Stop Enduring Religion
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. (But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) John 7:37-39
The Well of Salvation
Jesus watched as the Jews celebrated one of their great feasts, the Feast of Tabernacles. The festivities reached a climax as the priest went down to the pool of Siloam and filled a golden pitcher with water. The people followed him leaping, dancing, playing cymbals, chanting, and praising. As the priest came to the temple, he poured the water on the altar.
As they chanted from the Psalms, "With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation," they didn't realize that the Old Testament ceremony prophesied the Lord Jesus. 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 a religious exercise. 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. It is time we stopped enduring religion and started enjoying salvation. 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's amazing how many people today try to find their own answers. Some people look for answers intellectually. They learn more facts, theology, and history, going from class to class and church to church with their heads getting fuller and their hearts getting emptier. Others look for answers in activity. They do more, work harder, and stay busier doing church work but experience no reality in their lives. Others search for an emotional experience but 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. All of these may find religion but not reality.
The Well of the Thirsty
To find more than religion, but a relationship with Jesus, examine what He said, "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink." You must first realize to whom Jesus is speaking. He's speaking to thirsty people not just empty, but thirsty. There are people who come to church on Sunday morning, but they don't come 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 that the source of that filling is Jesus. He was talking about Himself. You don't come to religion, rituals, rules, or resolve. Don't wait until you are better or stronger. 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; and 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. 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." You must drink.
Don't come so close, yet miss Him. Stop enduring religion, and start enjoying salvation. Come and drink from the Living Water. Once you drink, there will be in you a river of living water. You will not be a reservoir but a river. The Holy Spirit in your life will cause you to be a blessing in addition to receiving a blessing. Drink deep of the Lord and let this river flow out of you.