A Deep Well ...
Have you ever wondered if you would come to the place in your life where you have enough possessions? Then there is that diet you want to go on or the gym that will help boost your self-esteem. Is there a point that one reaches where we can say we are satisfied? The truthful answer is that in and of ourselves we will never have enough...if only I can get that job promotion or if I can get that pay rise I can live the sort of lifestyle that will give me happiness.
When you don’t have Jesus in your life as your shepherd then you find yourself on the treadmill of want. We find ourselves drinking from the water of this world that simply won’t satisfy. Jesus spoke directly about this issue in John 4:10 when He met with a Samaritan woman at a well: Jesus 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”.
“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”.
The idea of LIVING WATER was something right out of left field for this needy woman, and she was curious to know if she could have this water, because it would deliver her from the daily task of getting water and having to lug it back to her house in the heat of the day. Jesus picks up on her interest and says in v13-14, “whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. The water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life."
Jesus was saying that the water of this world will never satisfy. All the possessions you can muster, all the extreme activities you do, all the job promotions you achieve will never give lasting satisfaction and happiness. In Psalm 23, David is saying the same thing; what is needed is a relationship with Jehovah God as our shepherd.
The reality is that if you do not have Jesus as your shepherd you will want on a continuous basis, simply because we are unable to enjoy the things we acquire. If we look to things for satisfaction then we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. Things get old, cars get scratched, clothes get torn and we find expectations are not met. What we have to realize is that our relationship with God is far greater, far more important than what we have in terms of possessions.
If we know Jesus as our shepherd then we will realize what we acquire in this life is temporary, and to invest a lifetime in accruing something we cannot take with us is not only sad, but foolish. It’s important to recognize that what we have is not our own, but a gift from God. Unfortunately, many people fall into the trap of thinking what they have is what makes them as a person. What we must see is that if Jesus is number one in our lives then we don’t have to worry about what we have or don’t have because we shall not want for anything. What we must do is make our relationship with Jesus our number one priority, not the acquisition of possessions or position.
We need to learn from Paul when he said in Philippians 4:11-12; “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content; I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer needs.”
In Max Lucado’s book Travelling Light he shares a story: Doug McKnight at the age of 32 was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Over the next 16 years it would cost him his career, mobility and eventually his life. Because of MS he couldn’t feed himself or walk; he battled depression and fear. Through it all, Doug never lost his sense of gratitude. Evidence of this was seen in his prayer list. Friends in his church asked him to compile a list of requests so they could pray for him. His response included 18 blessings for which to be grateful and then six concerns for which to be prayerful. His blessings outweighed his concerns because Doug McKnight had learned to be content despite his obvious difficulties.
When you are focused on your situation or on your things you will always be characterized by wanting, because your priorities are wrong. Knowing Jesus in a daily growing love relationship enables us to be content. In fact, the closer we get to God the more we realize that we don’t need all the things we thought were so important. Life can become much simpler because we are not driven to acquire things we don’t need, and can so often become a distraction to our walk with God. The fact that we shall not want has as much to do with the realization that our relationship with God takes away false needs or wants, as much as it has to do with God meeting our genuine needs.
By Carl Carmody (Editor : Challenge)
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