“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
Everybody searches for life somewhere. God has placed this intrinsic quest in each of our hearts, and its purpose is to drive us closer to Him. We were made for Him, but some of us get so wrapped up in the treasure hunt of life, that we ignore God- or even worse, forget about God. In this state of God-amnesia, we’ll look for life where it cannot be found, and we will always come up empty.
We can search for life in only two places. We can find life to the fullest vertically, or we will shop for it horizontally.
“They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise!” Romans 1:25
What is the lie we’ve received? It’s the lie that life can be found somewhere outside of God. It’s the lie of all lies, the most damaging lie ever told. And if we believe it, we will not only be left empty and discouraged, but our life will be set on a course of destruction.
The world is full of beautiful and sparkly things, but nothing in this world can give us the life our hearts long for. All the beauty we are surrounded by has been created to point us back to the One who is able to give our hearts full and eternal delight.
“I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.” Psalm 121:1-3 MSG
He alone is able to give us a reason for getting up in the morning and a purpose for living. He alone can infuse our hearts with hope and peace, regardless of what’s going on around us. And, He calls us in love to come to Him and follow Him.
He promises us life. Abundant, rich, and satisfying life is what Jesus came to live, die and rise again to give us. The empty tomb not only means he has conquered death, but it tells us that He has life in His hands.
Where do you feel like you are searching for life right now?
Would your quest be characterized by a more vertical or horizontal pursuit?
“5 Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. 7 Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” 8 He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.
9 The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”
10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”
11 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”
13 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
15 “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”
16 “Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her.
17 “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied.
Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband— 18 for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!” John 4: 5-18
There it is… the longest recorded conversation between Jesus and anyone else in the Bible. It’s a powerful story that’s chock-full of emotion and brokenness, and it’s so detailed that we can almost feel the tension and surprise in the interaction.
Here we have the sweet Samaritan woman, coming to draw water in the heat of the day, when she’s sure to avoid the ridicule and rejection from other women, and then she encounters the full disclosing power of Jesus who tells her everything she has ever done in her life. All masks are off, there’s nowhere to hide, and the compassionate words of Jesus offer her hope.
He says, “I will give you living water, and anyone who drinks the water I give will never be thirsty again. It will become a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
Jesus stirred up a thirst and desire for living water within her with His words, and she quickly responded with, “I’m thirsty! Please give me a drink of this water! I don’t want to come back to this well again, I don’t want to bear the weight of scorn and judgment any longer! Please help me!”
The Samaritan Woman was thirsty and wasn’t afraid to say so. Her horizontal pursuit of life was abruptly intersected by the Source of true life, and this interaction was the defining moment of her life.
What are you thirsty for?
Is there a familiar brokenness or a longing you cannot even identify deep in your heart that you need to talk to Jesus about today?
Will you receive the invitation to tap into the thirst-quenching living water you’ve been given instead of trying to drink from an empty well of this world?
“The woman said, “You must be a prophet! 20 So tell me this: Why do our fathers worship God here on this nearby mountain, but your people teach that Jerusalem is the place where we must worship. Which is right?”
Jesus responded, 21 “Believe me, dear woman, the time has come when you won’t worship the Father on a mountain nor in Jerusalem, but in your heart. 24 From here on, worshiping the Father will not be a matter of the right place but with the right heart. For God is a Spirit, and he longs to have sincere worshipers who worship and adore him in the realm of the Spirit and in truth.” The woman said, “This is all so confusing, but I do know that the Anointed One is coming—the true Messiah. And when he comes, he will tell us everything we need to know.”
26 Jesus said to her, “You don’t have to wait any longer, the Anointed One is here speaking with you—I am the One you’re looking for.” John 4:19-26
Jesus said “believe me, dear woman!” I am the One you’ve been looking for, I am the One who can give you life, I am the One who knows you inside and out.
Could those words be for you too?
Is there an area in your life where you need to believe Jesus and apply truth?
Could the command to believe be the first step you need to take?
“All at once, the woman dropped her water jar and ran off to her village and told everyone, 29 “Come and meet a man at the well who told me everything I’ve ever done! He could be the Anointed One we’ve been waiting for.” So there were many from the Samaritan village who became believers in Jesus because of the woman’s testimony. 40 Then they begged Jesus to stay with them, so he stayed there for two days, 41 resulting in many more coming to faith in him because of his teachings. Then the Samaritans said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you told us, but now we’ve heard him ourselves and are convinced that he really is the true Savior of the world!” John 4:28-41
And just like that, Jesus sent out a “bad girl” as an evangelist.
Many from her town initially believed and received life just because of her courageous testimony. And the bubbling spring of eternal life spilled over, and many, many more experienced living water for themselves.
God’s not interested in the “cleaned up” version of ourselves. He’s not fooled by all of the masks we put on to appear to be good or to have it all together. He knows us inside and out, and He calls us out of hiding in to the glow of His healing light to be restored. If you’ve experienced the power of God’s mercy go tell someone about what He has done.
Think about all of the places in your heart and in your life that have been touched by the wellsprings of living water. Thank Him for the places where His living water has already flowed into your life.
Ask God for a deeper and greater thirst for His living water. Ask Him to give you an appetite and a hunger for His word so you can pursue vertical living with Him wholeheartedly. Ask Him for a sense of satisfaction in the water of grace for the times when you become aware that you are shopping for life horizontally.