Robin Leigh Morgan is an Amazon top Book Reviewer and Blogger. Her review was unsolicited, and she did a wonderful job capturing the message and some very important perspective about the intention of the book. Her five star review blessed my heart. I hope it blesses yours as well.
“Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.’ ‘Sir,’ the woman said, ‘You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can You get this living water?’” John 4:10-11
Despite this woman’s ignorance to the truth Jesus was trying to share with her, she recognized the well was deep. How soon she would find out just how deep. Let’s explore a little further for some interesting and healing lessons on perspective we can apply to our own lives.
We should first understand the significance of the woman being Samaritan and Jesus being a Jew. Jews didn’t associate with Samaritans. It was rather scandalous for Jesus to ask this woman for a drink, because Jews held a belief that Samaritans were unclean, and they themselves become ceremonially unclean if they used a drinking vessel handled by a Samaritan. However, our Jesus knew better. He wasn’t interested in judging her for her lineage. He was interested in healing her heart and bringing her into the Kingdom, where the only label she will have is “Loved.”
The first perspective is about whose eyes we are seeing through. Jesus doesn’t view people the way the world does. In Jesus’ eyes, He sees only the heart of someone and what can be. Of course He’s aware of our past and present but, with the power of God at work in our hearts, that doesn’t dictate our future. This is vitally important, so lean in a little.
You are not your sin.
You are not your past bad choices. You’re not even your present bad choices. When God looks at you, He sees only who you are in Him. He sees the potential He knit within you when you were in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). Can you receive mercy and see yourself in this light? Can you show mercy and see others around you in this light? It’s not always easy, but we all make mistakes, and Jesus tells us we will all be judged in the same way we choose to judge others – that the same measure we use will be measured to us (Matthew 7:1-2). Today seems like a good day to start looking at people a little differently, doesn’t it?
Our second perspective has to do with how we inventory our resources. In the Scripture above, the woman told Jesus He had nothing to draw the water out with. Just like the Samaritan women, we look at our own situations and believe God can’t or won’t help us because the answer we seek requires something we don’t have. Our perspective needs to change to account for two things. The first is the answer we want may not be the answer God knows is best. The second is He has what we can’t see. God has everything and anything at His disposal the moment He needs it. Just because we can’t see it doesn’t mean it won’t be there in His perfect timing.
This leads us to our third perspective. What we see may not always be what we’re getting. If you take anything away from this reading, I pray it’s this. When the Samaritan woman asked about the living water, she understood this to be water used to quench her physical thirst. What she was unaware of in that moment, was that it wasn’t the well water He wanted to give her, but the gift of salvation. I wonder how often we’re handed something from God, only to miss the deeper and more meaningful picture.
When Jesus told her what her current life’s condition was, He didn’t condemn her. He gave her hope and the assurance of a new life in Him. He was more concerned about who she could be than who she was. The expression Jesus used to describe the “welling up” of eternal life is a vigorous one. Commentaries say it has a meaning like “leaping up.” Jesus was speaking of vigorous, abundant life. The life he offered to this Samaritan woman is the same life He offers to you and me.
Look beyond the things right in front of you to see the bigger picture. Seek out understanding and a greater wisdom for the things of this world God uses to teach you about the things of His Kingdom.
Interesting factoid: The well mentioned in the Scripture above is commonly referred to as Jacob’s well. It’s located in Shechem, a city in ancient Israel, north of Judea. Christian sources as early as the fourth century mention a well in this area that was over 100 feet deep. In 1935, there was a well cleaned out, believed to be this very well, and it did, in fact, go down 138 feet.
“Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in. Then the Lord said to Joshua, ‘See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.’” Joshua 6:1-5
Wait. Stop. Go back and read that again and see if you can find what’s strange about this passage. C’mon. Humor me.
What did you see? I’ll give you a hint. It actually starts with the word, “see.”
