Sunday, July 18, 2010

Chasing Salt Water Substitutes

The question was: "Tim, the guy on this video says that "We chase after 'salt water substitutes,' things we think will satisfy us but leave us more thirsty than we were before. Why do you think people, even people who believe in Jesus, who read their Bibles and go to church, do this?"

A guy at church had asked my husband if he would be interviewed to answer some questions in class on a Wednesday night? Tim emailed the questions to me and asked me how I'd answer? He called to tell me he'd sent them, to which I replied that they were his questions, not mine. BUT then.... I did have much to say in answers to the questions he sent. :) He knew I would. I'm a "sayer"... I couldn't help but "say"... so here's what I "said" in response to him:

Why do people, even people who believe in Jesus, who read their Bibles and go to church still so often chase after salt water substitutes instead of feeling filled by the Living Water?

Because, I said, rarely are people (Christians) actually FILLING UP on the Word! As a whole most might read it a little bit. Read it enough to say that they did. Or read it because they know that they're supposed to. But most of us are not spending enough time, reading enough, eating enough, filling up enough! And we, as people, like to be FULL! We're vessels, jars of clay, containers... we're made to contain. We're made to fill up! We're made to hold lots of something. And the emptiness inside seeks to be filled to the top. If we're not FULL of Jesus and what He's said (the Living Water, the Manna of His Word), then we're looking for something else to fill us until we're full. A little is never enough! We're seeking a fullness, a satiation, always! If you don't know what you're filled with... watch your spill! (i.e. If you're filled with anger, you'll spill mean. If you're filled with discontentment, you'll whine and complain. If you're filled with lust, you'll talk of your desires. If you're filled with bitterness, you'll be negative about everything.... etc.)

Jesus told us to "abide" in Him and He'll "abide" in us. But instead, we're abiding in television, or abiding in sports, or at the mall, or in gossip, or in jealousy, or in wants, or in an old hurt, or some sort of misery... you name it. We're all abiding somewhere... and what we talk about shows what we're filled with and where we've been abiding.

What are we feeding on? From out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. It's like a spiritual burp. People can smell from our words what we've been eating. It's simply so, whether we want it to be or not, whatever we've filled ourselves with eventually burps out.

I noticed this several years ago. I saw it first in other people and was so astounded by it that I took a closer look and noticed it also in me. There were certain people that I every time I got around them I knew exactly what they were going to say. I knew what their conversations would consist of, because it'd been the same conversation that they'd been having for years. It's then that I so very much noticed their filling, what they'd been feeding on, what they'd been eating. Try as we might to try to hide it, we can't help it, it shows in our talk.

Back to our lack of feeding on the manna of God's Word. I told Tim that sadly "Christians" (not all of them, but way too many) will maybe spend a few minutes, maybe 10? maybe 15? maybe 30 (on a good day) reading the Bible. I told him to try watching a good movie or reading a good book that way, just 10 or 15 minutes a day.. .and now and then skip a few days completely..., read or watch it like that and before too long, before you've watched very much of it at all, you'll soon be disinterested and won't finish the movie, you'll never finish the book. We lose interest, because it took too long. So knowing that, why do we think 10 minutes a day can suffice for our need and fill us up and equip us for the endurance we'll need for our day? Why do we think little bites, just nibbles, will fill us to full and thus, fill the feeling we need filled? Honestly, a bite only makes you hungry for more! A nibble will never be enough, it'll only have you searching more for something!

Here is another thing that I had never really noticed before and put together with "filling" us, or satiating our hunger, our "food" for the soul. In John 4 where it talks about Jesus stopping at the well in Samaria. He sits down there "tired" from His journey while His disciples go into the town to get some food. They come back after He has talked with the Samaritan woman about Living Water and when they try to urge Him to eat He tells them, "I have food to eat that you know nothing about." The disciples are wondering who could have brought Him some food when He says, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work."

Wow! "My food is to do the will of Him Who sent Me." His food was to do His Father's work. We're made to DO! We're made to serve! We're made to fill and then pour out and spend our lives for another. Kind of like what Jesus told Peter to do after he'd been sifted as wheat. He told him that when he comes back "to strengthen his brothers." Until we pour out into another one's life, we'll never be filled.... it's simply part of our "food"! Our problem is that we are too self-absorbed... and we're miserable! It's killing us! We're not turning around and spending our lives for somebody and something else living for the Savior and serving our Lord by ministering in all sorts and kinds of ways to His people and those that don't know Him!

To emphasis my above's point, one more thought before I'm done:

Sometimes it takes a fasting to have a filling. Isaiah 58 coins this perfectly! (Of course it does, it's God's Word!) Starting in verse 6, He says, "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the cains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter - when you see the naked to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and He will say 'Here I am.' If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The LORD will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail..... If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on My holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD's holy day honorable and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob." The mouth of the LORD has spoken."

We need to let some things go, let some people off the hook, stop pointing the finger (no one has right to cast the first stone), and start helping someone else. Feast on the Word and then start sharing what we've learned. Fill up.. til FULL.. then spill out His goodness on others!

So... how much are you eating (reading, doing)? And how "full" are you?

Let's go get full... I'll meet you at the Fountain! And then, let's go and take some Water to someone else that's thirsty! It's a good filling.... and the only kind that can satisfy and fill us up to fullness! I want to be filled with the Spirit and full of my Savior!

P.S. Here's a similar post that talks about our fillings (Evidence proves that I've been on this spill for a very long time **smile**): How are your fillings?

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