If any man thirst …
Drinking water isn’t an option. A nurse recently called my attention to the scarcity of H2O in my body. She looked at the results of a urinalysis and exclaimed with passion, “You must drink more water!!” I guess it’s true that just because you don’t detect or recognize the signs of thirst doesn’t mean your body isn’t dry.
So it is spiritually. Thousands of people don’t have a detectable yearning for spiritual water, but that doesn’t mean their souls aren’t as parched as my yard in August. If someone does become aware of a soulful emptiness, chances are he or she will try to assuage it with a placebo. You know what a placebo is – a sugar pill or some other totally ineffective “remedy” for what’s ailing you. It’s not the real thing. Sadly, a vast part of our world relies on magic potions instead of the only Cure.
Christians use placebos too. I’ve done it, and may again if I’m not alert to Satan’s deceptions. Those in the world, and we who claim the Lord both may seek exciting diversions/recreations, gather possessions, be completely absorbed in our families, become some of “holic,” or perhaps pursue the perfect romantic relationship - anything to quiet that ache within.
Many Christians may spurn the above tactics, but have a go at self-medication with perfect church attendance, communion, singing in a prescribed manner, or refraining from becoming overly chummy with those outside their “boundaries.” The less-conservative might depend on the weekly spirited praise and worship service as an antidote for their thirst, or close fellowship of like-minded brothers and sisters, or an outside-the-box benevolent or evangelistic mission.
Most of the activities mentioned are A-Okay. Who could argue against a dynamic worship assembly? The Lord’s Supper is a powerful part of Jesus Christ. Who doesn’t want (and need) wonderful fellowship? Nothing wrong with buying a couch. Falling in love will never perish from the earth. We certainly must relieve the misery of the poor. And didn’t Jesus say something fairly important about seeking the lost?
The catch, or hitch in our get-a-long occurs when we try to substitute any of these for the intimate relationship the Lord God longs to have with each of us. No stand-in for this will ever, ever work. I can’t have a meaningful relationship with a cracker and sip of grape juice; same thing goes for the newest and liveliest song. Intimate companionship with others will alleviate my thirst until they have to go home.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a spiritual sugar pill – I want the Lord!! I don’t want anything that surrounds my God in the way of spiritual trimmings; I want the Center of those accessories!!! The Rock of my salvation. I don’t want the salvation alone – I long for the Source of that salvation. No Gator-ade for me; only the Living Water.
Pray for steadfastness in pursuit of the Savior Himself; pray for a stronger thirst, and pray that none of us settles for a sugar pill.