How Thirsty Are You?

Sometimes it’s not until I notice others around me are drinking water, that I become acutely or even remotely aware of my own thirst.

We all have the need to drink from the Living Water, that River and Water of Life that is Christ’s Life in us. The Fountain of Life, the Well that will never run dry.  Jesus said that for us who believe, out from us will flow rivers of Living water also, i.e. His Life.

“…but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14

In a way, one could say that the Samaritan woman at the well, drank from Jesus’ as The Living Water when she believed into Him, and out from her flowed His rivers of Living Water to others when she went and told her village about Jesus, and many came to Him and believed into Him also.

The Psalmist says ‘My soul thirsts for You like a parched land’. Land thirsts, plants and trees thirst, birds and beasts thirst, mankind thirsts. Every living thing thirsts for water. And this is a picture of how God made us, to need Him. All of creations’ need and thirst for water is a shadow and type of the innate need God has placed inside of humanity for the Life of His Son, Jesus, who is of-course, the Tree of Life, the River of Life, the Fountain of Life, the Living Water. It is also a picture of the reality that Jesus Christ is the One Source of All True Life. 

The thing about being a believer in the western world where we have suckled on man-made traditions, swallowing a camel but choking on a gnat, indulged in man-centered, individualistic Christianity, is we don’t recognize how thirsty for this Living Water we really are. We become like those the Lord chastised in the book of Jeremiah 2:13, who committed evil by forsaking the Fountain of Life for man-made cisterns that can’t hold water. 

Jesus said His life (blood) was ‘poured out’ for many – as one would pour out water. We are therefore, to ‘drink’. Jesus said He was our ‘real food’ and our ‘real drink’.

Thirst is an interesting thing. Physically it alerts us to the fact that we are dehydrated. Sometimes we are so unaware of our own condition physically, that we mistake dehydration for hunger pains, and so will eat something. But instead, our body is telling us we need water. Not a cup of tea, not coffee, not sugary drinks, not milk, not food, just water.

This too, is a picture of our spiritual condition at times. Sometimes we are oblivious to the fact that we are spiritually dehydrated. We have some kind of discomfort in our spirits that we don’t understand, we feel distant from God, spiritually bored, so we try and fill ourselves up with activity, entertainment, religious practices, socializing and so on. However, all along, we are in need of Jesus Christ, the Living Water, to quench our thirst. God has made us this way. As that beaut old hymn goes “For none but Christ can satisfy “. 

As believers, do we have the Living Water inside of us all the time? Yes of course. Jesus Christ lives and dwells in us. But a water well, needs to be drawn from. There’s an action, a doing, that is required on behalf of the thirsty one, to receive the water. We must actually ‘drink’.  So how do we drink this Living Water, this Christ, how do we draw from this River and Fountain of Life?

Let’s get back to basics.  Sadly, the basics are easily lost in our modern ‘christianity’ and we might need reminding. Both legalism and libertinism can rob the significance and power of ‘the basics’ in a believer’s life. 

When one drinks in the natural sense, the first thing one does is go to the ‘source’ of the water. It might be a tap, a river, a fridge, a bottle, but one makes the move toward the source. There is an action required. Secondly, one engages in the appropriate action required to drink. This might mean getting a cup, or cupping one’s hands to hold the water. You might call this the ‘taking’ part of the action. After taking, thirdly, one must do the most very basic thing, and no-one else can do this for us. We must take the water whether it is in a cup or in our cupped hands, and put it to our lips, open our mouths and partake.

All these basic natural movements toward drinking water, are a picture of the spiritual action we take to drink of His Living Water, and it is called ‘communing with God’.

In the spiritual, we must go to the One Source of Living Water, Christ. We have to take action to go to Him. This might be drawing aside from all other distractions, finding a quiet place, or simply in our heart of hearts turning to Him in a moment. Either way, it is an active response to our spiritual thirst. The ‘taking’ part in a spiritual sense, is our intentionality in what we’re doing. We turn to the Lord in faith, we set our eyes upon Him, we open our ears to His voice, we quiet our mind and heart before Him, sit with Him and wait upon Him, meditating our thoughts upon Him, calling on His Name.

