Living Water

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Winter weather chapped my hands. Even though I wore gloves and applied lotion, my hands remained rough. Then one day a heart condition prompted an ambulance ride. As a medic attempted to insert an IV needle, he remarked, “You’re dehydrated! That might have triggered your heart condition.”

All my life I drank whenever I got thirsty. But that was the problem: I rarely get thirsty. So I bought an insulated water bottle that holds two cups, and I now drink three bottles of water each day, besides what I drink at meals. It’s taken a lot of discipline to keep drinking, but staying healthy makes the effort worthwhile.

My increased water consumption brought a delightful surprise: My hands rarely chap. Water on the inside of the body evidently benefits the outside of the body.

That reminds me of the benefits of the living water Christ offered to the Samaritan woman. Too often we think we can be happy only if we draw a good salary, own a nice house, and enjoy luxurious vacations. But like my gloves and lotion, those are external influences. True contentment and happiness come from an internal source: the living water Christ offered to the woman at the well, recorded in the Gospel of John. That living water is God’s Holy Spirit.

With the Spirit within us, we find contentment in a hovel or a hotel. We enjoy a hamburger as much as a steak. We appreciate God’s grace each moment of the day.

Things may not always go right. We might lose a job, lose a loved one, lose our health. But we know that Christ walks with us and that His Spirit of grace sustains us. That living water is as vital to our spiritual life as water from the tap is to our physical life.

Physical and spiritual water

Did you know the body is composed of 60 percent water? We need to constantly replenish what we lose through perspiration and other bodily functions. Water helps regulate our body temperature, flushes out wastes, and lubricates joints. It also helps our brains to function, fights off illness, and improves circulation. Without water, we cannot live long.

In the same way, we need the Holy Spirit for healthy souls. Jesus told the disciples it was good for Him to go away because He would send the Holy Spirit. Jesus then would be with His disciples, and His Spirit would indwell the life of every believer down through the ages.

As I ponder this truth, I realize how the Spirit faithfully nourishes every area of my spiritual life, just as water nourishes my body.

Spirit’s role

Assure of salvation. “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:13, 14, NKJV).

I grew up in a Christian home, and I read Scripture and prayed pretty regularly. Raised on a farm, I had a strong sense of God through nature. But I wondered, if Jesus really was God’s Son, why did He have to suffer and die? Then after watching Christian television crusades as a young adult, I took a step of faith and told God I acknowledged Christ as my Savior.

That step brought the Holy Spirit, God’s divine Helper, into my life and opened my eyes. Scripture suddenly made sense. God is holy, and only those who are pure and perfect can come into His presence. I needed a perfect Savior to represent me before the Father and secure my salvation.

Convict of sin. “So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man” (Acts 24:16). I feel guilty when I gossip about someone or do anything that displeases God. The Spirit wants my life to honor God.

Explain Scripture. “The Holy Spirit . . . will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26). As I read Scripture, the Holy Spirit helps me understand passages and reminds me to read them in context. Of course, the Spirit may also teach me through commentaries and books by scholars who have studied Scripture and the cultures of Bible times. My part is to pray and be discerning.

Guide in prayer. “We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans” (Romans 8:26). The Spirit prays through me when I’m at a loss for words and overwhelmed with the cares of this world, or when I simply don’t know how to pray for a difficult situation.

Comfort in the night. “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever (John 14:16, KJV). When I grieve or worry about life’s circumstances, the Spirit comforts me in the night by bringing to mind memorized Scripture. He quiets me as I read psalms that help me express my emotions.

Help to bear fruit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22, 23). As I call on God, the Spirit equips me to show gentleness and self-control when I lack patience and want to snap at my husband or children. The Spirit equips me to face the day so that my life blesses others by serving them spiritual fruit.

Guide in serving God. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19, 20).

When my children were young, the Spirit nudged me into leading after-school Bible clubs. As they matured, I served as a director of Christian education. Now that I can’t be as physically active, I write inspirational articles. The Spirit has always led me into service for which I’m suited physically, socially, and mentally.

Changed life

I believe the life of the Samaritan woman changed dramatically after Jesus revealed Himself to her as the Messiah she searched for. So did mine.

She must have taken His claim seriously for, leaving her water jar behind, she ran back to her town to invite others to come meet this special Man. The water jar may represent not only her old lifestyle but also her shame, guilt, and rejection. The woman discovered that the very One who had the most right to reject her was the very One who loved her most. She drank of that living water and immediately shared it with others.

Drinking water satisfies me physically and keeps my hands from chapping, and the living water that Christ offers satisfies me spiritually. God’s Spirit whispers to my spirit, “You are My child, My loved one.”

Ask God to make you thirsty for living water, and then thank Him for the faithful ministry of the Holy Spirit that satisfies your thirst.

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Shirley Brosius is the author of Sisterhood of Faith: 365 Life-Changing Stories about Women Who Made a Difference. She co-authored Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides and contributed to Proverbs for Busy Women. In addition, Shirley has published articles in such magazines as Angels on Earth, Beacon, The Secret Place, the Upper Room, and Mature Living. She lives in Millersburg, PA.