Perhaps the greatest lesson I ever learned in life was: “Don’t drink the “living water” if you ever hope to be a happy sinner.
I remember vividly the night I was saved. We called it, “giving your heart to Jesus” back in those days. I didn’t understand it back then, but “giving your heart to Jesus” works both ways. That night when I knelt in the altar and gave my heart to Jesus, he also gave his heart to me.
I started a journey with my Lord that night and his presence has been as real to me as the presence of any person I have ever known. I say this humbly, but I can honestly say that there has never been a moment since then that I didn’t sense the abiding presence of Jesus in my life.
But it was not for a lack of trying!
Run the clock up about ten years and you will find me in College—away from the loving influence of Christian parents and a caring church family. I was on my own. I didn’t have to do anything about keeping my relationship with Jesus healthy. I didn’t have to go to church. I could easily ignore the call to pray, have an active devotional life…well you get the picture.
Little by little I drifted away from my Lord. It was not so much that I became an intentional rebel but rather that little by little I gave my heart to other things. My heart-affections became divided.
Eventually I was living anything but a Christ-honoring and Christ-following life. The details matter little but the point was—I was miserable.
I tried my best to enjoy sin, I mean I worked at it, but to no avail.
Finally, one evening at a chapel service I got out of my seat, turned around and knelt on the hard, dusty wooden floor of the old chapel (now torn down and replaced) and made that old theater seat an altar and cried out to my Lord—he was still there with “real water” // “living water” and he was there to welcome me home.
That was the night I learned the most important lesson in life; and boy am I glad–I have never been the same.
- The ONE THING for today: If you ever hope to be a happy sinner, whatever you do, don’t drink from the living water.
John 4:10 (NKJV)
Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”