What Are You Drinking?
by Kristin Fuhs, Set Me Free Ministries Board of Directors
One of my favorite things about living in Florida, besides the beautiful weather, is the ocean! I never grow tired of its beauty and power or the reassurance that it gives of our awesome Creator and loving God! It is so easy to be “face-to-face” with God on a visit to the ocean. While there, even though you are swimming, relaxing, and spending time with family and friends, the presence of the ocean is always very real. There is just no getting away. It’s so wonderful! Wouldn’t it be great if it was as easy to be aware of God in our lives as it is to be aware of the ocean on a visit to the beach?
Last Monday, I had a day when my to-do list didn’t interest me, and there was nothing pressing that I had to do. I love those days, because I am able to spend the day worshipping the Lord and soaking up His goodness. It is like I am at the ocean! For a long time now, spending time with God every day has been part of my routine. But a few years ago, I became hungry for extended time with the Lord (sometimes a whole day of just that) thanks to a dear friend who modeled that discipline in her life. I can’t imagine life without God every day, but those extended times where I listen, worship, fill up on His Word, and just rest in His arms are irreplaceable! I challenge you to give it a try. You will be blessed.
It is not easy at first, because we are so accustomed to compartmentalizing everything in our day, always having a schedule and plan. So be patient and start with one hour, then a couple of hours, then stretch to a half day, and before you know it, you too will be longing for six to eight hours of “me and God time”! After awhile, the craving is ongoing, and you feel God on your shoulder every day and begin to turn to Him first instead of last.
Another thing that I notice is that often the Lord brings me to His presence for extended times like that in the calm before a storm. Sometime I hope to share with you about my Tuesday—whew, definitely a whizbanger of a storm day! It was a good thing I was fully hydrated with Jesus! I’ll save the story of that Tuesday for another blog, though.
Back to my time with the Lord last Monday. It was a day when I just filled up on the goodness of Jesus, just because. I was drawn to the scripture in John 7:37 that says, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.” I love quenching my thirst with a cold drink of water when I am really hot. Even more than that, I love filling up with the Living Water, something my soul thirsts for. Water refreshes and quenches our thirst. But the Living Water, Jesus, not only quenches our thirst or need for Him but also gives us power, joy, and true satisfaction. When we are filled up with Jesus, our focus and ability to function day-to-day is different! We become like superheroes that can handle just about anything—and that is due to the power and strength of Jesus. It just makes sense to fully hydrate with the Living Water, doesn’t it?
Even though spending time with Jesus makes sense, I don’t mean to insinuate that it is easy. Many years ago I spoke at a weekend retreat in my hometown, where one of our activities was to draw a circle and then divide it into a pie slices. We then filled in each of the pie slices with “our life.” It was stunning to see that for most of us, Jesus was a small slice of the pie. It was at that retreat that I committed to having Jesus be more than a “slice of the pie” for me. Instead, I wanted Him to be a part of every slice that made up the pie. God knew that I needed Him to be in more of my life, and I am thankful for that retreat and even more thankful that I have had Him in and throughout my days (in most all of my minutes) over the last few years. I have experienced joy, peace, fear, sadness, uneasiness, silliness, and much more with Jesus holding my hand through it all, and not just when I needed Him! That is what He wants for all of us—a hand-in-hand relationship that never lets go in any circumstance, in all of our minutes!
I believe the challenge for us as we strive for a hand-in-hand, daily relationship with Jesus is not to compartmentalize Jesus. The definition of compartmentalize is to divide into categories or compartments. So our challenge is not to put Jesus into just one compartment of our day but to invite Him to be in every single compartment. It takes hard work, desire, and commitment. And I guarantee you, there will be times that at the end of the day, you will have not taken a single drink of Jesus and have lots of compartments where you have not invited Jesus in. Those are the days when the Lord’s arms are waiting open and ready for you to fall into. He loves you every day, all day, in every way, and His hand is always extended! Grab on and never let go!
I want to close with a true story that was shared at our new church here in Florida. We send mission teams to Uganda. They go to areas that have no clean water to drink. One of their projects is to dig wells and provide clean drinking water for these villages so they don’t have to rely on water that comes from swamps. One of our pastors was sitting on a hillside talking with one of the leaders of the village. On one side was the swamp, the only source of drinking water the village had known for years. And on the other side was the new well, full of fresh, clean, safe water to drink. The pastor watched a kind, older man and his little grandchild walk past the well and to the swamp to fill his little tin cup with water to drink. After they had gone, the pastor asked the village leader why he went to the swamp instead of to the new well, which was full of fresh water. The leader said that he didn’t know. Habits and routine are hard to break. Change is hard. That story always makes me think about how many times a day I choose to go to the swamp (things of the world) instead of to the Living Water—Jesus. I am praying for you and me to choose the Living Water instead of the swamp. It is a refreshment that can be found nowhere else, my friends.
I don’t know about you, but Jesus is on my drinking list these days. Hallelujah!
Resources to help you on your journey:
Scriptures – Living Water
John 4: 10–13
Songs – Check them out on YouTube and worship!
“All Who are Thirsty” – Kutless
“Come to the Water” – Matt Maher
“Revelation Song” – Phillips, Craig & Dean
“The Stand” – Kristian Stanfield