Are You Still Thirsty?
Soon after Columbus discovered the American continents, an explorer・s ship left England bound for South America. It was a long journey, and their supply of drinking water was depleted before they could find land. The whole ship・s complement was very tired and anxious by then, and they grumbled against the captain who was navigating, for soon they would die of thirst. Days passed, and there was no sight of land. Unable to withstand the pain of thirst any longer, an utterly exhausted seaman finally jumped overboard to commit suicide. But after he swallowed the first mouthful of water, he discovered that the seawater was in fact incomparably cool fresh water. Indeed, although they had not yet caught sight of land, their ship had already entered the mouth of the world・s largest fresh water river, the Amazon.
We often hear those who have received the grace of salvation say that before they knew Christ Jesus, their souls were parched. Although they indulged in the materialistic and hedonistic pleasures of the world with abandon, they were not satisfied. Yet, among those who call themselves believers of the Lord, there still are those whose souls are arid and fatigued, and are equally dissatisfied. Their spiritual circumstances are analogous to the sailors・ in the story above. Even though the territory they・d entered had a plentiful source of water, they were still obliviously enduring their thirst. On the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, our Lord Jesus Christ stood and loudly declared, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." (John 7:37-39) We who have the life of God must, through Jesus Christ, continue to enjoy the life He gives us that is as abundant as a mighty river. We should not be satisfied to have accepted and believed in Him just once, tasted the early joy of salvation for one time, and are then unmoved to seek betterment. If so, our spiritual lives will quickly be decayed and desiccated.
There are many reasons for one・s spirit to feel thirsty. 1) Perhaps you have not truly repented, believed in the Lord and been saved; never really received the life granted by God, and the Holy Spirit has never taken authority in your heart. Maybe you have mingled within the church for years, enjoying only the social life of the fellowships, and others all consider you a Christian, but when you self-examine, your soul still feels the thirst and is not truly satisfied. Such a person has in fact not been accepted by God nor received the Holy Spirit. 2) Perhaps you do believe in the Lord and are saved, but for years your spiritual journey has been mired in the same spot without progress. If you are only capable of extracting from the sweet experience of your initial conversion, or merely borrowing from the God-loving experiences of others, and neglect any self-improvement and root-taking in the Lord, soon you too will feel spiritually parched and dissatisfied. 3) Maybe you believe and are saved, and have attempted to pursue and make strides. But for the sake of a livelihood, you must work very hard. You expend all of your time and energy in order to increase your own worth and develop your enterprise. At labour・s end, you eagerly schedule for pleasures of the flesh. After a long time in this life style, you will gradually marginalize God・s position in your life, forget any life of devotion, and neglect the interaction of fellow believers. You will trivialize the everlasting hope of heaven, and concentrate on the immediate and tangible gratifications of the earth. Slowly you will follow the path of Esau. Even though you may be successful in enterprise, your spiritual life will be destitute, and one day you will feel the thirst and deficit, just like the church at Laodicea. Of such a person, God warns, "My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.； (Jeremiah 2:13)
So we must self-examine the reason why our souls are still thirsty, and apply the correct remedy so that we can re-establish our root in the Lord, and earnestly seek improvement once again. ：Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity.； (Hebrews 6:1)
By: Daniel To