Category Archives: spiritual

I Thirst

The whole ordeal surrounding the arrest of Jesus and the stress of the illegal trial and the physical abuse He suffered put tremendous strain on the Lord’s earthly body. In the garden, His anxiety was expressed in strong crying and tears and by hematidrosis, or the sweating of blood. On the cross, His humanity burst through with one loud cry, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” Then, as if to signal the end of all His earthly trials, while still suspended there between heaven and earth, the Lord expressed both an earthly desire and fulfilled the scriptures at the same time when He said “I thirst” (John 19:30).

Those who have experienced great physical exertion or experienced great stress know just how dry and thirsty a person can get. Our bodies need hydration to function properly. Indeed, water makes up sixty to seventy percent of our body weight and a loss of only fifteen percent can prove fatal. In fact, water is so essential to life, you can’t live but a matter of days without it.

The children of Israel complained to Moses at Rephidim because “there was no water for the people to drink” (Ex. 17:1). “And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst” (Exodus 17:3)? Because of their need for water, and the lack of water at that place, God miraculously allowed Moses to bring forth water out of a rock (Ex. 17:6).

Thirst has long been a symbol of a deep desire or need or craving for something more or something needed. God promised His people that “When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water” (Isaiah 41:17-18).

Not only is physical thirst a powerful force in life, but so also is spiritual thirst. David expressed a deep, spiritual thirst when he wrote, “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God” (Psalm 42:1,2)? Again David wrote, “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is” (Psalm 63:1).

The Lord surprised the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well when he asked her “Give Me to drink” (John 4:7). When she expressed surprise that Jesus, a Jew, would ask her, a Samaritan woman, for a drink Jesus told her that He could give her “living water” (John 4:10). Jesus told her that “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:13,14). Jesus was explaining to her how to draw waters out of the wells of salvation.

The only way to quench our spiritual thirst and hunger is through the Lord. Jesus said that those that hunger and thirst after righteousness are blessed and shall be filled (Matt. 5:6). We learn that even ancient Israel, when they drank from the water that flowed from the rock, all drank “the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ” (I Cor. 10:4).

The Lord says that even to day “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” (Rev. 21:6). John was given a glimpse of heaven and was shown “a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Rev. 22:1). We can have the privilege of drinking the water of life from that same holy fountain.

If you are thirsting for something more in life, if you thirst after righteousness, then your thirst can be quenched with living water drawn out of the well of salvation. The Lord suffered great thirst so that our thirst for God could be quenched. “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev. 22:17).

Eric L. Padgett

Good Soldiers Keep In S. T. E. P.

On occasion, the apostle Paul used the imagery of warfare to depict the Christian life. He reminded the Corinthians that though it is not a carnal war, nevertheless we do engage in warfare, spiritual warfare against spiritual powers (II Cor. 10:3,4). At the close of his life Paul would say he had fought a good fight (II Tim. 4:7). He warned us to put on the whole armor of God (Eph. 6:16). And when he wrote to his friend and young gospel preacher, Timothy, he warned him to war a good warfare (I Tim. 1:18) and to fight the good fight of faith (I Tim. 6:12). Furthermore, he urged him to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ (II Tim. 2:1-4). With this imagery in mind, let us observe that good soldiers keep in S. T. E. P.

First, good soldiers of Christ are Strong. Paul admonished Timothy to be Strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus (II Tim. 2:1). To be strong, we must exercise ourselves unto godliness (I Tim. 4:7,8). We do this as we study to show ourselves approved unto God (II Tim. 2:15). Also, we grow in strength when we go through trials (II Cor. 12:10), as the trying of our faith works patience (James 1:2,3). Remembering that God does not want us to have the spirit of fear but of power (II Tim. 1:7) because, as we grow in grace and knowledge, we know that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (II Pet. 3:18; Phil. 4:13).

In the second place, good soldiers of Christ Teach others (II Tim. 2:2). This is the plain where battles are fought and won in the Christian’s life. It is the human mind and heart which are affected in this battle. The sword of the Spirit, the word of God, is sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of he heart (Heb. 4:12). When the gospel is heard honestly, it affects the heart (Luke 8:15; Acts 2:37). Our mission is to teach all nations the gospel of Christ (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15,16).

In the third place, good soldiers Endure hardness (II Tim. 2:3). In all war, combat conditions are never pleasant. This is true of spiritual warfare, as well. So Paul informs us that all that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution (II Tim. 3:12). If we are not suffering persecution, then we are not living godly in Christ. Jesus said beware when all men speak well of you (Luke 6:26). Peter warned first century Christians that they would face severe, fiery trials but that they should not think of that as being strange or anomalous to the Christian condition (I Pet. 4:12).

Finally, Paul said that a good soldier Pleases Him who called him to be a soldier (II Tim. 2:4). A soldier is not a free agent. He is not only a soldier but a servant and amenable to his Master’s will. “But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts” (I Thess. 2:4). “Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him” (II Cor. 5:9). Therefore, we cannot afford to get entangled in the affairs of this life lest the cares, the riches, and the pleasures of this life choke the life out of us (Luke 8:14).

A good soldier, then, keeps in S. T. E. P. He is Strong in the grace which is in Christ Jesus. He Teaches the gospel to those with whom he comes in contact. He Endures the hardships that living the Christian life will bring. And he Pleases the Lord as he strives to carry out His commands.

Onward Christian soldier; keep in S. T. E. P.

Eric L. Padgett