What do we drink when we’re really thirsty? Soda, milk, ice tea? We might reach for these things when our throats are a little scratchy, our mouths are dry, or when we just want something to drink. But when our bodies are dehydrated, when we need fluids, most of us instinctively reach for water. We seem to know that water is the only liquid that can satisfy a real, true thirst.
Last week I told you about the new book I started reading – “Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health,” by Donald S. Whitney. The first question Whitney says we should ask to determine if someone is growing spiritually is “Do you thirst for God?”
I’ve been thinking about this for the last week. Just how thirsty am I? Whitney says “God did not make us to be content in our natural condition.” That statement challenges me. Sometimes I’m too content in my natural – and that means worldly, sinful, unChristlike – condition. In those times, I lap up spiritual soda pretending it can hydrate my soul. But all too soon I’m back for more because soda only makes me thirsty again.
But there are other times – times when I realize that only Living Water can truly satisfy. The dried-up, shriveled places in my soul are hydrated through time in Christ’s presence. They soak up Living Water like a sponge. According to Whitney, once we’ve tasted Living Water we no longer thirst due to dryness of soul, but we thirst out of pure desire for God.
“Unlike the dry soul, and as self-contradictory as it may sound at the moment, the satisfied soul thirsts for God precisely because he is satisfied with God.”
This question of spiritual thirst prompted my choice for my February memory verse. I’m striving to memorize Philippians 3:7-11 before the end of the month. However, here is the pivotal verse of that passage: “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death…”
Paul was thirsty for Christ. And it wasn’t because he had never drank of Him. In fact, Paul was thirsty because he had already drank of Him. Paul knew from experience that Christ satisfies a thirsty soul. And he wanted more.
I ask myself and I ask you, “Are we thirsty?”