Among the things I inherited from my dad’s side of the family is a strange inability to tell when I’m thirsty. Up until pretty recently though, I had no idea. I’d be going about my day and then get terribly sick and scared and have no idea why. By the grace of God I would inevitably force myself to get up and sip on water, assuming that would be helpful. After bouncing back quickly a number of times I began to see the connection.
Yesterday I was reading in Revelation what Jesus wrote to the church at Sardis and saw an eye opening parallel:
“I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God.” Rev 3:1-2
Sardis apparently had been cruising along through their days, doing the things that outwardly were spiritual (reputation for being alive) but inside they lacked the work of the Spirit in them and were drying up. They were headed for death but didn’t feel it!
In John chapter 4, Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at the well that God desires those who worship Him “in Spirit and in truth.” (The Spirit who He referred to as the Living Water, by the way!) He also told his disciples to abide in Him for “apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
Wait – Nothing?
Outwardly everything may look good in our lives, but God gave us His Spirit to live through us, to fill our hearts with His love and guide us into His will – we partner with Him and let Him bring life in us till it overflows to others. If that isn’t our inner reality and the driving force of our lives, our work amounts to nothing in the Kingdom.
“And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:3
If we choose to live and act apart from Him, we’re just acting from our flesh and not the Living Water.
We’re drying up.
How are you doing today? Are you living life by God’s Spirit – standing in the fountain of His love and grace and pouring it out to others? Ask Him to show you!