Because God created you as a spiritual being, you have deep spiritual needs that only he can meet. How might you be attempting to meet them, apart from God?
The story about the woman at the well in Chapter 4 of John is an excellent example of how a person can try to meet their deepest spiritual needs apart from Jesus Christ.
In this story, the Samaritan woman was attempting to draw water out of a well. This was a daily routine for her as she used this water to quench her physical thirst. The story also has a symbolic meaning to it. This woman, like each of us, had deep spiritual needs. She was living with a man who was not her husband. She was living in sin. Likely, she was attempting to meet her deep need for intimacy with her Creator through this sinful relationship. The scripture also indicates that she had been married five times. Perhaps these relationships had also not met her deep spiritual need for an intimate relationship with Jesus.
Jesus knew that she was living in sin and that no matter what she did, she was not able to meet her deep spiritual needs. This lady had been attempting to meet her deep needs in ways that were not spiritual and apart from Christ. Jesus offered this woman spiritual water that would quench her deep spiritual needs. Like the woman at the well, we too have a deep spiritual need to be loved, accepted, for worth, security and a sense of purpose. We also have a deep need to be forgiven – to receive God’s forgiveness. Because God created us and put these needs deep into our heart, only he can meet them.
Before this woman could receive God’s forgiveness and salvation, it was important for her to recognize and to admit her need for a Savior. The same is true for all of us. We must acknowledge that we cannot meet our deep spiritual needs apart from Christ. We must acknowledge our need for Jesus. In speaking with this woman, Jesus helped her realize that she had these deep spiritual needs and that what she was doing was not working. He also offered her a solution. His solution would quench the deep spiritual thirst that she had.
Jesus told this woman that whoever would drink of the water that he offers would never thirst again. He also told her that springs of living water would flow from her. Jesus wants us to be to be satisfied in him. But this deep satisfaction is not to be kept to ourselves. He wants the life that he gives us to overflow into the lives of other people. We are not to keep Jesus to our self. Each of us are to fulfill God’s greatest commandment which is to love him with all her heart, soul, mind and strength and to love others as ourselves. The more of the living water – Jesus – that we have within us, the better we are able to love other people. Jesus is the source of water, of life. Our relationship with him must be nurtured so that this life within us can be shared with others. This is the full Gospel.
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live.” Isaiah 55:1-3
In John 4:24, Jesus also tells us that we must worship him “in spirit and in truth.” To truly worship him we must connect to him deep within our soul – with our hearts. We must also be honest with ourselves and with him. By this I mean that it’s important that we have the courage to be truthful with ourselves about our sinful nature and how we fall short of living the way that God calls us to live. We must be truthful with how we may be attempting to meet our deepest spiritual needs apart from Him. We must acknowledge our sin and our need for God.
The story of the woman at the well ends well. After she receives what Jesus offers – Living Water – she leaves her water jug at the well to go share her “good news” with others. The water jug is symbolic of all the ways in which she was attempting to meet her deep spiritual needs on her own, apart from God.
Jesus wants Living Water to be flowing out from within you. If you have a tendency to meet your deep needs apart from him, open your heart more and allow Jesus to fill you with his Living Water – the Spirit of God.
Questions to Reflect On
What is your ‘water jug?’ How might you be attempting to meet your deepest spiritual needs, apart from God?
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