Summary: Full lives. Full social calendars. Full houses. But if we are honest, most of us are also full of famine! Why?
Pt. 2 - Patterns That Parch
Two weeks ago I stood in this pulpit and challenged you to examine your own level of passion, pursuit and hunger for God. I told you that I believe we as a movement - Christianity - we are in the midst of a famine. However, I want to tell you that I believe the famine has come to roost and taken up root in Passion. Here are some of the symptoms I said reveal this fact ... the glazed over eyes, lack of passion, participation or anticipation for worship, lack of concern, lack of action, lack of obedience to the Word, lack of any discipline when it comes to study, treating gathering, as commanded by Scripture, as optional and low on the priority list. All signs of a famine. I can feel it. I can see it. I also told you this famine is a direct result of the plague of plenty. We are so blessed that we take for granted what we have. We long for yesterday thinking it was better and we become incredibly picky because when you have plenty you begin to become more concerned about preference than presence. So the type of worship song, the preference for style, etc. cause us to turn away as if it won't sustain us. I asked you an incredibly important question . . . What if manna is still the means by which God desires to fill you. Our desire for fish when God is still using manna could cause us to starve while pushing away angel food cake!
But I also told you that I also believe the famine is in its early stages and we can take steps inside this body and personally to stop it. We can take steps to stop the long term terrifying implications of it. Which brings us to today. I want to talk to you about one of the keys to stopping a famine before it becomes wide spread and fatal.
Text: John 4:1-18
Jesus realized that the Pharisees were keeping count of the baptisms that he and John performed although his disciples, not Jesus, did the actual baptizing. They had posted the score that Jesus was ahead, turning him and John into rivals in the eyes of the people. So Jesus left the Judean countryside and went back to Galilee. To get there, he had to pass through Samaria. He came into Sychar, a Samaritan village that bordered the field Jacob had given his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was still there. Jesus, worn out by the trip, sat down at the well. It was noon. A woman, a Samaritan, came to draw water. Jesus said, “Would you give me a drink of water?” His disciples had gone to the village to buy food for lunch. The Samaritan woman, taken aback, asked, “How come you, a Jew, are asking me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?” Jews in those days wouldn’t be caught dead talking to Samaritans. Jesus answered, “If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water.” The woman said, “Sir, you don’t even have a bucket to draw with, and this well is deep. So how are you going to get this ‘living water’? Are you a better man than our ancestor Jacob, who dug this well and drank from it, he and his sons and livestock, and passed it down to us?” Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.” The woman said, “Sir, give me this water so I won’t ever get thirsty, won’t ever have to come back to this well again!” He said, “Go call your husband and then come back.” “I have no husband,” she said. “That’s nicely put: ‘I have no husband.’ You’ve had five husbands, and the man you’re living with now isn’t even your husband. You spoke the truth there, sure enough.”
I could point you to countless stories throughout Scripture that validate the truth I want share today. The Children of Israel's pattern of disobedience leads to repeated circling, bondage, and turmoil. Solomon's pattern of pursuit of pleasure resulted in a spiritual famine. The Pharisees' pattern of legalism resulted in a famine of form with no power. The man who positioned himself at the Pool of Bethesda had a pattern of waiting on someone else to access God and it resulted in 38 years of paralyzed famine.
However, I landed in today's text. There have been countless messages preached from this text. In fact, when I received my dad's notes for last week I had finished this message and realized he was using same text! I personally have preached about the fact that Jesus will adjust His schedule to get to us. We preach that Jesus will go where others won't go to reach people no one else will touch. We preach about the water that satisfies. You heard dad's examination of this text. All good. However, there is something else revealed in this account that is germane for our issue with famine . . .