In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. John 7:37-38
Do you consider your life stagnant or would you consider it overflowing? Perhaps it's time to stop enduring religion and start enjoying a relationship. You'll find then you will not just merely become a reservoir, but become a river. How does Jesus address this issue and what does He say about how to accomplish this?
The Well of Salvation
Jesus watched as the Jews celebrated one of their great feasts, the Feast of Tabernacles. At the climax of the festivities, the priest went down to the pool of Siloam and filled a golden pitcher with water. The people followed him leaping and dancing as the priest came back to the temple, he poured the water on the altar.
• They didn't realize that this Old Testament ceremony prophesied the Lord Jesus. In fact, Jesus Christ Himself was that Well of salvation, yet they were paying no attention to Him. In their midst was the very Water of Life, but they were too busy going through their ritual and religion to notice.
Jesus saw the ceremony and their ecstasy, but He knew it was only a ritual and religious exercise. Jesus knew after it was over — they would go back to their homes, and it would all be a memory. He could contain Himself no more, and He stood and literally shouted, "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink."
The Well of Life
Today, as then, we don't need religion; we need a personal, vital relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
• When Jesus stood up and cried, He said to them what He's saying to you, "Are you thirsty? Come to Me and drink." It is time we stopped enduring religion and started enjoying salvation.
It's amazing how many people today try to find their own answers. Some look for answers intellectually. Others look for answers in activity by working harder. Others search for an emotional experience but find they need more each time. Still others look for answers as the Pharisees did — in the way they live — primarily noted by what they don't do.
The Well of the Thirsty
To find a relationship with Jesus, examine what He said, "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink." To whom Jesus is speaking? He's speaking to thirsty people — not just empty, but thirsty.
• There are people who go to church on Sunday morning, but they don't go seeking God. I don't know how much of God you have, but you have all you want. You don't have more because you don't want more. Pray that God would give you a burning, blistering thirst, so that you would say, "I'm done with religion. I want reality. I am thirsty today for what is real!"
You also need to understand the source of that filling is Jesus — He was talking about Himself. Don't wait until you are better or stronger. You'll be like a man in quicksand. The more you struggle, the deeper you sink. Don't work your way to Him — He is the Way.
Holiness is not the way to Christ; Christ is the way to holiness. Bring Him your weaknesses, fears, failures, and heartaches. Jesus throws open His arms to you today and says, "Are you thirsty? Come to me."
Come and Drink
Not only do you come, you must drink — by faith. Many come to this point but stop.
• They say, "Yes, Christ is the answer," but they never really believe. Somehow they get it in the margins of their Bibles, in their notebooks, or in their heads; but they fail to get it in their hearts. Don't let that happen to you! You must drink, and you do it by faith. There comes a time when we need to believe Him and say, "My heart is thirsty for the blessing. I will receive the Lord Jesus. I take Him by faith."
Don't come so close, yet miss Him. Stop enduring religion, and start enjoying a relationship. Come and drink from the Living Water. Once you drink, there will be in you a river of living water. And when the river begins to flow out of you, there will be life where there once was death. There will be fruitfulness where there was barrenness. The Holy Spirit in your life will cause you to be a blessing and to receive a blessing.
I believe we are living in the lengthening shadows of the last day. I believe Jesus Christ is coming soon, and one of the earmarks is persecution of the saints. We see it on TV, newscasts, and editorial pages. Ridicule any other group and you’ll be in trouble, but the wrath of our culture is reserved for the Christian. The Bible-believing Christian is the whipping boy.
People are continually discussing what’s happening in this country, the Middle East, and every corner of the globe. What many may not realize is that we are already at war—an invisible, unseen war between light and darkness, good and evil. And Satan is our adversary.
Someone reading this article—it may be you—has failed the Lord, and you think perhaps God is finished with you.
Suppose you’re running a 100-yard dash. You’re in the starting blocks. The gun fires and you start out running. You’re 10 yards ahead of everybody else. You’re three feet from the goal! But you quit.
Even the strongest Christian can battle depression—but God has made specific provision for us.