Whether hunger or thirst, they both fall under the umbrella of desire. When you are hungry, you desire to be filled. When you are thirsty, you desire your thirst to be satiated. There is godly desire, and there is earthly desire. The world’s version of desire is encapsulated in the oft-overused trope that the heart wants what the heart wants. The problem with that is that the heart of man is exceedingly wicked, so what the heart wants likely isn’t the best for the individual in whose chest it beats.
We’ve all heard the horror stories of broken homes and upended families because they pursued what the heart wanted without consideration for the crater they would leave in their wake. The thing about the heart is that unless it’s regenerated, everything it wants is selfish and hedonistic. Even when shrouded in altruism, once you peel back the layers, you see the true intentions underneath. We must stop lying to ourselves that most people are good and have good intentions because they are not. They just haven’t worked up the courage to follow their heart into the inky corners, so for now, they seem like decent folk. If history teaches us anything, it’s that given enough pressure and the wrong kind of influence, man is capable of being the worst kind of animal.
There is a domino effect of sorts, an interconnectedness when it comes to desire. When you receive what you desire, what flows out of you is that which you received. If what flows out of you is not life, then what was poured into you wasn’t life either.
John 7:37-38 “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “if anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
In order for rivers of living water to flow out of your heart, you must first thirst, then drink. What you must drink is what Jesus offers, not some concoction you came up with spur of the moment because you just threw some ingredients in a blender and hoped for the best. That’s what modern-day Christianity has become in the Western world; people throwing things into a blender, with a heaping portion of grace, so it all liquefies, and there you have a new theological variant made to suit the palate of those not interested in a relationship with God, just in the fire insurance.
It’s lucrative. It really is; you don’t need good ingredients, most people don’t even know what’s in the thing, but they know it’s cheap and filling and alleviates their fear of self-sacrifice and their dread of the day of judgment.
It’s not that people don’t know what they’re being offered is less than ideal. They just don’t care. If you’re paying six bucks for a pizza, you’re not expecting farm-to-table hand-spun mozzarella on a bed of fresh basil, with some cold pressed olive oil drizzle on top. It was six bucks. If you don’t get sick from it, it’s a win, and next week when you get a hankering, you’ll go back again. It beats paying thirty bucks for the pretentious one because you only have so many kidneys you can sell.
The sad part is that Jesus is offering the best there is, the best you’ll ever come across, living water straight from the source, and scores of people prefer the brown tap water everyone tells you not to drink unless you want to have an unpleasant couple of days. If you thirst, you can go to Him and drink, and not only will your thirst be satiated, rivers of living water will flow from your heart. Jesus didn’t say come and pay; He said come and drink.
Do you mean Jesus expects me to come to Him? Why can’t He come to me, cup in hand, and hold it to my lips? Because He will not do for you what you can do for yourself. God’s not looking to infantilize you. He is looking to grow and mature you to the point that life flows out of you, giving succor to others.
He can’t force you to drink, either. You have to want to drink and do so voluntarily. If you’re thirsty, go to Him, drink your fill, and know what it is to be satiated for the first time in your life. If He forced you to drink, that would be assault. You’d likely try to spit it out, and the experience would be less than pleasant.
But what about leaving the ninety-nine for the one? That one got lost. He didn’t intentionally go to the wolves showing its hindquarters trying to seduce them. He didn’t act like a free agent seeing who made the better offer before committing. Intentionality matters. It always has. If your intention is to follow humbly after Christ, even when you stumble, He will pick you up. If your intention is to have the best of both worlds and only pay Him lip service, then you were never on the path to begin with. But hey, whatever it takes to skirt accountability and personal responsibility.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea, Jr.
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