Thrive in Living Water

Thrive in Living Water

The Value of Living the Christian Life

Read: Titus 2:11-14

Focus Verse: But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 1 Peter 2:9 NKJV

My husband and I were walking on the beach one afternoon, strolling along the water’s edge, when we noticed sea shells, jellyfish, and even horseshoe crabs that had washed up on shore. They were meant to live in the water but were slowly dying on the beach for some reason—languishing on the sand. I wanted badly to put them back into the water, but I couldn’t do so safely. So we continued, as I picked up some beautiful shells of creatures who had died quite a while ago. They were never meant to live on land. Unfortunately, they perished. Are we like these creatures, gasping as we languish in a hostile world washed up from life’s troubles?

Languishing on the sand

God Calls Us to be Different

The idea that we are different—peculiar in the New King James Version—bothers some followers of Christ. After all, we want to be liked and respected by the people around us. Becoming popular might mean we must drop our principles to become well-liked by our peers. We become fascinated with some things non-Christians do or want the “benefits” of how they do things, like the money they earn. Eventually, we stoop beneath our Christian values to get that raise, have a house in the neighborhood we want, or get special recognition for our accomplishments. We might even go to that yoga class, not wanting to disappoint someone we hope to befriend while getting caught in the New Age snare. It happens subtly when Satan whispers in our ear, “I can give you everything your heart desires. Just follow the examples of those you admire, and I’ll give you what you want.” And the waves wash us closer to shore.

Yet, we feel a twinge of concern. The Holy Spirit gives us a red flag, warning us to avoid paying attention to those lies. Do we listen to the Holy Spirit, or do we listen to Satan? Do we trust God to give us what we need and bless us for our obedience? We are no longer of this world, yet we are tempted to be like the world. God calls us to be different–peculiar–or as in 1 Peter 2:9. We are chosen by God, a holy nation, His special people. So why do we yearn to be like non-Christians?

We must Die to Self to Live for Christ

We occasionally cave into our wants because we doubt God’s love for us. This doubt leaves us languishing on the sand in a world that is not our Home. We gasp and flail because we’ve stepped out of the Living Water that refreshes our souls. That doesn’t mean we’ve lost our salvation. Not at all. It means that we’ve chosen to live like those who don’t know Jesus as Savior, ignoring the Holy Spirit’s warnings while living to satisfy our desires. And then we wonder why we struggle, why life doesn’t go as well as we hoped. We reap the consequences of our actions, not making the correlation between certain behaviors and their outcomes. We want what they have, but we are not blessed as a result. (Romans 7:15-20) When heartache, problems, and frustrations loom, we often get angry with God, blaming Him for our woes. “Why didn’t you give me my dream, Lord? Don’t you love me?” Is it really His fault we aren’t happy?

Putting people down to get ahead, taking credit for someone else’s hard work, and neglecting our families by working long hours don’t always get people ahead. Rather, it strains relationships, alienates people, and damages reputations. So we start ignoring the Holy Spirit’s nudges, living more like the Prodigal Son than God’s Child. We stop praying, going to church, and spending time with other Christians because we don’t want to face our guilt. Much like those creatures I found beached, we soon begin to die inside. Some of us eventually come to our senses, like the Prodigal Son did, by confessing our sins to the Lord and making a complete 180-degree turn to get back on track. When we do, He lifts us up and places us deep into the Living Water where we belong. Now, we thrive rather than survive.

It’s essential to feed our new nature and let the old one die because we died with Christ and rose again with Him into our new lives. We are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). The old is gone, and the new has come! We were meant to abide in that Living Water where we will never thirst. We’ve been recreated to overflow with Living Water, spilling and splashing it onto others around us. And one day, we will go Home where there will be no more sin, sorrow, or shame. Jesus will lead us to “springs of living water.” (John 7:37-38) The river of the water of life will flow from God’s throne feeding the tree of life where the leaves will heal the nations (Revelation 7:16-17, 22:1). This is our true Home where we will live one day forever.

Living Water

Obedience Matters

In the meantime, we live here on earth, a world that is not our Home. I liken our current situation to a beautiful tropical fish in an aquarium waiting to go home to our native waters. In the meantime, we must live with Christ at the center of all we do to thrive. Our obedience matters because it keeps us in the spiritual environment we need. Jesus is life, and in Him, there is no darkness. We thrive in His Living Water, where we will never thirst and are called to share it with others.

Are you like a fish out of water, flopping around, gasping for breath–languishing on the hot, dry sand? Have you walked away from the church, reading your Bible and praying? Do you listen to your non-Christian friends rather than Christians when it comes to the way you live? Then, dive back into the Living Water and thrive.

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