“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
There are two things that I feel God has been teaching me lately. First, it’s the importance of drinking enough water. While this may seem like a “worldly” principle, I’ve discovering how much better I feel when I’m well-hydrated. I’ve tried fasting on various occasions, to pray and read the Bible and break my addiction to over-indulging in food. It is always a struggle to go a day without eating, but I’ve found that if I’m careful about my water intake before the fast and during it, I can survive it. How much water, you may ask? A friend of mine recommended that everyone drink half of his or her body weight in ounces. Days that I’ve been careful to drink that much (and that’s a lot for me!), I’ve felt SO much better! I haven’t been as tempted to overeat, and I think sometimes I’m mistaking thirst for hunger.
Similarly, just like I’ve turned to food instead of water, the second thing I’m learning is that there are times I’m thirsting for God and turning to food instead because it’s quick, easy and feels good to my flesh immediately.
In her Bible study A Woman of Moderation, author Dee Brestin (2007) asked participants to read John 4:4-35. Jesus was traveling through Samaria and after His disciples had left to buy food, He stopped a woman who was drawing water and asked her to give Him some. She was surprised because Jews didn’t associate with Samaritans at the time and typically men didn’t approach women. In addition, this woman wasn’t the most upright in character for a Rabbi to be approaching her. John 4:10 says “Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.'” He continues after she asks Him how He was going to draw this water, saying “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13-14).
Dee Brestin (2007) asks how we know that the woman didn’t get it, indicating Spiritual blindness, and we have only to look at her answer in verse 15 “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” But, Jesus pinpoints her real problem, speaking right to her very core when He asks about her husband and notes how many she’s had (currently living with someone she’s not married to). He saw her in her current state and beckoned her to come to Him for Living Water, knowing full well about the sin in her life and her core issues. If Jesus had a real heart-to-heart encounter with you, what would He say is your “real problem”?
How would you respond to this conversation and God’s call on your life?
Dee Brestin (2007) explains that out of shame, this woman would wait until the hottest time of the day, when no one else would come to the well, to draw her water because she didn’t want to be seen by others. When we are overweight, we can also feel ashamed. “We know, just like this woman, that we’ve been looking for love in all the wrong places and it shows” (Brestin, 2007, p. 69). Many who are overweight will avoid social settings and people, but we can’t avoid Jesus. He will seek us out, not to shame us, but to deliver us and offer us Living Water that will quench our thirst.
A participant in this study wrote “I was fooling myself to think I could EVER get ‘enough’ food to satisfy my desire for food…I will only be satisfied with intimacy with Christ and through wisdom through His Word.” At some point we need to stop looking for our fulfillment in food and start looking for fulfillment in Christ alone.
Is it a sin to eat? By no means! Our bodies need nourishment, and our Father provides food for us to eat – it is a gift from Him that we can enjoy. But, is it a sin to overeat food that we don’t need? Allow God to answer that question for you. Can we find satisfaction for our desires from Him rather than comfort food?
This week, challenge yourself to drink water and soak in the Living Water as part of your daily routine. See how God can transform your heart, mind and body!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the Spring of Living Water. Thank You for offering to meet our deepest needs. Thank You that when our soul thirsts for You, You meet us right where we are. Thank You, Jesus, for approaching us right where we are, just like You did the woman at the well. We ask for Your forgiveness for times we’ve tried to ‘dig our own cisterns’ for water (Jeremiah 2:13) and not taken the time to seek You instead to satisfy our needs. God, we are more thirsty than we even realized. We need You! Only You can save us! Only You can deliver us! Only You can satisfy our deepest longings! God, help us along this journey to quench our soul thirst with You and our physical thirst from fresh, healthy water. May we become healthy and thin for Your honor and glory! May we treat our bodies as You intend us to. Thank You and praise You! In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!