Walk His Way
“For we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.” Philippians 3:3
Walk it Out
Have you ever been really challenged for your faith?
Many, many years ago, I was helping a friend with her cleaning business. She knew I was a clean-freak so it made sense that she would ask for my help. Plus, there would be compensation – bonus. I was a newbie, a baby believer, as some would say, and they would be right. I was open however about my new discoveries. Aren’t we always excited and ready to rant about some new thing happening in our life?
As if it was taking place today, I can still see it. We were both upstairs working in separate rooms. My precious friend (and yes, we are still great friends ☺) was cleaning the master suite, and I was cleaning the hallway bathroom. We came together because our conversation turned to a topic close to my heart – marriage matters. As I was sharing about the counsel of Christ in my own, this dear friend with all gusto got very close to me and stated, “When it comes to certain circumstances, you need to dig a little deeper than your faith!”
Honestly, I felt like she punched me right in the gut. Whoosh came the silence, followed by the floodgates soon to be lifted on my tear ducts. I went back to my bathroom, got on my hands and knees, and began to scrub that floor, soaked with solution and mixed with tears. With every circle-scrub, I was begging God – please give me clarity.
What did my friend mean?
What was I missing?
What could possibly be “deeper” than God’s counsel in the midst of our marriages (or any matter) when all havoc is about to take place?
I was truly seeking because I meant what I shared with my friend about Christ’s counsel. That floor was so clean and bright, I must have thought Jesus was grabbing his Dry-Erase marker and making His way to answer my pleas. The tears were flowing, I could have filled a well.
That was then and this is now.
I am reminded of another well and the beautiful portrait of Jesus who took a “time out” from His disciples to pursue a most precious woman in need of Living Water. Their two worlds would collide at Jacob’s well. When He got there, He was exhausted yet ready and willing to pour into this wayward woman His love. He knew all about her scandalous lifestyle. She had been a wife. Again, and again. Five times the Scriptures teach, and the man she currently lived with was not her husband (John 4:18). Jesus would offer her what she so desperately needed, unawares. And what He offers, no one else can give.
Living Water only comes from Him and satisfies every thirst for our aching souls.
He meets us when we need Him most.
He orchestrates every scene in our lives, even those that are painful.
He catches every tear and wastes not one.
He turns our pain into purpose. His promise.
When this woman came to the well, it must have been a laboring walk. Unlike our modern conveniences today. The work needed to be done, so off she went. Isn’t this a beautiful portrait of women? We see a need and we go and fill it. Whatever the costs. There were many wells, and she could have chosen one much closer to her home. Instead, she made a decision to walk with cisterns to a faraway place to gather what was needed. What burdened her heart, I imagine, would draw from her emotionally as she made this long trek to linger over her wayward life. Why would a woman do this? To avoid the shame, guilt and accusations of others, perhaps. I imagine she caught the glances and felt the stares that would burn in her already aching heart. She was an outcast in her community.
Can you feel her weight? I imagine the weight of the buckets as well as the burdens she bore.
Can you hold her burdens for a moment? I imagine sweat beading down her body and perhaps her inner voice beating down her soul.
Can you see her coming along way off? I can see her; her posture is poor. Her eyes are turned down as shame and guilt hang on her lids. Her breathing begging just to make it another day. Her heart filled with remorse and regret as her feet stagger to hold it all and move on. I can see her as tears make their way down my face on her behalf. On my behalf. On your behalf.
Maybe you’ve been here. On either side of that coin. I know I have at one time or another. Both sides.
This glorious story would spill over into the lap of the One who cares about every detail of our lives.
Jesus initiated the conversation with this woman. Typically, Jewish men did not share space, let alone words, with a Samaritan. When her sin was brought into focus, Jesus would teach her about worship. (John 4:20-24) His tenderness touched her sin and she desired worship. This is a portrait of repentance colliding with amazing grace.
When a person sees her sin, and receives the invitation of grace, it leads her straight to the heart of Love. The result is a desire for worship.
This woman at the well met with the Lover of her soul.
The text in John 4, verse 28(a) says, “the woman left her waterpot.” I imagine after an encounter with Jesus, everything about how she came looked quite different as she made her way back to town to tell the people about Jesus. She left nothing out. She was certain that she was sharing good news, and her witness had an impact on others.
Do you know that every time you tell the truth about Jesus, you are being His witness?
Do you know that God’s word never comes back void?
Do you know that others will come to genuine saving faith and grow in the knowledge and grace of Jesus as you tell them the truth?
Do you know that obedience ignites God’s power and prayers are answered?
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for encounters that stretch us and lead us to the well. Thank you for the words of others that stir our spirits to dig deeper. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for meeting us right there, filling us up to overflowing. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for teaching us as only you can so that we may come alongside another and fill her cup with the precious words of faith, hope and love. Thank you for lifting us from these low places. Father, thank you for the blood that washes away our sins and creates in us a new spirit and a desire to worship you in truth. Amen
Will you walk with me?
Perhaps you have been challenged about your faith. This would not be the first time in my life. My reaction, however, is quite different.
Sure, words hurt but wounds heal. Bruises fade. Minds are renewed. Hearts forgive.
Strength from God’s wisdom and understanding increases.
Confidence and contentment become running companions.
Peace protects, righteousness restrains, and conscience rests.
Confession: On my own, I would have used that mop and bucket and the cleanliness of that bathroom floor would have not been foremost in my mind.
Folks may wander and consider every counterfeit known to comfort, continue to pray that the Lord will meet them at their own well.
And when He does, pray that you will be the first to join them in rejoicing over the goodness of God, and together the two of you will worship in spirit and truth.
Wherever you are today, makes no difference, I dare you to “Dig a Little Deeper.”
I will be right here waiting to walk the path with you and to sit by a well if need be.