“Come, all you who are thirsty, and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!
Why spend your money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare”
(Isaiah 55:1:1, 2)
I am preparing for a special event at my church tomorrow evening. It is a worship and prayer event called, “Water by Night”. The theme is about being refreshed in the Lord. I am part of the team who will be leading the opening worship, which will then be followed by a time of prophetic prayer. The whole prayer ministry team has been captured in God’s move, earnestly praying and seeking to glorify His name through this event. It is an honor to serve in this “ministry of the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:8) with true brothers and sisters in Christ! The Scripture above was one I received in a prayer time about the event. It welled up in my spirit with such force that it nearly took my breath away. I have a growing anticipation about what God is doing, and will do there, and I have been contemplating what I will share as part of the worship.
This has led me to think much on the story of Jesus and the woman at the well in the Gospel of John (chapter 4). The phrase that keeps running through my mind is, “Now he had to go through Samaria” (John 4:4). This is in reference to Jesus, who went through Samaria as he traveled back from Judea to Galilee. This phrase keeps coming to mind because here’s the thing: Jesus did not have to go through Samaria. In fact, Jewish men at this time would have specifically avoided Samaria. The Samaritans were considered unclean – a defiled people and land. Jews were careful to take the long way around, avoiding setting foot in that place. They took pride in keeping themselves separated as God’s holy people. Jesus breaks through all political boundaries by stepping into Samaritan territory. And then He goes even further – He meets and talks with a woman there. Jews also didn’t talk to women. This story is the first account of Jesus sharing the Gospel with a Gentile – and a Gentile woman at that.
Jesus sits down at the well – the woman’s source of water, refreshment, and sustenance. And He waits for her there. When the woman approaches, Jesus asks her for a drink. He initiates a dialog that ultimately leads to her salvation. He starts talking about “Living Water”, and the woman has no conception of what this might mean. He awakens her desire with the claim, “Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14). Jesus effectively stimulates the woman’s interest, although she is evasive with His questioning. She continuously attempts to redirect the conversation. But Jesus perceptively, lovingly puts His finger on the “thing” in her life that is keeping her from God. Not to condemn her, but to free her. It is amazing to read how masterfully Jesus leads the woman through the process – of which she is completely unaware. It is clear Jesus knows exactly what He is doing.
Then the moment of truth comes: the woman mentions the coming Messiah. She repeats the ancient promise that God is going to send a deliverer to His people. Jesus confronts her in His glory by boldly declaring, “I who speak to you am He” (John 4:26). I have tried to imagine this moment for the woman. It must have been breathtaking for her to realize the man standing before her was the Messiah, the promised Christ. Can you imagine the change wrought inside her soul in that instant? Praise God for His heart to save us, to meet us where we are, and for His skill to lead us effectively to Himself!
The text says the woman left her water jar and ran back to tell the people in town, “Come and see the Christ!” (John 4: 29). The water jar symbolizes the woman’s burden. I read that in a commentary years ago; it has always stuck with me because that’s exactly what Jesus does – He releases us from burdens. This woman came to the well carrying the weight of her load. She traveled to the same well everyday, resigned to living a lonely, isolated existence. And here, in one glorious encounter with the Living God, she is forever changed.
Healed, set free, released from her burden.
This is my prayer for the event tomorrow night. I pray everyone who comes would be changed in the presence of the Living God. I pray release from the things that burden heart, mind, and soul.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom”
(2 Corinthians 3:17).
Event details: Saturday October 26th at 8 pm at Lake Avenue Christian Church: 1101 W. Lake Avenue New Carlisle, OH 45344.
Come, all who are thirsty for more of God. Come, encounter the Spirit of the Lord, the Living God. Drink from the water He gives and be changed. Be released from your burdens. Be refreshed in His presence. Come, receive water by night.