Pastor Mike Biolsi
North Country Fellowship Church
Attitude Adjustment #2
OBEY YOUR THIRST
A small boy is sent to bed by his father. Five minutes later....
"I’m thirsty. Can you bring drink of water?"
"No. You had your chance. Lights out."
Five minutes later: "Da-aaaad....."
"I’m THIRSTY. Can I have a drink of water??"
"I told you NO!" If you ask again, I’ll have to spank you!!"
Five minutes later......"Daaaa-aaaad....."
"When you come in to spank me, can you bring a drink of water?"
We all thirst for something…
* We long to feel loved
* We long to experience happiness & joy
* We desperately search for meaning and significance
SPRITE ® in it’s latest marketing campaigns has enticed us with it’s slogan, “Image is nothing. Thirst is everything. OBEY YOUR THIRST!”. (like a sugared-up, fizzy, lemon-lime beverage has the ability to satisfy the deep longings of your soul! – Geesh!)
Many people do obey their thirst. They drink up what everyone around them calls love, they pursue what their neighbors call happiness, and they try to find meaning and significance as defined by Dr. Phil, Oprah and MTV. The result is an even greater thirst that seems as though it will never be satisfied. Jesus teaches is about thirst, and how to truly quench our thirst, and he tells it through an experience…
John 4:5-24 - Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.
The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”
Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who I am, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”
“But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this is a very deep well. Where would you get this living water? And besides, are you greater than our ancestor Jacob who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his cattle enjoyed?”
Jesus replied, “People soon become thirsty again after drinking this water. But the water I give them takes away thirst altogether. It becomes a perpetual spring within them, giving them eternal life.” “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me some of that water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again….” (NLT)
The woman at the well was looking for something… she was studying a religion that she was not allowed to be a part of; she went through a slew of marriages and deice that to live with someone might be less painful.
She was thirsty – but not for water, she was thirsty for acceptance, love, meaning, happiness, God –and Jesus knew that. So Jesus made her an offer – and all she had to do was obey her thirst.
John 7:37-38 - On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “If you are thirsty, come to me! If you believe in me, come and drink! For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water will flow out from within.” (NLT)
In the woods behind my house, on the back side of the Sayre’s farm, there is a spring. It is an awesome thing to see. In the middle of this large, flat slab of rock is this crystal clear water bubbling up out of the ground. A few feet away are dirty, stagnant puddles. You could sit down by that spring and drink all day long and never drink it dry, as a matter of fact, it will put out more water than you could ever consume.
Jesus promises a life that is overflowing… an abundant life… for all of those who will obey their thirst for Him. If you are going to truly satisfy your thirst, you have to choose to…
Drink from the faucet - not the drain…
You can choose to satisfy your thirst by doing whatever feels right at the time. This will temporarily satisfy you, though you will be more thirsty when you are done. The thing that you thought would satisfy only drain you, and you are left parched and dehydrated. If you sucked hard enough on the drain all you will get is a bunch of _________. Well, you know… you get the best that the cesspool of life can regurgitate on you. And that is what many people settle for.
OR you can choose to satisfy your thirst by doing what God says. This will satisfy you for good. Though it might be painful, hard, counter-cultural, unpopular, it will satisfy you. It will become a constantly running faucet that does not run dry.
Remember when you were a kid (:)). Outside in the back yard on a hot summer day. You would run to the side of the house and turn on the hose… You would get your little brother or sister to wrap their lips around the hose and suck on it, telling them it was dry, and then you would… turn it on! Water would gush out of their nose, their ears… anywhere there was an opening and they would half-drown in the side yard!
When you decide to satisfy your thirst God’s way, he provides so much satisfaction that you cannot comprehend it all, you cannot grasp it all, you cannot take it all in…
Ephesians 3:20 - Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. (NLT)
The reality is that what you and I long for, what we are really thirsty for can only be found in a relationship with God.
* We long to feel loved, and God is the only one that can give us unconditional love
* We long to have purpose, and God is the only one that can give us that greater purpose.
* We are thirsty for joy, and happiness, and the greatest joy can only come from the freedom that Jesus gives us – freedom from fear, worry, anxiety.
But the key word is NOT “thirst” – everyone is thirsty. It is how you quench your thirst that is most vital.
Any of you ever been to the ocean? Nothing quite like diving into the waves… and swallowing that cold, refreshing salt water! Yetch! It makes you SO THIRSTY! If you really want to quench your thirst, you cannot go to the ocean, you have to go to a fresh, pure source.
