2/15/06

Encouragement for Today

 

“Obey Your Thirst”

Marybeth Whalen, Author, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse:

John 4:13-14, “Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’“ (NIV)

 

Devotion:

My 11-week-old daughter certainly knows how to obey her thirst.  Each night she awakens me from a deep sleep to do just that.  God programmed a need to refuel into the mind of this helpless infant so that she could grow and develop on schedule.  Her thirst is relentless and her cries unavoidable.  As I pondered what it means to meet her needs and quench her thirst, my thoughts led to my own thirst for God.

 

When Jesus met the woman at the well, He told her that He had the answers she was seeking and could give her water that would satisfy her forever.  Did she answer, “Well, I don’t think so?”  No!  She said, “Let me have some of that!”  She was instantly convinced of her need for this living water that Jesus had to offer her.  Like the woman at the well, I am in need of a thirst quencher that will offer eternal satisfaction, not a temporary fix.  My soul cries out for me to obey this God-given thirst originating from deep within me.

 

Contrast what Jesus offered the woman at the well to what our enemy Satan has to offer.  My kids and I have been reading “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe,” and one scene in particular stood out to me as we read it.  In this scene, Edmund encounters the White Witch, who gives him his favorite treat — Turkish Delight.  He gobbles it down, and then wants more.  The White Witch uses his desire for it to manipulate Edmund.  “She knew, though Edmund did not, that this was enchanted Turkish Delight and that anyone who had once tasted it would want more and more of it, and would even, if they were allowed, go on eating it till they killed themselves.” (p.33) 

 

We all have a Turkish Delight in our life.  It is sin, and Satan loves to use whatever we want more and more of to manipulate us as the White Witch did Edmund.  He dangles it in front of our faces and tantalizes us with promises of more.  Whether it is eating, smoking, alcohol, pornography, money, vanity – whatever he can think of — knowing we will gorge ourselves like fools while he delights in victory.  That is what our enemy is good at — leaving us never feeling satisfied, holding onto empty promises. The sin in our lives is what separates us from God, and that is exactly where Satan wants us; far, far away from the One who loves us most.

 

Do you have a Turkish Delight in your life today that has a stronghold on you?   Maybe it is not a huge sin in your book — just the little white lies or the occasional gossiping.  And yet, you can’t seem to break free of the hold it has on you no matter what it is.  You feel defeated and hopeless — thirsty but never satiated.  Satan loves it when you feel this way; and yet, you don’t have to.  Jesus is there with arms outstretched, offering hope and fulfillment like you have never found.  He longs to give you living water so that you will never thirst again.  He offers a chance to break free from the bondage of whatever sin has you in its stronghold.  I know that, for me, I would much rather serve a God that lets me quench my thirst than an enemy that leaves me always wanting more.

 

My Prayer for Today:

Dear Heavenly Father, I need Living Water in my life.  I have searched in all the wrong places to quench this thirst while You have been right there waiting for me the whole time.  Thank You Lord, for loving a sinner like me enough to offer Yourself to me like You do.  I realize now that You are all I need.  Help me to break free of the bondage I have felt—of always wanting more.  Thank You for Your sacrifice so that I can have true freedom and be with You someday in Heaven.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Application Steps: 

If you are feeling Jesus knocking on your heart’s door today, find another Christian you can trust to talk to and confide in about what you are experiencing.  If you have been a Christian for awhile, but are struggling with the bondage of sin, use today to claim the freedom from that sin that Jesus has already made possible.  If you are not the one who is struggling with sin and addiction, but know someone who is, spend today in prayer for that person.  Don’t stop praying because the situation seems hopeless! 

 

Reflection Points:         

What is the Turkish Delight in your life?  What steps do you need to take to be free from that desire of always wanting more?  Does the idea of never thirsting again appeal to you?  Consider praying to invite Jesus into your life as the Living Water your soul is longing for.  Like the Woman at the Well said, “Give me this water” (John 4:15).  It’s time to obey your thirst!

 

Power Verses:

2 Peter 2:17-19, “These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm.  Blackest darkness is reserved for them.  For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error.  They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.”  (NIV)

James 4:7-8a, “Submit yourselves, then, to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Come near to God and he will come near to you.”  (NIV)

 

Psalm 63:1, “O God, You are my God, earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You, my body longs for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” (NIV)

 

Revelation 7:16-17, “Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst.  The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat.  For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; He will lead them to springs of living water.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (NIV)

 

Additional Resources:

Do You Know Him?

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/knowHim.htm

 

Coming Out of the Dark, by Mary Southerland

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_outDark.htm

 

The Ultimate Makeover, by Sharon Jaynes

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_ultimateMakeover.htm

 

Because (audio CD), by Gwen Smith

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_because.htm