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“I can’t get no satisfaction.”

The song was released in 1965 but the feeling has been around for as long as mankind. It was a lack of satisfaction that gave the Devil the tools needed to tempt Eve. It was the lack of satisfaction that caused the first murder. It was the lack of satisfaction that characterized the lifestyle of the woman at the well. She’d gone through five husbands and didn’t even bother marrying the current guy.

Her visit to the well that day brought the satisfaction she’d longed for her entire life. Water. Not just any water, living water. Not a cup full, but rivers of it flooding forth like an eternal spring.

There is no end to the satisfaction we get through Jesus. There is no fulfillment outside of him. Those who rely on their own strength, their own religion, their own efforts question God’s existence because they are looking for the wrong thing in the wrong place. Their cravings are never satisfied. Their soul constantly cries for more.

When money and ego are the most important thing in your life you will never be satisfied. With Jesus in first place, you will never be in need.


Have you ever been really thirsty, so thirsty in fact, that you began to feel the effects of dehydration. Dehydration can be harmful to the body. The human body can survive for up to 21 days without meaningful food, but only a couple weeks without water. Water is essential for survival.

Not just any water will do of course. Water can look crystal clear yet contain harmful bacteria or chemicals that can make one sick, or even lead to death. People learning survival skills know the importance of testing water in a variety of ways to make sure, as much as possible, that the water is safe for human consumption.

It’s no surprise to me that Jesus refers to himself as ‘living water’. In John 7:38, he says “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” Living water. When I think of living water I think of a rushing stream cascading over a waterfall. Crystal clear. Beautiful, yet powerful. A never ending sign of strength yet in some strange way, serenity.

In the physical sense, water is beneficial to the body in many ways. It helps to cleanse your organs. It refreshes you. It gives you strength. It satisfies.

In the spiritual sense, a personal relationship with Jesus does the same thing to our souls. In the midst of the wilderness, a refreshing drink of water helps us to carry on. When our souls are in the wilderness, Jesus becomes that source of refreshment that helps us carry on. This living water becomes a source of strength when we don’t think we can carry on.

Jesus is the source of purity. There are other religions. There are other philosophies. There are other ways of thinking. But only Jesus offers the guaranteed love and forgiveness of sin that is available through his sacrifice.

Water refreshes the body, but Jesus refreshes the soul when you don’t feel you can go on.

It’s no wonder the psalmist writes, “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” (Psalm 42:2)

Is your soul thirsty? Do you long for some relief from the wilderness you are in? We were created in God’s image and the only way to fill the void in our souls is with the living water of his Son, Jesus.


One of my favorite movies is Apollo 13. An unseen hero in the movie is Ken Mattingly. Mattingly was pulled from the mission at the last minute as a precautionary measure due to exposure to the German measles. While he didn’t get to go into space, Mattingly played a huge part in the mission by helping NASA figure out a power sequence that helped save his fellow astronauts. His efforts behind the scenes were instrumental in saving lives.

There are times in each of our lives when our efforts may go unnoticed by the majority of people. That doesn’t make them any less important. Our efforts won’t all have the same magnitude of Mattingly’s heroics, but doesn’t make them less important.

The other night I stopped for gas at a local convenience store. A young man from a car next to mine approached me. It was a frigid night here in NW Wisconsin. It was late. He asked me if I’d give him a jump if he paid me. I smiled and said “No, but I’d do it for free.” He was startled but grateful. Later, after his care was running, he offered again. I smiled at him and said, “You know, Jesus loved me for free. I figure I can show some love for free too.”

My act wasn’t heroic to the world, but it was to him. I didn’t make the news that night, but my Heavenly Father saw it. Too often we may feel like our actions go unnoticed by people, and they may. But never let that stop you from doing the good thing, the loving thing. Never ever give up showing Jesus’ love! Others may not notice, but Jesus will.


It seems like an unfortunate reality, at least from my perspective, but people whose main goal in life is to serve people tend to be scrutinized more deeply and misunderstood more often than others. Those on the front lines are more easy to shoot at!

This seems to be especially true for those in ministry and that can be discouraging, debilitating and destructive. I read an article recently documenting the increasing number of pastors who for mental health and physical health reasons have left the ministry.

A personal friend and fellow minister recently left the ministry for this very reason. He’d had a thriving ministry for years until a few people with thick pocket books and strong opinions began to grumble. As he said to me, “It really only takes a few crabby people to destroy a ministry.” He finally left…heartbroken.

While we may not be able to change the target on our chests as servants to the masses (and I refer to those in and out of ministry), we must remind ourselves that even when our actions are misunderstood by the masses, God knows our heart. I remind myself of this truth every once in awhile.

Father, help my motives be pure and my way straight in spite of those who may seek to do me harm through misrepresentation.


Uncertainty is a great crippler of change.

How much easier would it be to choose a new career if we knew it would bring us total fulfillment? How much more confident would we be in choosing a mate, raising a family and planning for retirement if God gave us a white sheet detailing every aspect of our future.

In our human finiteness we can’t possibly know what the future holds. It’s as though we walk through a wilderness with no path to follow, no landmarks to guarantee we aren’t simply walking in circles. It’s like pushing through the underbrush of the forest, being scratched and confused along the way.

Here’s the good news. When you put your faith in God and follow his lead, you can be assured of reaching the promised land. That doesn’t mean there won’t be times of doubt or times of confusion, but even in those times you can be assured he is walking through life with you.

He’s ready to do something new in your life. He’s blazed the trail. He’s provided rivers of provision. The question isn’t if his way is best, the question is, are you ready to make that first step. Books written begin by picking up the pen. Journey’s start with the first step. Seeing God work in mighty ways won’t happen until you step out of the boat.

Are you ready to follow his path out of the wilderness in faith?

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