Jesus Satisfies Your Soul

What are you expecting for your life? What do you hope for? Read through Psalm 63 and you will find a man who is expecting and hoping for a lot. But more than that, the expectation is described as a very tangible experience; thirst. You know what I’m talking about. We all know this thirst; a desperate craving at the centre of our being that we can’t shake. The world is a buffet of comforts. Our souls are the most demanding appetites and nothing in that buffet will ever give us true satisfaction. That’s because our souls weren’t designed to be comforted by anything on Earth. Since the beginning of the time, there has only ever been one thing to match our emotional appetite; the unconditional, all encompassing, eternally available Love of God.

After walking for almost a day, Jesus sits at well in Samaria, striking up a conversation with a woman there. He makes this woman an offer that no one could have resisted. “…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 4:14) In this statement, Jesus did three things that I can identify right now. Bait was set to pique her interest. Opportunity is created to address a serious void in this woman’s soul. Most importantly, Jesus declared an eternal truth. Life is his to give and he gives it freely.

Like a master chess player, he sets up the pieces so that she can’t help but make the moves he wants her to make. Instead of this game ending in checkmate, it resulted in revival that swept through the woman’s town (John 4). When the woman asks for some of this miraculous water, Jesus instructed her to retrieve her husband. As it stood, she had been through 5 husbands and was with a sixth man then. For so long her soul craved something so drastically that she devoured the attention of men like a starving child at a fully prepared feast. Her need for Jesus’ living water was more desperate than she realized.

Our soul is our mind, will, and emotions. It is our personality and the reason why we feel anything internally. It needs to be fed just like our bodies need to be fed. When the soul is neglected, the starvation is just as painful and debilitating. What satisfies our soul is what comforts us. The trick is we tend to comfort ourselves with stuff that doesn’t last. What Jesus is highlighting to the woman at the well is the availability of a water for our thirsty souls. That brings more than just comfort, it breeds life.

Before Jesus time, God was speaking this through the prophets to a people who persistently turned to other gods in hopes of finding salvation that only Yahweh could give. Isaiah put it like this, “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the water; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” (Isaiah 52:1) In Revelation the Lord is speaking to John and I like how the King James Version says it, “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) Freely! Did you notice in John 4 how Jesus said that he would give his water of life to anyone who came to him. He rephrases this in another passage, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, ‘out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7:37-38) Anyone!

Look at that! Not only is our ravenous craving satisfied, but we will not be able to contain what our souls consume. The consumer becomes the consumed. Jesus’ life flows freely. Once we step in to take a drink, it’s tide commands our movement. The drenched man of our soul carries the weight of His life everywhere dripping love and invigoration with every step. It’s hard to ignore a soaked person walking down a street of perfectly dry citizens. Everything touched has a wet mark and anyone embraced cannot escape unscathed. We see this as well with the Samaritan woman.

She had finally found the life she was so desperate for and was satisfied because of her encounter with Jesus. She ran into her town raving about Him. When the rest of the people encountered Jesus for themselves, it says that “many believed.” This qualifies as revival. The river of life that this one woman first stepped into was not contained to her, but overflowed it’s banks and flood the entire town. I imagine some might have run from the advancing tide line, but those who let the waters wash over them found a life their souls never thought possible, but were always craving for.

Expect that God will keep his promise! If you come to Him, He will fill you. Everything you could hope for in a full life is surpassed in knowing Jesus. The river is constantly flowing fresh and the Creator has not rationed out its use. So why would you economize consumption of God’s love and life? Being with Him brings adventure in the midst of seemingly landlocked hope. The bad times are possible and the good times are better when lived in step with the Holy Spirit. Take Jesus at his word and let Him give your soul everything it truly desires in Him.

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Following God’s Voice Into Freedom

John 10:2-4 “But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them and the sheep follow him for they know his voice.” His voice sets us free. Jesus is our shepherd, the one who can lead us and protect us. He knows you and calls you by name. That means this isn’t just about the group moving as a mob through the pillars of time, merely observing life as it passes you by. It means Jesus is looking directly at you and calling out your name. He doesn’t want “us” without you. The sheep know the voice of the shepherd because they have spent their lives with him. The more you spend time with the good shepherd, the more his voice becomes familiar and welcoming, the more you are willing to follow him out of the pen and into the pastures.

Psalm 95:7-8 “For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts…” This pasture is a life of freedom, not hindered by accusations, lies, and deception. It is one thing to hear accusation, it is a completely different matter to believe it. That is sin. But Christ’s purpose on Earth was to set us free from sin, so we could enjoy a full life with our Heavenly Father. Romans 8:2 “For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”

John 10:9-10 “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Exiting the pen, refusing to be corralled by Darkness, is a great escape only engineered by following the lead of our fearless saviour. This saviour is our brother at arms, a man who stood on the front-lines and took the hit for us. But the assailing enemy couldn’t hold him down. His perfect love opened up his life for the Spirit of Life to exalt him beyond death. Jesus didn’t defeat death in his own strength, it was the power of God that raised Christ from the dead. What freedom! To not even be held by mortal death! What a wonder…And he is our shepherd, the one who calls you by name to walk free of slavery under Satan, and into life with the Son.

John 8: 31-36 “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ They answered him, ‘We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, You will become free?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” His word sets us free. Jesus speaks, we listen, and we are led into pastures where there is room for our souls to finally discover who we are. He has called you by name, and that begins the journey into open Heavens. Abundant life is life enough for an eternity of discovery, and it has all started with the first born Son of our Father calling your name, calling you to follow him into freedom and into a life lived side by side with him.

Galatians 5:1 “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” God knows exactly how tough life gets, Jesus has overcome the worst outcome possible. If death has no say in Jesus life, than I want His life! Every moment is a choice to submit to voice of our God, or to the voice of our former slave master. For the sake of a world that needs you and who the Lord has designed you to be, please continue to choose life! As we live an abundant life that is so desperately different from many around us, the glory of God is going to be plain as day. There is distinct difference between the day and night, although transitioning between the two gets fuzzy. Following the voice of our God will always lead us into clearer light. Stand firm! Jesus has called you personally, but you are not the only one standing. We are with you, all sheep who have walked out of darkness because of the grace of God, and we are standing with you!

The Glory of God is our aim and the light of Jesus is our path. He will be known in the whole earth because we, his people, his family, chose to submit to his call and walk with him in a life that not even death could discourage.

Living for the Glory of God

True Christianity lives to know God and His glory. (John 17:22-23 “The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” ) There is definite sacrifice, struggle, and pain, like any other life, but for the Christian, the joy set before us out weighs the strife of the moment. (Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”) We don’t give up our lives because it is the spiritual thing to do. We give our lives in exchange for Christ’s life. (Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”) He has promised it to us, and it is not merely a reward for the end of our days, but a necessary transformation for the immediate present. (Ephesians 2:6 “…even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…”) We don’t take up our cross simply because Christ did, but because there is glory to be had after each moment we crucify our flesh; the glory of God. That is what the world needs to see, a people who endure suffering and sacrificing, not for the pain’s sake, but for breakthrough into available abundant life! The life of Christ.

Christian maturity denies a powerless life. Knowing God is to know his power as well as his kindness and discipline. A person that knows and bears witness to the power of God will walk in the power of God. That’s when the world turns in awe and cannot help but glorify God! (1 Corinthians 2:4-5 “…and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”)

I want so much to live in the abundant life of Christ! I want to know the surpassing value of his glory. I want to know the power of God, and I want to know God.