It’s been pretty warm around here. Not nearly as hot as the East coast this summer, but western Colorado’s semi-arid climate literally sucks you dry. Forget to drink enough water and dehydration sets in fast.
During certain seasons of life it’s easy to get spiritually dehydrated. Periods of intense stress (an ailing parent or child, marital problems, health issues, financial trouble, etc.), and times of transition (changing careers, moving, new parents, new empty nesters, home remodeling, puberty, menopause, college, etc.), are seasons of life that lend themselves to spiritual dehydration.
Symptom #1: Thirst and/or loss of appetite. Just like natural thirst, many of us don’t recognize spiritual thirst anymore. We try to satisfy that vague sense of dissatisfaction with food, entertainment, or retail therapy.
I’m one of those people who hates to drink water. When water seems the most repulsive is when I need it the most. A loss of appetite for the things of God – His Word, prayer, worship, praise – is a pretty clear indicator you are spiritually thirsty.
Symptom #2: Fatigue, weakness or chills. Living in a perpetual state of fatigue and exhaustion is not normal. Seriously. Spiritual fatigue can show up as fear, apathy, withdrawal, isolation or susceptibility to temptation. Being “too tired” to do anything is ABNORMAL for believers! Feeling spiritually cold and insensitive is an indication you are probably dehydrated, though the enemy of our souls likes to tell us we’re just “bad Christians” when we experience those symptoms. No, you aren’t bad, you just need a drink!
Jesus talked about water and thirst and drinking a lot. He lived in a hot, arid climate. The people around Him understood the importance of staying hydrated. Just getting enough water to survive was a major expenditure of time and energy. It was critical for survival, and Jesus wanted them (and us) to understand preventing spiritual dehydration is just as important.
On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.John 7:37-39 (from New International Version)
We don’t have to suffer repeated bouts of Christian heatstroke if we’ll stay hydrated, conscious that in certain seasons, it’s important to drink more, not less. It figures that those times when we need to be spiritually hydrating ourselves the most are the times when we are the busiest, the most distracted, and the most likely to shuffle our relationship with God to the bottom of the to-do list.
If you are a believer, the Spirit of God lives within you and is a continual source of living water. You don’t have to wait for rain, you have to tap in to the artesian well that is the life of God within you! I like these instructions from Act 3:19 in the Amplified:
So repent (change your mind and purpose); turn around and return [to God], that your sins may be erased (blotted out, wiped clean), that times of refreshing (of recovering from the effects of heat, of reviving with fresh air) may come from the presence of the Lord;
Repent? Think about it this way: If you were marching through the desert and getting dehydrated, and there was an oasis just behind you, wouldn’t it make sense to run back to that oasis and get a drink? When and where was the last time and place you felt spiritually hydrated? In praise and worship? While reading your Bible? Praying? Fellowshipping with others? That’s your oasis. Now change your mind and purpose: Make that oasis your number one priority.
Need a place to start? I’ve been listening to the following song, appropriately titled The Desert Song by Hillsong. Sing it through a few times, meditate on the lyrics. And let that river of Living Water in your spirit begin to flow freely with praise, with worship, with thanksgiving.
Here’s to a well-hydrated week, no matter what season of life you’re in right now!
GO GET A DRINK!
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