The ‘engaging’ part in a spiritual sense, is our intimacy with Him. We actually ‘drink’. We, by faith, receive His Life, into us. We are spending this time with Him, we are communing with Him, fellow-shipping with Him, loving Him, letting Him love us, giving Him our time. We put everything else aside to be with Him in this intimate way. This is drinking.

And of-course, He does the rest. He Himself is the Living Water, not our activity, but He, the person, Jesus Christ. So He does the work of quenching our thirst, refreshing our spirit, restoring our soul, strengthening us in our faith and love of Him. And we are satisfied.

One of the interesting things about God making water and the innate need in every living thing to need it, is that He didn’t make it last. Rain doesn’t last forever. Rivers dry up. Droughts come. Wells run dry. Jesus said that whoever drinks from Him, will never thirst again, He is the well that will never run dry. In light of the exhortations and encouragements throughout the old and new testaments in scripture, I believe that He meant, because He is the ‘Source’ of the Living Water. We don’t just know and accept that He is dwelling in us and that’s it. We don’t go on in passivity toward this great reality! No, God always works with us and for us, to work with Him. We still need to go to the Source regularly in order to drink of this Living Water. Christ’s Well within us will always have Living Water available to us. His is the Well that will never run dry, we will always find water there, but we must ‘go’ there and ‘draw’ from Him.

Yes, Jesus is the Vine and we are the branches, but we need to keep abiding in Him. God said for us to draw near to Him, and then He will draw near to us! We work together with God, this is a two-way relationship we have entered into with God. All God’s promises in scripture are a two-way partnership. We do this, and He’ll do that. We abide and remain, obey, be true, giving up our lives for Him, lose our lives, and He will be faithful, He will grant the desires of our heart, He will make our paths straight, we will find our lives. It’s always a partnership. Of-course, He laid the foundation before creation and time, for our capacity to work with Him, and that is IN the Life of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Galatians 2:20 It’s no longer I who lives, but it is Christ living in me, and this life that I do live, I live by the faith of the Son of God.

But do we truly ‘abide’ in Him? Are we ‘walking’ in His life, under His reign and rule, as ones belonging only to God? Are we devoted to Him on a very personal and private individual level? Or are we living for ourselves, our own interpretation or preference of how to live a christian life?

One of the beautiful things about true body life, i.e. a community of believers devoted to Christ, and learning to live by the Lord’s indwelling life together for His purpose and glory,  is that we can discover by osmosis if we are not necessarily truly drinking of this Living Water on a daily basis as an individual member. When we see others spiritually drinking of the Lord’s life around us, we can become aware that we are thirsty and we also need to ‘move’,’take’, ‘engage’, ‘commune’ in our individual personal life with the Lord.

Being part of a community of believers is only as alive as the members of that body. If the members aren’t drinking spiritually, the whole community will be thirsty. It will become like a dried up river bed which can offer no Living Water to anyone else. But when the individual members are drinking, that Living Water, the life of Christ will bubble up and flow out from their innermost beings, and corporately all will find Christ as their true drink together. He will indeed be manifested as inner springs of Living Water flowing out from them and all thirst will be gloriously quenched and hearts drawn nearer to Him. 

As flesh begets flesh, so does spirit beget spirit. So does spiritual thirst beget spiritual thirst. None but Christ can satisfy. We thirst for Him all the time because He alone is our True drink, He alone satisfies.

Lord, teach us to drink of You. Show us our spiritual thirst. You lead us beside still waters and You restore our soul. You alone can satisfy.

Dear saint, if you are needing some inspiration toward turning and drinking of the Lord, I can recommend downloading this song called ‘I Thirst’ by Kathryn Mary Johnston.

https://kathrynmaryjohnston.com/track/541372/i-thirst

 

A Time For God’s Favour

The other week the saints we meet with were exploring various aspects of Christ’s character, revealed in the Old Testament saints. In preparation for our gathering, I was looking through the book of Esther, searching for the aspect of Christ’s authority revealed in her life.  It’s such an amazing story and there was much of the Lord’s character that I could see reflected in Esther, His humility, His calling, His willingness to lay down His life and His being the deliverance of His people. However, I did struggle to see our Lord’s authority characterised in her life at first glance.

