. . . my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water. Jeremiah 2:13
The people of God are parched. Dry. Thirsty.
But there’s an even bigger problem. I fear we don’t recognize the severity of our condition. The desert has become so familiar we’ve stopped believing God for the Promised Land.
So it sits, just beyond the horizon. The river of life flows within it, but we don’t drink. We’ve stopped believing it exists. Instead, we just keep trying to draw from the same old broken cisterns.
A Samaritan woman experienced a similar thirst. Seeking water from an earthly well, she didn’t recognize her true need. Jesus pursued her, going out of His way to awaken her to her lack.
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
Her response reveals the first mark of spiritual thirst.
The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” John 4:11-12
Spiritually thirsty people don’t believe Jesus can do the impossible.
Jesus offered her living water, and she didn’t see how He could possibly provide it. Her faith had become limited to what she could see and rationalize with her mind.
What about you, dear one? Do you believe Jesus can do the impossible in your life? Or have you given up hope that your circumstances could ever change?
You see, that’s what spiritual thirst does, beloved. It causes us to lose hope and puts limits around our faith.
Her lack of faith didn’t deter Jesus. He just kept speaking truth to her.
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14
His words reveal the second mark of spiritual thirst.
Spiritually thirsty people have no overflow to offer others.
When God’s people drink from His flow of living water, it becomes a spring of life within us. That spring will well up and flow out, offering life to those around us.
When we don’t drink from His presence, our spring can’t flow. We remain parched ourselves, so we have nothing to give. When we try to give, our giving will lack joy and will not result in life.
Is life welling up inside you, beloved? Does it flow out? If not, it’s time to drink from the fountain. Run to Jesus and declare your thirst.
For 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
He who promised is faithful, dear one. He longs to pour out life. You and I just need to stop seeking it elsewhere and ask. The woman at the well finally did.
The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.” John 4:15
But before Jesus could provide it, she had to acknowledge the broken cistern she had been running to in an attempt to quench her thirst.
Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” John 4:16-18
Spiritually thirsty people are prone to sexual sin.
An emptiness looms deep within, driving us toward relationships with a desperate need to fill it. God created that place to house His Spirit, the source of living water. When we don’t drink from Him to fill that place, we will invariably go elsewhere.
But instead of quenching that thirst, dear one, our relationships will make us all the more aware of our lack. Instead of filling us, they will empty us. And we will blame the people in our lives for their inability to meet our need, moving from one to the next in search of satisfaction.
But we won’t find it. Because in reality, the problem lies within us. The people in our lives are incapable of filling our empty place.
You see, they—like us—are broken cisterns that can’t hold water (Jeremiah 2:13).
Beloved, only Jesus can satisfy. Perhaps it’s time we believed Him and ran to Him to quench our thirst.