The key word is OBEY. And the key influencing factor is who or what you choose to obey. If you choose to obey your self, or what the world offers you, you will remain parched. If you choose to obey God, you will be satisfied.
Philippians 2:5-11 - Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross. (NLT)
The way that you and I satisfy our thirst is to obey God, as Jesus did.
John 14:15 - “If you love me, obey my commandments. (NLT)
John 15:14 - And you are my friends, if you obey me. (CEV)
When we obey Him, as we do what he tells us in the Bible, He satisfies us. Understand that obedience means to do what God says, no “ifs”, “ands” or buts”.
God says it. i do it. Period. .
* It will be painful at times – because God cannot comfort us if you never experience pain.
* It will be dangerous at times – or else we would not need God’s protection
* It will be overbearing at times – or else we would not needs God’s strength
* It will be scary at times – which is why God promises to never leave us.
If you and I are going to do what God says then we must believe that He knows what He is talking about and that He knows better than we do (note last week’s message).
Obedience means doing what God says even if it is not popular; even if it is not what I want to do.
“just do it!”
Imagine, if you will, that you work for a company whose president found it necessary to travel out of the country and spend an extended period of time abroad. So he says to you and the other trusted employees, “Look, I’m going to leave. And while I’m gone, I want you to pay close attention to the business. You manage things while I’m away. I will write you regularly. When I do, I will instruct you in what you should do from now until I return from this trip.”
Everyone agrees. He leaves and stays gone for a couple of years. During that time he writes often, communicating his desires and concerns. Finally he returns. He walks up to the front door of the company and immediately discovers everything is in a mess--weeds flourishing in the flower beds, windows broken across the front of the building, the gal at the front desk dozing, loud music roaring from several offices, two or three people engaged in horseplay in the back room. Instead of making a profit, the business has suffered a great loss.
Without hesitation he calls everyone together and with a frown asks, “What happened? Didn’t you get my letters?” You say, “Oh, yeah, sure. We got all your letters. We’ve even bound them in a book. And some of us have memorized them. In fact, we have ‘letter study’ every Sunday. You know, those were really great letters.”
I think the president would then ask, “But what did you do about my instructions?” And, no doubt the employees would respond, “Do? Well, nothing. But we read every one!”
Charles Swindoll, Living Above the Level of Mediocrity, p. 242
God didn’t give us Ten Suggestions, they are Ten Commandments. He knows what is best for us. Honest!
So when he says…
* … don’t have sex unless you are married ( and then make sure you are only having sex with the person you married!) He knows what is best for you. So OBEY him.
* … don’t lie, and you know you are going to get in trouble, take the consequences, and tell the truth.
* … to honor Him with our giving and our worship – just do it. Trust Him, make the commitment, make the sacrifice. He knows what He is talking about. You friends might think you are a fool for going to church, or nuts for giving money to God, but you need to do what God says… period.
We are all thirsty, and God can quench our thirst, if we obey him.
If you and I just learn to cry out to God, “Dad – I am thirsty, can you satisfy me?” He will.
Psalm 107:8-9 – “…Give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for … he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. (NIV)
As you and I do this, as we tap into God as the solution to our thirst, we can expect the following:
1) God will give us joy (even in our troubles)
Psalm 51:12 - Make me as happy as you did when you saved me; make me want to obey! (CEV)
2) God will give us purpose (even if we don’t know all the details)
Ecclesiastes 12:13 - Everything you were taught can be put into a few words: Respect and obey God! This is what life is all about. (CEV)
3) God will give us His love (even when others reject you)
Exodus 20:6 - I lavish my love on those who love me and obey my commands, even for a thousand generations. (NLT)
One step forward in obedience is worth years of study about it.
- Oswald Chambers, quoted in Our Daily Bread, March 4, 1993
1 John 5:3 - Loving God means keeping his commandments, and really, that isn’t difficult. (NLT)
It requires a choice, and that choice is up to you. OBEY YOUR THIRST – do the things God wants you to do.
This last week, Chris Ogden obeyed his thirst for God. On Wednesday morning, Chris prayed - asked God to forgive him and committed his life to Jesus!
[celebrate – give him his new Bible]
Perhaps you are at the point where you are ready to make that first step of obedience to God – asking Him to forgive you and surrendering your life to Him? If so – we can do that together right now, simply bow your head and pray with me….
[if you prayed that prayer let me know on your communication card, or see me after church]
Maybe you are here today, and you made that commitment some time in the past, but at the present you have been living a life of convenience, choosing to obey God when it works for you, and doing your own thing the rest of the time.
Stop avoiding God, stop trying to be God. Make today the day that you resolve to do what God says, no matter what.