Being Hydrated & Quenched By The Bible…

I have a Bible verse on a book mark–Deuteronomy 31:6:
“Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid or terrified,
for the LORD your God goes with you;
he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Looked at it one day and received such blessed comfort from it,
like a gulp of ice-cold water when your mouth is dry.

Do I get that everytime I look at that verse? No.
But if I never look at Bible verses,
I’m guaranteed not to get refreshed by them! 🙂

This is one of the blessings that the LORD gives thru His Word:

  • He refreshes us,
  • comforts us,
  • encourages us,
  • warns us,
  • guides us,
  • instructs us,
  • reminds us,
  • disciplines us,
  • humbles us, etc.

Sometimes He produces a literal and immediate feeling through a verse,
like when you are emotionally unravelling
and someone calms you
by looking you in the eye
and reminding you of something solid & true
that your situation cannot change.

  • Remember when, as a child, you were scared in the middle of the night
    and almost immediately your fear went away
    once your Mom or Dad snuggled up with you in bed
    (or more likely when you snuggled up with them in their bed!)?

God sometimes gives THAT sensation through the Bible.

What’s the key? Two main ones:

  1. Prayer--asking the LORD to open your eyes to see marvelous things in His Law,
    for wisdom to understand and submit to & agree with & trust what He says,
    & for faith in Him to put what you read into practice.
    We need to pray to the LORD before, during & after reading His Word!
  2. Actually reading the Bible regularly!
    You cannot make withdrawals tomorrow
    if you do not make deposits today,
    whether finances or Scripture or food in the refrigerator.

You might say: “But I NEVER get that feeling when I read the Bible!”

  • Your favorite jeans probably didn’t get “broken in”
    & amazingly comfortable right away, right?
    Usually takes time from wearing, washing and drying over and over.
  • Baseball gloves take time to break in–much oil is applied, much usage,
    putting them under the mattress for weeks,
    but over time they become supple & comfortable like an extension of your hand.

Same is true with Scripture–we are the jeans and the glove
that need to be broken in by God & His Word.

You might say: “But I can get encouragement/strength from other sources–
t.v. show, movie, song, book, take a walk, a hobby, etc.
Non-Christians get strengthened all the time in different ways
when they are unravelling!
So why should I go to the Bible when I could do something else that I like more?”

Because those other sources of “strength” are only temporary/external:

  • like an energy boost from a candy bar–
    wears off quickly & leaves you more tired & needing another candy bar;
  • like a veneer over particle-board–
    looks nice from a distance but isnt real wood,
    isnt as solid/valuable/sturdy/long-lasting;
  • like drinking soda when you’re thirsty–
    temporarily adds moisture to your mouth/body
    but leaves you more thirsty eventually;
    doesn’t/can’t truly quench your thirst, can only mask it.
  • A yacht made of sugar is great for a while
    but it cannot get you to the other side of the ocean,
    it will dissolve in the storms on the open sea…

When a person is reborn through repentance & faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,
the Word of God is like having an i.v. in your soul
to keep you hydrated from the inside out.

The Bible is like drinking ice-cold water when you’re thirsty–
not only does it taste delicious in your mouth,
but the water then goes into your stomach and is transferred throughout your body
to hydrate you at the molecular level,
though you can’t feel your body using/transferring/absorbing the water in this way.

Same is true spiritually.

And yet plain water often doesn’t taste great to people
who are used to bombarding their taste buds with tons of sugary beverages…
our pallets need to be reconditioned over time
to enjoy the natural flavor of water.

Same is true with our souls…

Dear Christian, put God’s Word up everywhere around you—
we love a variety of ways to make deposits to a bank account:

  • mobile app,
  • atm, bank
  • website,
  • actual bank branch,
  • automatic deposit, etc.

So have a variety of ways that you deposit God’s Word into your soul:

  • Reading alone
  • Reading with others
  • Listening to Bible on CD/mp3
  • Bible daily tear-a-way desk calendar
  • Listen to Scripture set to music
  • Attach Bible verses to post-it notes on your walls
  • Actually carry the hard copy Bible with you & read it
  • Get creative and format/print out your favorite Bible verses
    then frame them and put them around your house, etc.

We love variety in preparing foods:

  • Crock Pot meals
  • Meals from scratch (time & labor-intensive but usually better quality!)
  • Microwave meals
  • Oven meals
  • Stove top in a pot or pan meals
  • Restaurant meals (others prepare for you)
  • Picnic (outside), etc.

So have a variety of ways you get God’s Word into your mind & heart:

  • Longer study (2 hours or more at once)
  • Quicker snippets—bookmarks, post-it notes, etc.
  • Listening while you drive/run/do chores
  • Emailed (verse of the day)
  • Use Skype/Facetime to have video Bible studies with friends
  • Go out to lunch after the worship service
    & talk about the Bible passages in the sermon, etc.

The above is not just an arbitrary list of chores/tasks…
they are suggestions for ways to actually be refreshed by the living Word of God…
drink it deeply daily,
don’t just sip it occasionally…

it’s not just medicine to be taken begrudgingly in tiny cups
when you’re sick of your situation,

it is the daily hydration needed to be gulped & enjoyed
so Christians can live & mature in Christ
& run the race He has marked out for us (Hebrews 12)…

Psalm 42:1-2: As the deer pants for streams of water,
    so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
    When can I go and meet with God?”