. All are invited to its refreshing fountain [Isaiah 55:1]. But two questions confront our thirsty souls: How do we access it? and Will we access it?
How to Access Living Water
When Jesus spoke with the woman of Samaria, their conversation took place beside a well. The woman had come to draw water in the heat of the day. When Jesus asked her for a drink, they began to talk about water. Jesus shared not only the source of living water but also how to access it.
Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 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 [John 4:13-14].
Later in His ministry, Jesus made a further announcement about the source of and access to this living water.
If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water [John 7:37-38].
Jesus is the source of living water that quenches dry, thirsty, wilted souls. For those who drink, He promises an inner gushing fountain. He alone can transform the thirsty into fountains of living water. We not only quench our spiritual thirst in Him, we become thirst quenchers for others by sharing His living water with them.
Willingness to Access Living Water
Imagine some poor soul stumbling out of a desert where he spent several days. You have a deep well containing cold, refreshing water. In your generosity, you draw up a bucket full and offer it freely to the parched stranger. How foolish would he be to hesitate or refuse it only to stagger on in search of a bucket of sand, rocks, or raw sewage? Would you call him crazy or compel him to drink from the pure water you offer?
For those who have yet to place their trust in Jesus Christ, He alone will satisfy your inner thirst. He alone is the source that satisfies every longing of your soul. But you must come to His oasis—leaving the burning desert of self, sin, and the world—and drink deeply. Your eternal life depends on it.
For believers, though you have the fountain of living water springing up within you, you live in a barren desert. Sin is an incredible withering, parching agent. The “lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” [1 John 2:16] will dehydrate you in a millisecond. This is why it is critical to drink daily and deeply from His fountain. Your spiritual life depends on it.
Come to The Fountain
The only source of refreshing, renewal, restoration and reconciliation with God is Jesus. He is the way, the truth, and the life—through Him alone do we have eternal life and access to God the Father [John 14:6]. The choice is ours. We can continue staggering in the withering barrenness of sin, seeking relief from the world’s empty wells, or we can come to the Living Water that will never run dry.
O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water [Psalm 63:1].