If you’re unfamiliar with the story of Esther, in a nutshell, she was a Jewish girl raised by her cousin Mordecai and taken into the king’s harem, later becoming his queen. The king had no knowledge of her Jewish heritage.  Mordecai would sit at the gate of the king’s palace to hear of the fate of the Jewish people discussed among some of the king’s men. Mordecai got word to Esther of the plans that were being made behind the king’s back, to destroy the Jewish people and Esther was challenged to face the king to seek his favour on behalf of her people. Esther was afraid to go into the king’s inner court and sent these words back to Mordecai;

“All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that for any man or woman who comes to the king to the inner court who is not summoned, he has but one law, that he be put to death, unless the king holds out to him the golden sceptre so that he may live. And I have not been summoned to come to the king for these thirty days” (Esther 4:11).

Mordecai, full of faith that God will deliver His people come hell or high water, sends a reply to her that if she remains silent at this time that the Jews will be delivered from another place but her and her father’s house will perish. He then poses the question to her, “And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?”

Upon hearing these words sent by Mordecai, Esther obviously ‘sees’ her calling in God, and that she indeed had a responsibility to respond on behalf of her people. She had been given the authority of royalty, she had been placed in a position where she could have the king’s ear if he showed her favour. So although clearly still afraid, Esther says yes and asks for prayer and fasting for her. She then makes this glorious statement in which we can really see the humility and sacrificial heart of our Lord;

“…if I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16).

Then, Esther makes her plans to approach the king. She puts on her royal robes and stands in the inner court of the king’s palace in front of the king’s rooms and when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, the bible says “… she obtained favour in his sight, and the king extended to Esther the golden sceptre which was in his hand... “(Esther 5:1-2).

Then the king says to Esther, “What is troubling you, Queen Esther? And what is your request? Even to half of the kingdom it shall be given to you” (Esther 5:3).

Well, four days after reading this story the Lord’s light shone into my heart to see Christ’s authority revealed in Esther.

We come into the Father’s throne room through the name of Jesus. Christ is our access to God’s favour. God’s sceptre is always held out toward us because Jesus has opened the door of the throne room for us to come in and fellowship with God, commune with Him and banquet with Him.

Through Christ, God welcomes us and says what is it you want? What is your petition? What can I do for you? More than just up to half the kingdom is offered to us, no, God has given us His entire Kingdom through Christ because of the Father’s love for the Son, and now we share in the Son’s inheritance.

Christ is the golden sceptre in God’s hand that is held out toward us. Christ is the favour of the Lord to us.

The year of the favour of the Lord has come in Christ Jesus, our living Lord.

To die, yet to live

A Call To The Remnant

The living Jesus empowers us to die. The cross is the symbol of sacrifice and death. To live for Him is to die to ourselves and the world. In the Spiritual we came, we died and we rose again as a new creature in Christ. As we move towards and become like Jesus, we die to ourselves. And so there is an important intertwining of dying to ourselves and living the resurrected life. It is the heads and the tails of the same coin.

If you focus on just one aspect to the detriment of the other, you will become imbalanced in your walk. We surely must pick up our cross daily. It is important to realize that this will produce an abundant spiritual life in Christ and while you may die to the flesh internally, the world should see your joy expressed externally and wonder and marvel how such…

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Death Becomes Her

In the early 1990’s there was a film called ‘Death Becomes Her’. It starred Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn and Bruce Willis. Basically, it was about a woman who took a potion to keep her looking young but it actually meant she lived forever even after being killed and while her body decomposed.  The title of this old movie came to my mind during the week reflecting on the life that the Lord has called us to as believers.

As believers into Christ Jesus, we were crucified with Christ and buried with Him. Christ rose from the grave and we are now only alive in Him. It is now no longer us who live but Christ who lives in us. We have been crucified to this world. No longer “I” but “Him”. This death that we have entered into by way of faith in Christ Jesus as Son of God has made us beautiful in God’s sight.

Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16)

In the Song of Songs we see how Christ our King (represented in King Solomon) speaks of His death and resurrection in chapter 4 verse 6;

Until the day breaks and the shadows flee, I will go to the mountain of myrrh (death) and to the hill of incense (resurrection).

He then tells His Beloved (us) that there is no flaw in her. In other words, through His death and resurrection, we have become flawless in His eyes. She was/we were always beautiful to Him but now through His death she/we have become flawless!

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. (Ephesians 1:4)

His death and resurrection has done it all and the church is brought forth as His bride. It is at that point that He addresses her as His bride in verse 8 & 9;

Come with me from Lebanon, my bride…You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride…

As she begins to know Him and express Him, she ministers to Him. And then in Chapter 5 verse 5, she experiences the cross;

I arose to open for my lover, and my hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with flowing myrrh, on the handles of the lock…

This cross-like experience leads her into a time of searching for Him desperately because she has come to see who He is and how she loves and longs for Him more than life itself.  In Chapter 6 & verse 5 we read how she has been transformed through the experience of the cross in her life and in her pursuit of Him above all else.  As a result of this transformation the King says these words to her;

Turn your eyes from me, they overwhelm me…

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Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. (Romans 12:1)

Death becomes us, saints. Our death in Christ and His resurrection Life in us, and our daily taking up of our cross, makes us beautiful in His sight.

How beautiful you are and how pleasing, O love, with your delights! (Song of Songs 7:6)

 

 

How Can One See Christ in IKEA?

 

Well, you know about IKEA, don’t you? It’s that Swedish store (that’s more like it’s own planet!) that sells ready-to-assemble furniture, appliances and home accessories?  It’s extremely popular. Not just what they sell, but their stores! Their stores are crazy places – massive, exciting, they’re almost like Disneyland for furniture shopping!

Well, I first visited an IKEA store here in Perth, WA last year.  Yes, it is an amazing place, quite extraordinary and very interesting. I don’t think their stuff is all that brilliant but I get what all the fuss is about considering variety, quality, price, and the fair dinkum adventure that is just walking around the store! A lot of people are crazy for it.

The thing about IKEA, at least in Australia, is that they’re not very common. While a lot of popular chainstores can be found in almost every suburb these days, not so with IKEA. In fact, they only have one or two at the most in the states of QLD, NSW, VIC, SA and WA. That’s like, 10 in the whole country! They don’t have a store in the Northern Territory (which kind of makes sense since it’s mostly desert), or the ACT and they don’t have one in Tasmania.

So how do I see Christ in IKEA? I see that where a Christ-centred community is, is not that common. They’re not found in every suburb, on every corner, or every 20kms apart, not even in every town, or every city, or even in every state and more than likely not even in every country!

If you’re part of a truly Christ-centred community where Jesus Christ is actively THE HEAD, and the only Head of that community of believers, then you are as rare as IKEA. Probably rarer. And I strongly encourage you and your community to seek the Lord continuously on His plan for your community toward HIS purpose.

IKEA sells the furnishings and gadgets but CHRIST-centred community/ekklessia is THE HOUSE. Saints, we have so much more to offer the world than IKEA does. We have the Creator of all things, the Centre of all things, the Head of all things. We have the One whose only motivation is LOVE, to offer the world.

So here’s to praying that more and more of these Christ-centred communities/ekklessia’s start popping up all over the world, in every country, every state or county, every city, every town, every suburb and in every street!

The Two Gardens

Did you know that God revealed His purpose in two different gardens that we read about in Scripture?

Please click on the link below to listen to the 2nd episode of our podcast on http://www.theancientpathways.com to discover more of Christ in these two gardens.

https://theancientpathways.com/the-two-gardens/

New Podcast -“What Does God Want?”

Welcome!

It’s here! As promised, we (that’s me and my better half, Derek) have officially launched our new podcast site called  “The Ancient Pathways.com”.

It’s been three months or more in the making and we’re super excited to kick off on this little adventure with you all!

