Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.” John 4:10
Living Water means a lot to me, Lord. It means everything. I think of Psalm 1:1-3 which says, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” And this day in Scripture, a Samaritan woman, a woman that most people wouldn’t even stop to look at let alone talk to, would experience Your Living Water.
Now, this is what I’ve come to believe, Lord, according to my own life. Living water is not about religion. You can be religious and not have evidence of the Living Water flowing from you. Or, I can be Your child, I can be saved, and still not quite grasp, not quite experience the real flow of Your Living Waters. And I can’t really say if it’s because we never really tapped into those Waters, or because we haven’t allowed You to fill us with those Waters, but all I know is that we can be Yours and yet the Waters just aren’t really gushing forth. And that is a problem. And that’s not natural. Because if the Source is gushing with powerful water, then the conduit ought to be gushing too, unless there’s some kind of blockage.
But I digress again. So I’ll return to the Samaritan woman and You, Lord. You just spent a day baptizing with Your disciples and heard the Pharisees “worrying” over You and John doing so. And that wasn’t the point, so You left to head back to Galilee. Now, on the way, You determined to go through Samaria. Most people would determine to go the long way around Samaria, unless they were Samaritans. But not You. I’m glad You’re not like everyone else. And I’m glad You don’t want us to be like everyone else, but we are to be like You.
So here You are, deliberately going through Samaria, this town of mixed race Jews. And mixed things in the Jewish culture were frowned upon. It was a defilement. These were sinners. And thank goodness for the Samaritans that Your purpose was to go to the Jew first and to seek and save that which was lost. Thank goodness she was part Jew. Because You went to her city, and You sat at her well. And that’s where she came because that’s where she was. And it couldn’t have happened any differently because You always meet us where we are.
Miss Samaria comes to the well. “Give me a drink,” You say to her. Which is flabbergasting in itself. Because no respectable Jew would even speak to a Samaritan, let alone drink water from them! Imagine her response. “Are you kidding me? Are you really talking to me? Are you really asking me to get you a drink? Me? A Samaritan?” And that’s when You give her this beautiful response, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you Living Water.”
But it’s all about really knowing, really getting it. And her response was to focus on the physical water, the physical well. She focused on things the way it had always been done, the way she’d been taught for years, maybe generations. And You had to refocus her away from the physical and onto the spiritual. It’s not about filling our physical need for water or anything. There is a deeper need, a need that leads to eternal life. Now, Miss Samaria was interested in that kind of water where you will never be thirsty again. But I think she still missed the spiritual point because she wants to not be thirsty or have to come to draw water. Wow, is that missing the point!
But, Lord, You are so patient with us! You keep taking us deeper, into the darkness and pain of our own hearts so we can really see. “Go, call your husband, and come here.” Now this was a stinger and Jesus, You knew that. Would Miss Samaria be honest? “I have no husband.” Well, that was a beginning of honesty. So, Jesus, You help her with her honesty. “You are right…you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband.” Let’s deal with the whole truth here. But at least she was starting. “O.K, I sense You have a special gift from God. So, let me talk about some religious things because our people are religious in a way too.” “But God’s not interested in religion. True worship is in spirit and truth because God is spirit. He’s not a building, a place, or a method.” “Well, I understand that there is a Messiah coming who will bring us to understanding.” “You’re looking at Him, it’s Me.” Exit Miss Samaria.
Enter the disciples. Enter the flabbergasted disciples. Huh? You are talking to this Samaritan! What? What will people think? What will they say? Forget about these people. You need to eat. But Jesus is feasting on more important food.
Re-enter Miss Samaria with lots of other Samaritans. And obviously she believed what You told her, that You were the Messiah, because many Samaritans from that town believed in You not just because of her testimony but because of hearing You for themselves. “We have heard for ourselves, and we know that [You are] indeed the Savior of the world.” And You continued to spend two more days in Samaria teaching them about You.
So, what is this Living Water, lest I overlook it? Later, in John 7:37,38 You actually stand and cry out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him keep coming to Me and drinking! Whoever puts his trust in Me, as the Scripture says, Rivers of Living Water will flow from his inmost being!” Well, what does Scripture say? On Your chosen, the ones that You have formed You say, “I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.” (Isaiah 44:3) “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters…(Isaiah 55:1) “And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” (Isaiah 58:11) And let’s leap to the final book, Revelation 22:17, “The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the Water of Life without price.”
You are the Living Water. It is Your Holy Spirit that gives life, that sustains life, and that brings us into eternal life. It is everything that flows from You. They knew of it in the Old Testament because the Living Waters flowed from You at the start. It’s all about You. Adam and Eve would have experienced those Living Waters. They would have flowed into them from You and sustained them. But sin and the fall caused a blockage. But You still desire us to experience Your Living Waters, Your Spirit. And this is what You were telling Miss Samaria about. And trying to get the disciples to understand about. And me to. And when we stand before Your thrown, we will experience Your Living Waters in their fullness without any blockage at all.
The power and presence of Your Holy Spirit wants to flow from You into me. And it’s Your desire that I not just be a recepticle, but that I be a conduit. I’m to follow Your example, always. So, as You flow in me, I need to allow You to flow out to others. I need to keep the River flowing. I love the way the Complete Jewish Bible puts it, “Let him keep on coming to Me.” I can’t just rely on words I read, or what I hear someone tell me, or what I believe. I have to keep coming to You, to the Holy Spirit. Your Living Waters are real and I need them. I have to continually check for blockages, things like disbelief, sin, doing things in my own strength. So, I could be Yours and still not flow because I’m not tapped into Your Holy Spirit. I could be Yours and choose to drink my own water instead of Yours, or strange water instead of Yours. But once I cry out for Your water, once I realize the deliciousness of Your water alone, once I get tapped in, who would want to taste anything else!
Now, I’ve known You for about thirty-five years now. And in all honesty, it hasn’t been until four years ago that I really started to grasp what Your Living Waters looked like and what they were. And I saw them in two people especially. And when I saw it, I remember praying to You, “Lord, give me Rivers of Living Water flowing through me like that.” I really did pray that. I didn’t pray, “Lord, I want to be like them.” Because it wasn’t that at all. I saw You flowing through them. I saw Your attitude, Your love, Your encouragement, Your power. I felt You. I was moved by You through them. I was changed. I was saved thrity-five years ago and felt the power of the Holy Spirit in my life and was changed on the inside and out. But realizing the need for Your Living Water has taken things even deeper. And it’s moment by moment. And I don’t just need You every hour, I need You every mili-second!
Lord, I am ecstatic that You stopped to tell Miss Samaria about Your Living Waters. I’m glad that You take notice of people that other people would just ignore. I want to be like You. And I’m so grateful You didn’t ignore me, but sought me out and found me because otherwise, I would be lost. And I’m so grateful that it’s Your desire to share Your Rivers of Living Water with me. And I’m glad that Your Rivers of Living Water, Your Holy Spirit is without measure. I can’t ever drink enough and You will never run out. I have an eternal supply. Lord, thank You so much for Your patience and that You didn’t just toss me away after thrity-five years of what I thought was faithfully loving and serving. I thank You that You come to us where we are. And when we finally begin to get it, when we finally wrap our fingers around it, You rejoice with us and overflow in us. Lord, I love Your Rivers of Living Water. Let me continually seek them and live in them. And keep me ever watchful of blockages.