Water is an essential ingredient for life! It is absolutely vital, so vital that without it, we die. The Bible tells us that God is the Fountain of Life and Living Water. Without Him and His Life/Water; we are dead.
Jesus used Living Water as an example of Himself: Jesus answered her, If you had only known and had recognized God’s gift and Who this is that is saying to you, Give Me a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water. She said to Him, Sir, You have nothing to draw with [no bucket] and the well is deep; how then can You provide living water? (John 4:10-11). The Samaritan woman did not understand or comprehend WHO Jesus was or what He was saying, just as we often don’t understand today. There is a place of resting and relying and depending on God which is like a spring of Life in us which is the opposite of depending on our own works represented by drawing water with a bucket from the well! Not only are wells hard work to build, they are also hard to draw water out of and you need to use something as a tool, like a bucket (method or programme). Often only one person at a time will do this and will distribute the water to others.
This depicts how many people drink the waters from the wells of salvation; they depend upon others to draw the water up and give it to them (eg a pastor or teacher) or they will strive and work to draw forth water themselves. People must come to know the Source for themselves instead of relying on others. The woman went on to ask in verse 12: Are You greater than and superior to our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well and who used to drink from it himself, and his sons and his cattle also? What was wrong with this old, traditional way of getting water anyway? She had no idea that the Person she was speaking to was far greater and more superior to Jacob!
Was Jesus saying that His new way was better than the old way? YES! And yet we too often respond in the same way as this woman when challenged with simply relying upon Him and drinking from Him for ourselves and having HIM as our Source instead of other people. It is because we have not had our eyes opened to see Who He is. The woman of Samaria had no revelation of Who she was addressing. She did not KNOW or recognise Him just as we often don’t today: Therefore My people go into captivity without knowing it and because they have NO knowledge of God. And their honorable men are famished, and their common people are parched with thirst. (Isaiah 5:13).
Jesus then addressed a serious problem: Jesus said to her, Go call your husband and come back here. The woman answered, I have no husband. Jesus said to her, You have spoken truly in saying, I have no husband. For you have had five husbands, and the man you are now living with is not your husband. In this you have spoken truly. (John 4:16-18). One thing that is sure to blind us is spiritual adultery because it is idolatry. Spiritual adultery is esteeming, loving, respecting, honouring ANY PERSON above or before Christ. He is returning for a Bride who is fully committed to and in love with HIM, not for a Bride who has eyes only for herself or for human substitutes (idols)!
The woman said to Him, Sir, I see and understand that You are a prophet. Our forefathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews say that Jerusalem is the place where it is necessary and proper to worship. (John 4:19,20). She saw that Jesus was a prophet, but still DIDN’T see that He was the Christ! As a result she still had an old mindset that was concerned about where the proper place to worship was. And today, we still do the SAME! It is not important WHERE we worship but WHO we worship! If she had realised that she was speaking to Christ, she would have understood that she could worship Him right where she was, beside the well!
Jesus said to her, Woman, believe Me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You do not know what you are worshiping. We do know what we are worshiping for salvation comes from among the Jews. A time will come, however, indeed it is already here, when the true, genuine worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth (reality); for the Father is seeking just such people as these as His worshipers. God is a Spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (reality). (John 4:21-24). The place of worship is not important, what God is seeking is places of worship that are living temples/buildings (i.e. us) made by God and not man, where He dwells in truth and reality. These worshipers will worship Him in truth and reality – free from pretence, simulation, falsehood and deceit.
The woman said to Him, I know that Messiah is coming, He who is called the Christ (the Anointed One); and when He arrives, He will tell us everything we need to know and make it clear to us. (John 4:25). Jesus had just been doing exactly that, and yet she had still not KNOWN or SEEN Him! Sometimes we can be so blind. We have eyes to see and yet do not see, we have ears to hear, and yet do not hear as Jesus and Isaiah said. It is only when God in His grace opens our eyes and ears to hear and see WHO Christ is that we can say as the woman did, “Is not this CHRIST, the Messiah, the Anointed One?” Mere head knowledge is never enough! We must experience and know the Truth as the Person of Christ in order for there to be reality in our hearts and lives.
The end result of this woman’s personal revelation of Christ was: Now numerous Samaritans from that town believed in and trusted in Him because of what the woman said when she declared and testified, He told me everything that I ever did. So when the Samaritans arrived, they asked Him to remain with them and He did stay there two days. Then many more believed in and relied on Him because of His personal message [what He Himself said]. And they told the woman, Now we no longer believe and have faith because of what YOU said; for WE have heard Him ourselves personally, and we know that He truly is the Savior of the world, the CHRIST! (John 4:39-42). She immediately ran off and TOLD people about Him! She led them to Him through the words of her testimony and they believed when they personally heard and saw Him for themselves!
A Well or a Spring?
We too are bearers of this good news, and we lead others to the Source of Living Water Himself. Drinking the Living Water (Christ) from someone else will not quench the thirst for long, you have to keep going back to the person for more – it can create a dependency if people look to the vessel as the source instead of having the Fountain of Living Water flowing from within as the Source. The Living Water is given not only to quench our thirst, but also to flow through us to others, to be poured forth in order to draw people to the Fountain of Life. But this water must be fresh spring water…
My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the Fountain of living waters, and they have hewn for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns which cannot hold water. (Jeremiah 2:13). Cisterns in Old Testament times are defined as being artificial reservoirs dug in the earth for the collection and storage of water from rain or a spring. However, drinking from a reservoir of water is not the same as drinking from a fountain or spring. Cisterns speak of something that has been made by man and is therefore artificial, instead of being naturally produced and sustained by God. It is referring to stored water instead of fresh, flowing water.