Our introductory and first episode is now uploaded and ready to listen to, titled What Does God Want? You can go directly to the episode by clicking this link https://theancientpathways.com/podcast-2

Or you can go to the homepage and take a good look around the entire site by clicking here  https://theancientpathways.com/

Hope you can join the journey with us 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A New Expression Is Coming To Drawing From The Well

Although I appreciate that blogs, like people, are evolving and changing shape as the writers mature and discover new things, change is always a little awkward, huh? So changing the direction on Drawing From The Well is the last thing I want to do. I want this blog to always be pointing to Jesus Christ, His Headship, His glory and His Freedom that God has given to us in Him. I always want this to be a place where souls can drink and eat of Christ and receive even just the tiniest expression of His Life on the pages here.

Still, I have to be honest with you. I have struggled over the last number of months with what and how to write. At first I thought there was so much going on in my life that I just needed a little time to settle and it would all find it’s way to the blog posts (and maybe that will still happen at some point). After another little while I thought perhaps I was experiencing writer’s block.

So I’ve been asking the Lord about this. Blogging was definitely a direction from the Lord to me when I started in 2014 and I have never wanted to just write for the sake of writing. I’ve only ever wanted to express the Lord’s life in me, to you and anyone who’ll read or listen. So when I’ve not sensed any life in my writing, I’ve hit the delete button or the ‘save draft’ button and left it for another time, in the hope that something of Christ’s life would come forward at another date or in a new way. Well, the Lord has answered my prayers and now it is clear to me that the writing isn’t what He’s into for me right now.

So What’s New?

It seems that the season for writing has tapered off considerably (for now) to make way for a season of ‘speaking’. That means I will be posting podcasts here from now on, until if and when I believe the Lord changes things again. I will probably write a post here and there as I feel led to but it certainly seems to me that podcasts is what He has on His mind for a new season.

What If You Prefer Reading?

For those of you who prefer reading to listening, each podcast episode will include a fairly in-depth written summary of the content so you can still read. I know sometimes I don’t feel like listening to something and it’s great to read a general synopsis and get an idea before I make the time to sit and listen. Of-course, the beauty of podcasts is that you can listen to them in the car or when you’re cleaning the house or going for a walk or training it to work. 🙂

Exciting…

Something else that’s very exciting is that I won’t be doing podcasts on my ‘pat malone’ (for anyone who is not Australian or English ‘pat malone’ means ‘alone’). My husband Derek and I will be doing these podcasts together. Yay! We’re both really looking forward to this adventure together and thinking it will be a lot of fun for us – and hopefully for you the listeners! (and readers).

We’re actually both pretty nervous as we’ve never done anything like this before so be prepared for us to make complete fools of ourselves, which is highly likely! 🙂

The content will of course be focused on the centrality of Christ and I continue to hope that He will be revealed through the content. 

How Will It Work?

While Drawing From The Well will continue, we have a whole new site currently being built and that’s where all the action will be happening.  That means that I will link the content from the new podcast site  to Drawing From The Well. So each time an episode is released on the new site it will show up here as well. In other words, folk can access the podcasts through both sites. Make sense?

We expect to launch the new site early October 2017 . We already have a few recordings ‘in the can’ as they say, so I guess we’ll just start there and see how we go.

I will confirm the launching date of the new site as we get closer!

How Does This Change Reflect The Life of The Lord?

I love that the Lord is always changing things up – He’s always calling us on further. And yet, almost paradoxically, He Himself never changes.  I also love that He is full of variety and there are endless ways of expressing Him because He is endless.

So Just To Recap 

  1. Drawing From The Well site will continue 
  2. It will mostly publish podcasts as from October 
  3. The podcasts will be linked from a new podcast site being developed by Derek and myself
  4. The episodes/content will continue in the same vein as Drawing From The Well 
  5. I will continue to blog here occasionally 
  6. This may be only a seasonal change – we hold on loosely to all things 
  7. Stay tuned 

Brother, sister, may you always be refreshed, encouraged and built up in Christ who is the Head of His church who calls us all onward in Him to know Him more and the power of His resurrection life and to fellowship with Him in our sufferings….which most definitely includes tackling change.

Thanks a million for following this site and commenting, I really hope you’ll see/experience much more of our glorious Lord through the coming adjustments here on Drawing From The Well.

Watch this space…..there may be a post or two before change arrives….;-)