JOHN 4:15: “Sir,” the woman said to him, “give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and come here to draw water.” CSB
OBSERVATION: What do I really need in life? Do I need a good job? Do I need financial security? Do I need a bigger home? Do I need social acceptance and affirmation? What really is the foundational need in my life? What is my greatest need?
The story of Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well reveals our true need in life. It is not immediately evident. It is most often misunderstood or not even recognized. However, if we are open and honest, if we open our hearts to listen to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit, we will be able to find it.
Jesus, after a long day of travel, was thirsty. He encountered a woman at Jacob’s well, a Samaritan woman, and asked her to draw him a drink from the well. The woman was startled that a man would engage her in a conversation, especially a Jewish man, for Jews despised Samaritans. Yet, intrigued she began a dialogue with Jesus.
- “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” she asked him. For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. Jesus answered, “If you knew the gift of God, and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would ask him, and he would give you living water.” “Sir,” said the woman, “you don’t even have a bucket, and the well is deep. So where do you get this ‘living water’?” John 4:9-11 CSB
The idea of living water, water that would quench her thirst for a lifetime, intrigued the woman. Just think of it. If she had this water she would not have to come to the well every day with her bucket. The woman was truly interested. This would really solve one of the great needs in her life. Yet, this is not what Jesus was talking about at all.
Before we are too hard on the woman at the well, we must admit that we too are like her. So much of our life of faith is focused on things that we need. Our prayer life is focused on the challenges of this life. We pray for daily bread, healing, open doors, and a host of other physical and emotional needs. Yet, like the woman, these are not the definitive need in our life.
The definitive need in our life is worship.
When I face the challenges of life, I must admit, I am very much like the woman at the well. I am more focused on my bucket than I am on the giver of living water. The answer is right in front of me all the time, and all I can think about is the temporal things of this life. I need living water, but my preoccupation is on a well dug by man. As long as I look to the well as my supply I will continue to be in need. Jesus said to the woman,
- “…Believe me, woman, an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and in truth.” John 4:21-24 CSB
The true need in my life is worship.
It is not the place of worship, the style of worship, or the means of worship. It is worship in spirit and in truth. It is intimate and humble communion of my heart with God, grounded in HIs Word, and empowered by His Spirit. Worship is my greatest need. Worship is the living water that brings me into the throne room of His presence where I find grace and help for all of my needs.
My greatest need is to worship.
It takes empty hands and a humble heart to worship. I cannot truly come before the Lord if I am clinging to my bucket, and if I am not willing to deal with my sin. The woman at the well was challenged to deal with her current living arrangement with a man that was not her husband. She was called to humble herself before the Lord, lay down her bucket, and learn how to truly worship the Lord in spirit and in truth. If I am going to drink of His living water, I must do the same.
This morning I am asking, “What is my bucket today?” “What do I need to repent of at this moment?” “What is coming between me and the Lord and keeping me from worshipping Him in spirit and in truth?” It is easy to grow weary in the journey of life. If we neglect the proper hydration, we will die. If we neglect the call to worship in spirit and truth our spiritual life will stagnate.
My greatest need is to worship.
Lord, this morning, draw me to Your heart. I lay my bucket down at the foot of Your cross. I confess my sin and my need for Your forgiveness. I humble myself before You and desire to worship You in spirit and in truth. You are my greatest need in life. You alone are my great reward. Pour out Your living water into my soul.
In Jesus Name!