I recently started a gathering in my home called First Wednesday in the Word – a time and place once a month for women in community to take some time for themselves to fellowship, enjoy coffee and a treat and feast their souls on a quick, relevant, applicable teaching from God’s word. I promised the ladies I would blog my message, so here it is. In its entirety, it’s too long for a single post, so I’ve broken it down into five consecutive blog posts. I try not to barrage your inbox with daily emails, so I pray the Lord will use these five short messages to daily encourage you in His word. If you would like the entire message in one place, just sign up with your email in the top right sidebar and you will receive a printable, shareable copy of the series in an eBooklet called Soul Thirst: Drawing from the Well of Everlasting Satisfaction. If you already are a subscriber, you will receive a copy of the eBooklet in your inbox shortly, if you haven’t already.
In one of my more animated rants, I sat across from my mentor Doris explaining my frustration with my husband James with as much drama as I could muster. I really wanted her to get the extent of my frustration! When I was finished, I sat back in my chair and looked Doris directly in the eye. Remaining completely neutral, she calmly and lovingly asked:
“Shauna, who is your real husband?”
I felt like a first grader in Sunday School. I knew the answer was Jesus! And I knew that was not what I was living, so I timidly answered: “Jesus…?” After praying together that I would know and see Jesus as my perfect husband, I left knowing God would show me and teach me.
In the next few weeks, I continued my conversation with God about Jesus being my husband.
What exactly does that mean and what would that look like?
Then one morning, I listed in my journal every single expectation I had of James that he was not meeting. It was like forty-eight items long!!! And they were all emotional and spiritual. No wonder I was frustrated and discontent! No human could do for another human what I was expecting James to do for me. It was ridiculous! As I stared at the reality of what my list was telling me, the Lord spoke these words to my heart:
Shauna, I am all of those things and more.
Draw from Me and pour out to James.
As long as I tried to pull from James a soul satisfaction no human can possibly give another human, I propelled us into a vicious cycle of me feeling empty and frustrated, coming back for more, leaving empty and frustrated and coming back for more. You get the picture, right?
In scripture, God calls the church the bride of Christ. He is our perfect husband! He is the One from whom we can draw for every soul need we have! When we do, we will be eternally satisfied. And we can draw from Him for the satisfaction of any immediate spiritual or soul need. HE is the source of satisfaction. When I draw from Jesus as my perfect husband, Jesus fills and enables me to pour out to James from HIS eternal reservoir!
I’m quite certain James is relieved to be off the hook for my unrealistic demands!
Perhaps you, like me, have something you turn to in this world for the soul satisfaction only Jesus can deliver. By a soul need, I mean things like assurance, peace, security, significance, purpose, perfect love, perfect acceptance, perfect dependability, perfect trustworthiness, eternal presence, deep, abiding joy, unshakable hope, steady mercy, steady grace, knowledge, wisdom, understanding, discernment and so on.
Every one of us has an eternal soul need for salvation that is met once and for all in Christ when God saves us and gives us everlasting life, but then we have ongoing soul needs for survival! Many times, we seek happiness instead of a satisfied soul and we hinge our happiness on people, circumstances, things and experiences that can produce a temporary “high” or sense of happiness and well-being, but it is fleeting. It does not last.
The need remains or returns because the soul needs I am talking about cannot be met with the things of our natural world. The source of satisfaction is spiritual!
Some of us, like me, want our husbands to make us happy. And it works for a time…some of the time.
Some of us want our kids or grandkids to make us happy. And it works for a time…some of the time.
Some of us want our careers to make us happy. And it works for a time…some of the time.
Others hope to find happiness in pleasure, travel, shopping, circumstances, experiences, food, substances, status, position, possessions, pleasure, parties, living in the right places, traveling to the right destinations, running in the right circles. And it works for a time…some of the time.
I personally have looked to every single one of these things (except for grandkids…I do not have any of those yet) to satisfy a soul need at one time or another in my life! And listen, many of these things are not bad or wrong in and of themselves! But they cannot satisfy our thirst for eternal satisfaction that only comes through Jesus Christ.
So how do we know when we are turning to someone or something that gives only temporary satisfaction when the real need is for eternal, spiritual satisfaction for the soul?
Here is a question we can ask ourselves: Is the desire satisfied or does our thirst for what we are seeking remain or return?
When we attempt to satisfy a spiritual soul need for Jesus with someone or something of this world we will end up thirsty and back at the well attempting to draw living water from something or someone that does not have it to give!
It is exactly what I was doing with James, and it is one of the over-arching life truths conveyed in Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well in John 4 when He takes an exact route to an exact place at the exact time He knows He will encounter a Samaritan woman who has come to the well to draw the water she thinks she needs from the well she thinks will satisfy her need.
We are going to walk alongside Jesus in verses one through twenty-six to observe and learn from Him. We are going to glean more than head knowledge from words on a page, though; we are going to ingest truth into our hearts. We are going to get to know Jesus, who He is, what He does for us and what He longs to do in our hearts. We are going to put ourselves in the sandals of the woman He encounters at that well. And we are going to see Jesus act in a way that is unconventional, counter-cultural and counter-religious as He uses her physical need to expose her spiritual need while revealing Himself as the eternal source of what she really needs!
If we only remember one thing from this message and this entire series, let it be this:
Jesus is exact!
Jesus meets us at our exact point of need to reveal Himself as exactly what we need!
If He did it for her, He will do it for us.
For the other posts in this series see: