Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Living in the Desert

“This is what the LORD says: ‘Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.  He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.

‘But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.  He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. 
It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.’" (Jeremiah 17:5-8 NIV)

The difference could not be more striking.  Parched and desolate, or lush and thriving.  Jeremiah and his readers could easily understand the picture the Lord was painting for them. And they knew what made the difference—water. 

Water in a desert is a precious commodity and is what makes life there livable.  Go to any desert community here in the U.S. or anywhere around the world and you will find the availability of water the only reason people live there.  Without it, these lands would be desolate.

Throughout the Scriptures, water represents life.  Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman about “living water” that satisfies any thirst (John 4).   The Lord promises in Isaiah to “pour out water on a thirsty land” (Ch. 44) and invites “all you who are thirsty to come to the waters.” (Ch. 55)   The Psalmist speaks of the Lord as “satisfying the thirsty.” (107) All imply the Lord is the source of water that gives life.

Spiritually, the world in which we live is a desert.  It is dry and desolate. Those who choose to live in it apart from the Source of living water, trusting in themselves and others, will not survive.  Sadly, many try, even among those who claim an allegiance to the Lord, as did the Israelites of Jeremiah’s day.  These were people identified with the Lord; yet they refused to depend on Him.  And, thus, they withered away.

Today, recognize that your spiritual life is totally dependent on the Source of living water.  Neither you nor others can provide what you ultimately need to survive and thrive in the desert in which we live.  Only the Lord can do that.

© Jim Musser 2013

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