How Christianity remove the stones—God quenches the thirst
We are all looking for something.
Among what we are looking for are answers to some very specific questions. Of course, as the world has grown increasingly more complex, the number of questions have multiplied. Because of technological advancement and affluence, the number of choices for everything from where to live to which school to attend to what foods to eat have caused an increase in selections, which in turn has caused decision making more difficult.
There are also some questions that are of more importance than others. A good example of this can be found in an article titled, “Answered! Life’s 25 Toughest Questions”, authored by Jeanne Marie Laskas for Reader’s Digest. The article has some merit and is fun to read, but it certainly does not list the most important questions nor the most difficult questions to answer. Those questions relate to where we came from? how we got here? where we are going? and is there a God? Every person is confronted with these questions. Every person will answer these questions according to what an individual comes to believe.
And, the answers to these questions are of paramount importance. Unfortunately, in our pluralistic and postmodern society, correct answers have taken backseat to the questions. One web site writer illustrates this perspective:
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from reading books, interviewing smart people, and having conversations with my mentors is that questions are more important than answers. But that goes against everything you learn in school where you’re rewarded for the quality of your answers. However, that’s not what you should judge a person on. Instead, look at the quality of a person’s questions, like Voltaire famously said: ‘Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.’
The author no doubt has good intentions, and sometimes the question can be as important as the answer. But regarding the most pressing questions in life, the answers are most important.
Where do people look to quench their thirst for answers? These most important questions produce a sort of thirst within every individual driving him or her to search for answers to the questions. And, when people are looking to satisfy the thirst for their inner questions they often look for the answers in those sources of information we have been discussing. People look to human wisdom, human philosophy, and human understanding which form variations of the same basic answers. Additionally, even a greater number of people look to a myriad of religions and alternative religious thinking for answers. Yet, these answers do not satisfy. Those who ascribe to human wisdom are ever searching—those who ascribe to various religions are ever working to appease and gain merit with God.
God sets the heart free to thirst no more For those who obey the gospel, God quenches the inner thirst. When he does, he sets believers free.
There is a well-known story in the gospel of John that illustrates this matter. In the narrative, Jesus and his disciples were traveling on foot from the region of Judea to Galilee. Along the way Jesus’s disciples left him and went to buy food in a nearby town. The Bible informs us that Jesus sat by a public water well to rest. In time a young woman approached the well to draw water and Jesus engages her in a conversation. Here is John’s explanation of the account (emphasis added).
And he [Jesus] had to pass through Samaria [to go to Galilee]. So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 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.” 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.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water [drawn from the well] 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 4:1-14 ESV).
What is this gift of God that Jesus refers to? No doubt that gift is forgiveness of sins and the gift of salvation. But notice Jesus’ description of the gift extends to something more. Jesus indicates that the gift, using the water as a metaphor, quenches the inner thirst. The water that God gives to people quenches the thirst of looking for the answers to life’s most pressing questions. Because the thirst for these answers are quenched in Jesus Christ, he is the answer to man’s quest for the truth, for meaning, and for purpose. In another place John records Jesus using the metaphors of both bread and water to make his point. John writes, “Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst'” (John 6:35 ESV). Again, the issue is that Christ quenches every believer’s inner thirst for truth and the answers to life’s most pressing questions.
In fact, the Scriptures use numerous metaphors to communicate that believing in Jesus Christ sets people free. Jesus said it in this manner: “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32 ESV italics added). In other words, once an individual obeys the gospel, the truth of God sets the person free and satisfies the inward need and longing of the individual. And what does the truth of God set people free from? (Please don't miss this) God’s truth frees people from searching for the answers in the wrong places and believing the wrong truth proposals.
Paul explains that the answers to the questions are provided to all who believe. Consider well what Paul states (italics added).
Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person [the one who does not believe in Christ] does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:12-14 ESV).
But those who know God through Jesus Christ are taught by the Holy Spirit and assisted to understand truth—and they are fully satisfied inwardly. Their thirst is quenched; their questions are satisfied; their searching is concluded. Christ alone quenches their thirst.
As we close, please consider just a few of God’s invitations for those thirsting to come to Him for inner quenching and eternal life (italics added).
Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live (Isaiah 55:1-3 ESV).
“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come! And let the one hearing say, Come! And let the one who is thirsty come. And he willing, let him take of the Water of Life freely” (Revelation 22:17 MKJV).
“And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely” (Revelation 21:6 ESV).
God removes the stones in the path to set people free. He wants to do the same for you.Homepage