First, a little context. God is talking to Joshua, as they are preparing to end their forty-year hiatus in the dessert, and exchange their manna for milk and honey. They are within eye shot of the promised land, but they have a big problem. Jericho was surrounded by a mighty stone wall. This wall was between twelve to seventeen feet high, and five to six feet thick. No joke. In addition, there were guards all over this wall. In order to enter the promised land, they had to conquer Jericho and its stone fortress.
The story is fairly well known. God tells Joshua he and his men are to march once around the city, each day, for six days. On the seventh day, they are to march around it seven times. At the end of the seventh round, they are to give a loud shout. That’s when God, by His own mighty hand, brought the wall down and gave the Israelites victory over Jericho.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read this story and, equally, how many times I went right past a message so exciting, it has my heart racing this morning. God’s Word is truly alive.
When God spoke to Joshua, it would have made sense had God gave him instructions and waited for the dance in the end zone before confirming victory. But that’s not what He did. God said, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands…” before it happened.
Whoa. Do you need a second to process that? I sure do.
Scripture tells us God’s Word never returns void.
“…so is My Word that goes out from My mouth: It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11
Whether that’s His words given to us in the Bible, or those things He speaks to us using the still, small voice, if He spoke it, it will come to pass and accomplish whatever He set out for it to do. Really take this in with me for a second. God, in all His perfection, omnipotence, and control can, with complete confidence and authority, claim the victory before it happens.
“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:16
It’s simple, really. It’s already done. It’s already known to God. It’s like the movie He made but we haven’t watched yet. He knows every moment of every person’s life. Even the ones that haven’t happened yet. He can proclaim the victory to Joshua before they even start marching because He’s already seen it happen.
I don’t know about you, but this gives me a supernatural comfort I don’t quite know how to even put into words. It also raises a very important feeling in me. Trust.
Here’s the bottom line. If God has spoken something to your heart, believe Him. He’s already seen it play out, and what He says will never return void to Him. Go ahead and do your end zone dance before you march around the city. What a fantastic act of faith and worship your dancing will be… no matter how bad the person next to you thinks it is 🙂
“Then He entered the temple area and began driving out those who were selling. ‘It is written,’ He said to them, ‘My house will be a house of prayer; but you have made it a den of robbers.’’” (Luke 19:45-46)
Last week, we learned that when we allow things that aren’t pleasing to God into our hearts, we’re allowing them into the very temple God created as a Holy dwelling, meant only for Him. It’s important for God to hold the most important place in our hearts, but it’s also important to understand how compromising that affects our character.
As I was writing last week, I felt God asking me to go back to the passages and seek moredeeply. I put my Mac aside, pulled up my Bible app, and began reading over the passages. I had already pored over several times, but I knew He was telling me to look again, which made me kind of excited, and built an expectation. As always, He did not disappoint.
Allow me, Dear One, to ask a question that I would like you to think about for a few minutes before reading any further. Do you find it at all interesting that what Jesus used in this very important lesson, to represent the thieves in our hearts, were people who were selling items?
It’s about compromise. It’s about placing a price on what can’t be bought, and selling ourselves for earthly gain, rather than Kingdom gain. Every time you compromise any portion of your convictions, you’re selling yourself to the enemy, who comes only to steal, kill and destroy you (John 10:10). The motivations of the people in the marketplace were centered around what they could gain personally, and about what they could take from others.
What God’s showing me is that these people were quite literally and spiritually facing away from the temple. God desires us to seek His face and be filled with His spiritual blessings.
At the end of the day, it won’t be about what we can take from others, but what we can giveto others.
How do we drive out the thieves in our temples and put God back in His rightful place? It’s a choice to make your heart His Throne room. If you do, this space can’t be shared with anything short of Holy. Anything less would be an insult to His Spirit which dwells in everyone who calls Him Savior.
Ask God to show you anything that might be competing in this space with Him. Once He shows you, get rid of it without hesitation, and He’ll fill that space with more of His glory. You’ll never long for what He asked you to give up, and only marvel at how you never knew how badly you wanted what He replaced it with.
*Please note, there will be no new blog next week, 8/10, as I will be on vacation. We all need a little rest now and then.