Sometimes life can be completely and utterly exhausting. I’m talking stress from work, family, or money issues to being mentally spent or physically tired.
This is when we click on the TV, eat comfort food, open social media or do something we think will relax us and refill our souls. But the problem is, how many times do these actions leave us drained, empty, or more exhausted than before?
Where we go to find rest when we’re exhausted tells us who we are. What’s also telling is how exhausted we have to be before we even to God?
Throughout Scripture we discover this idea that God is our refuge, our strength, our peace and our rest. He is the watering hole, the oasis, in the parched deserts of life. But we only become parched if we leave the watering hole!
Follow me here: Where are watered spiritually is from . . .
– intentional time in the Word
– worshiping God
– having a focused and faithful prayer-life
– being encouraged by fellow believers who will keep us accountable
The church is vital to a believer’s walk because it incorporates these four things into our lives! Going to church should be like going to a water park or diving into the deep end of the watering hole.
It’s spiritual hydration.
I love going to church. Working in the nursery several times a month helps me appreciate attending service that much more. I love being able to walk through the doors of my church and be honest and vulnerable to God for a few hours and be open to his voice through the songs, the people or through the message.
It’s where I find rest.
But it’s more important that we can find rest in God in our daily walks. To daily pray, crack open our Bibles, have an accountability partner or mentor, and to intentionally worship him and give thanks for all he has done for us.
If we can worship God individually and practice the elements of church personally, it’s easier to be authentic as a body of believers coming to worship.
It also comes back to not leaving the watering hole. If every week day we are drinking in the Word and giving thanks to God, when Sunday comes, we are not having to find our way back to the watering hole.
If we intentionally get stuck in the desert, well, of course life will be exhausting. The sun (i.e. the stress and worries of life) beats down and we are thirsty, hot and uncomfortable. But trying to quench our thirst out in the desert with anything but God’s water is unsatisfying and will only leave us thirstier.
Have you ever been dehydrated and instead of drinking water you sip on a cold soda? It can be refreshing in the moment, but what your body needs and craves is water. Soda is a temporary fix and will only dehydrate you more.
Turning to anyone or anything but God when we are spiritually dehydrated is like drinking soda in the desert – that dog won’t hunt.
And some people (yes, I’m guilty of this too) drink soda during the week and then on Sunday trudge back to the watering hole to get enough water to survive on.
But God doesn’t want us to only survive in our spiritual journeys, he wants us to thrive.
So maybe, when we are stressed out or exhausted during the week from work or children or bills… Instead of checking out of our surroundings by watching a show or getting on Facebook, we should check into Jesus. We should rest in God’s Word, and we should pray and ask for his peace to fill us where we are empty.
There is a familiar passage about resting in the Lord that many of you may have it memorized:
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul,” (Psalm 23:1-2).
Because if we only let God lead us on Sundays, we might never fully experience the peace and joy that comes from swimming in the deep end of the watering hole. We must get out of the shallow end or we’re stuck in the desert all week.
What will happen if we’re trying to reach lost people in the desert who haven’t yet found God’s oasis, but we drink soda with them and remain parched all week except on Sundays? Won’t they see through that? How can they believe we have found the eternal, satisfying, water of life if we are drinking soda all week long?
Let’s be spiritually hydrated Christians.
It’s time for us to say no to the “sodas” in our life, whatever that may be, and to only drink water.
And what, or who, is this water, this oasis? Jesus Christ.
“But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life” (John 4:14).
Will you let Jesus lead you in your everyday life?