In order to store water, much effort and work must go into digging and creating the storage place. This can be likened to drinking water that has been brought about by the striving and work of man instead of relying on God. God calls this evil; perhaps because it can be indicative of a lack of trust and dependence on the Source to always be there and to be constant. A well must be dug and takes a lot of work to even draw water from it whereas a spring is a natural outflow of ground water; something which bubbles forth of its own accord! A well is something which can dry up, but springs keep on going!
Spring water comes from deeper within the earth than well water and is full of minerals and goodness. Springs take little or no effort, they simply gush and bubble forth. Not only is God referred to as a fountain or spring (the Hebrew word for both is the same word) but so are His children because He who IS the Fountain of Life is dwelling within us by the Holy Spirit!
So, what do we know about the natural qualities of water physically that we show us what we ourselves are to be spiritually? Water is clear and transparent. It has no form of its own, it easily moulds to other shapes – adapts to other people and circumstances. It has no flavour, colour, smell or taste of its own. It is a neutral substance. It can be gentle and refreshing, or very strong and powerful. When water is poured into water; it is immediately merged together with no distinction. When we have His water pouring through us and join with others who are doing the same, we can become a powerful force of water together instead of merely a trickle! We are all to have rivers of Living Water gushing and flowing from us, WE are meant to be fountains of this Life-giving water to others!
Going back to the Samaritan woman, Jesus answered her, All who drink of this water will be thirsty again. But whoever takes a drink of the water that I will give him shall never, no never, be thirsty any more. But the water that I will give him shall become a spring of water welling up (flowing and bubbling) continually within him into and for eternal life. (John 4:13,14). Drinking water from the old wells of our own, or other’s work or methods, will not fulfil or satisfy. Only HE can satisfy and quench that thirst by becoming a flowing and bubbling spring of Life within us!
God’s words, spoken in His time and with His authority, will perform all that He requires them to, and in nature rain is one way in which God produces and sustains life. Rain is representative of the words and presence of God in the Bible (Isaiah 55:10,11; Deuteronomy 32:2; Psalm 68:8,9). Why would rain and water represent words? Because water is for a purpose.
Just as water can destroy or bring life (it can bring death like a flood or refresh and sustain life) so are our words also. The human tongue can be tamed by no man. It is a restless, undisciplined evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men who were made in God’s likeness! Out of the same mouth come forth blessing and cursing. These things, my brethren, ought not to be so. Does a fountain send forth from the same opening fresh water and bitter? (James 3:8-11).
We use water for preadominantly two things; to drink (internal) and to cleanse (external). In order to be a pure vessel for Life-giving water, we must be cleansed and purified ourselves. Water in the Bible frequently is for either judgment and testing, or for blessing and refreshing. The Psalms talk about the enemy overwhelming you like a flood (Psalm 32:6; 90:5; 124:2-5) and the prophets speak of the judgment of God being like a flood. In judgment and testing water was used to destroy all flesh except those whom God saw as righteous (e.g. Noah and his family). This also symbolised baptism, the death to the old creation (1 Peter 3:20,21; 4:1,2).
When we also go through trials and feel as though they will overwhelm us like a torrent of water, it is often because God wants to kill the flesh that yet survives in us, in order to cleanse and purify us. He still brings Life through death! Jesus stood, and He cried in a loud voice, If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink! He who believes in Me, who trusts and relies on Me, as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water. But He was speaking here of the Spirit Whom those who believed in Him were afterward to receive. (John 7:37-39). But we won’t drink unless we are thirsty. It is only when you are thirsty and you realise that you NEED water that you will then SEEK the Fountain of the water of Life Who alone can quench and satisfy that thirst.
One thing that is guaranteed to make you thirsty is living in a desert without water for a time. Living in the desert is not ideal to say the least! Everything looks the same day in and day out in a desert, there is no joy in life. But God allows those times for a purpose. Only when you have experienced the heat and torture of the waterless desert, will you thirst and desire and long for the breakthrough of springs of Living Water and will fully appreciate the abundance of water and green pastures that God brings you to(Psalm 107:35-3).
Only God alone can turn a desert and wilderness into a place of springs and fruitfulness in His time! (Isaiah 35:1,2,5-7; Isaiah 32:1-3). The desert CAN be exactly where God wants us to be. The Bible says that God dwells in Zion, Zion is also where the new Jerusalem is built. The name ‘Zion’ in Hebrew means: parched place, or dry barren wilderness – God’s ways are the opposite of ours; sometimes He wants us in a dry, barren place so He alone becomes the Spring and Fountain of our survival!
Do not earnestly remember the former things; neither consider the things of old. Behold I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. For I will pour water upon him who is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground. I will pour My Spirit upon your offspring and My blessing upon your descendants. And they shall spring up among the grass like willows or poplars by the watercourses. Isaiah 43:18,19; 44:3,4.