I am sure you have gone through phases in your life when you have felt a deep hunger for the things of God. There was a period in my life when I experienced this thirst and I longed for God’s encounter, His move, His visitation, a revival, an awakening. And there were periods where I did experience these things to a measure but I found when the dust had settled, that thirst was not quenched. There is an awesome invitation by the Lord to those in this state. He says: “if anyone thirsts, let him come to Me.” (John 7:38).
Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman sheds light on a deep spiritual message for those who are thirsty. Jesus said: “whoever drinks of this water will thirst again but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:13-14). In this particular passage there are two types of waters: 1) water from the well and 2) water that Jesus gives. The first water seems like it is simply natural water. This may make some sense since in the natural we have to drink water numerous times to quench our thirst. But I believe Jesus is here speaking of spiritual things.
The water from the well is symbolic of spiritual nourishment. You see in His statement Jesus doesn’t refer to two types of thirst; physical and spiritual thirst. The one who drinks from the well does in fact get quenched but the problem is he will thirst again. Of course drinking water does nothing for our spiritual thirst. The only difference between the two waters is that one is drawn out of a well and requires a repeated drawing out while the second is a river. This river is one that is “welling up (flowing, bubbling) continually” (John 4:14 AMP) from within.
Let’s look at the first water more closely. Here, the drawing from the well is synonymous with the realm of Pentecost or the Holy Place which we progress into after our redemption: our initial salvation experience. It reads in Isaiah 12:3: “with joy you shall draw water out of the wells of salvation.” Many are hungry in this realm for more of God. Their hunger drives them to draw water from an outward or external sources, be it a conference, a worship service, a message by a favourite televangelist or whatever else. What joy I had looking forward to these events, even traveling distances to attend them. I was drawing water from the well with joy. In doing this I was drawing water from that which is outside to satisfy an inward spiritual thirst. These messages and experiences do encourage, edify, and impart understanding but it’s only a matter of time before that person is thirsty again and so the cycle continues; another tape, another conference, another meeting. Of this condition the Lord speaks in Jeremiah 7 and 8, where He instructs the prophet to stand at the gate of the Lord’s house and to proclaim the word of the Lord to those who worship there. The Lord declares: “For they have healed the hurt of the daughters of My people slightly (superficially)” (Jer. 8:11).
This is the state of Pentecost, temporary quenching or satisfaction. Pentecost or the Holy Place is not bad in itself but it is intended to be a transitioning place, a stepping stone in the journey to enter into fullness: the Most Holy. It is not intended for those apprehended by God to camp out and settle in Pentecost as a permanent dwelling place. Nor is it God’s intention for His saints to keep drawing water from this well to quench an incessant thirst.
The second water however is one that is from Jesus Christ. This is provision that emanates from the very nature of Christ Himself. This is a divine word that comes from the inner voice of the Spirit that ministers to us from His life. Jesus says: “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38). Living waters: water that has vital power in itself and exerts the same upon the soul. This water flows from the innermost being. It is not a word (thought) that comes filtered through the mind of man or from the soulish realm to merely help us deal with our circumstances or situations. It is a life giving and life producing word, the logos (John 1:14), the very life of Jesus Christ that flows from within to put on flesh in our experience. We were born again by this very logos: “being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word (logos) of God” (1 Peter 1:23). You see that deep hunger in you is a drawing of the Lord, not to look for things from the outside as a source of satisfaction but a call to draw inward to drink from the fountain of His unending life, for “deep calls unto deep” (Psalm 42:7).
There is a quality of life which emanates out of this inward nature of Christ that cannot be found elsewhere. In this living water are the thoughts, the words and the voice of the Master leading and guiding, and encouraging and correcting and loving from our innermost being. John’s experience on the isle of Patmos was such an experience. He was not lifted up to a physical heaven somewhere to witness the things he saw. No, he was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day and he heard and he saw One like the Son of Man whose voice was as the sound of many waters (Rev. 1:10, 15). This awesome revelation was experienced by turning inward. To be in the Spirit is to turn inward. This is where true reality, true nourishment, unending life is found; in the indwelling Christ. When Jesus told the Samaritan women of the water He offers, her reply was: “Sir, give me this water that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” You see the living water Jesus gives not only quenches one’s thirst but it also keeps one from having to draw water from the well. This is the chief message that God was trying to relay through Jesus’ encounter at the well. It’s summed up in John 4:21,23: “the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father… but the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.” This was the new order God was establishing: a life no longer associated with a church building or events but rather a life lived from within, a life energized and invigorated by the indwelling living water found in Christ Jesus alone.