Monday, March 23, 2009

What Are You Thirsty For?

I have really been enjoying "Jesus, Keep Me Near The Cross" a compilation of various authors edited by Nancy Guthrie. The selection "I Am Thirsty" by Joseph "Skip" Ryan was today's reading based on John 19:28.
Jesus was dying on the cross and He was very thirsty, Ryan explains in detail what the human body experiences in extreme cases of thirst ; "In the first stages of dehydration, one feels an inward caving in or longing. But then as the thirst goes on, it actually becomes a deep and profound burning inside." He then goes on to make a spiritual analogy that I thought was quite good, "Spiritually speaking, if God is not at the center of our souls, then we do not have that which can ultimately meet our thirst and quench it. The real danger of that thirst is eternal death in Hell."
Our spiritual thirst will never be quenched, truly quenched until we come to a realization of our utter sinful and hopeless state before God the Father and turn to Him in sincere repentance and embrace Jesus and His work on the cross in our place.
Ryan references a great quote from C.S. Lewis here, "Heaven is the place where man says to God, 'Thy will be done.'Hell is the place where God says to man, 'Thy will be done.' Hell is the place where we get more and more of what we have been seeking to quench our thirst. Hell is the place where we get more than we ever wanted of those things that we are trying to stuff into our souls."
The things of this world will never satisfy our spiritual thirst, they weren't made to, be it a human relationship, a job or any created thing that we look to stuff into the place of God in our lives.
As Ryan states it, "At the cross, Jesus asks the question, what do you thirst after?" All through Scripture, thirst is metaphorical for a deep, inward spiritual emptiness, "Without God we will die, because the Bible says that what we most thirst for and need at the center of our lives is not stuff but God. The question always is, what do I drink to fill that deep and profound thirst within me?"
Jesus experienced the ultimate thirst for us, He thirsted unto death, experiencing the separation from God that we deserved. Taking the full wrath of God on our account, yet we still stick our mouths into the wells of this world to slake our spiritual thirst. Yet even as we do, the good news of the gospel is that God does not treat us as our many sins deserve. He treats us with mercy and amazing grace, that goes beyond our comprehension. I am so thankful for that and I am thankful for this little book, Jesus Keep Me Near The Cross. That is my prayer not only for this Easter season but for the rest of my days, that I would keep near the wonderful cross.
Do your thirsty soul a favor and pick up a copy of this wonderful resource, it will benefit you greatly.

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