Drinking Jesus

“Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but 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 4:10-14, ESV)

Yes, here we are again– with the woman at the well. I’m telling you, I haven’t been able to get her out of my head for the last two weeks. Every time I go to pray or worship, I begin at the same place, “Jesus, I drink from you right now.” 

And it’s so beautiful because it’s really that easy.

We don’t have to beat the ground with our fist. We don’t have to thrash and prove our worship worthy of living water. We don’t have to qualify for it with self-importance, titles, knowledge, or ritual. All we have to do is know who Jesus is and drink. All we have to do is ask Him for more.

I feel like I say this constantly, but we– as people– overcomplicate things. For some reason, we like to take simple, readily-available concepts and make them inaccessible. We make a 12-step process to holiness. We give ourselves prerequisites to grace bought on a cross. We compare righteousness with our fellow Christians; as if the Lord cares how impressive or unimpressive you are next to anyone else. 

But in John 4, Jesus shows us how simple it is to enjoy Him more. He explains to us just how easy it is to take in more of Him. He tells us to take a drink.

Have you ever realized that no one had to teach you to drink? You are biologically born with the mechanism, understanding, and impulse to sip and swallow liquid. A baby has to be taught to eat table food, going from different stages between pureed fruits and veggies, all the way up to a full, solid meal, but a baby doesn’t have to be taught to latch on to his mother’s breast or a bottle and drink. 

So Jesus, sitting at the well with an imperfect, unsaved, ordinary woman, explains the Christian walk in the most basic terms available to us. He tells her that spending time with God, getting to know His goodness and character, is as simple and involuntary as drinking Him in.

In contrast, Jesus is the Bread of Life. To me, this aspect of His person speaks more to our diligence in daily devotion. “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11, NIV). Devotion is something we have to learn; something we have to be diligent enough to remain consistent in. Making sure we make time to study the Bible, worship, pray, and get involved in Godly fellowship is all stuff that we have to actively pursue in spite of all the other things we have to do throughout our day. Ultimately, devotion is mostly action that is formed out of habit motivated by our love for who Jesus is.

And how do we get there? We experience His love that drives us to believe in Him. “Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.’” (John 6: 35,  NASB)

Two chapters after the woman at the well, Jesus compares himself to the Bread of Life, saying that anyone who comes to Him will not hunger for Him. That’s devotion: going to Jesus and grabbing a hold of more of Him. But immediately after, he says that whoever believes in Him will not thirst. So the motivation behind coming to Jesus in daily devotion is our hunger to have more of Him, but the motivation behind enjoying Him– drinking of Him– is simply the belief that He is the Savior. You have to drink– believe– before you can eat, and even when you know how to eat, you never stop drinking.

If you drink of Him once, you become a spring of His living water here on earth, and that will eventually give way to eternal life with the Savior. Enjoying Jesus is simple. Spending time with Him is easy because He is always there. And in John 4, Jesus spent time with the least of the least and still loved her; He still delighted in her.

So no, we don’t have to wait until we’re holy enough or good enough or impressive enough to bring ourselves before a throne. Instead, come as you are– in the midst of whatever you have going on, in the middle of your mess– and recline with the Savior at the well. He has already deemed you worthy, and He is so excited to take you to the next step. It’s as easy as allowing yourself a drink.

So drink.

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