John 4:13-14 ¶ Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
“Have another drink!” I had no idea what the preacher was talking about. He kept exhorting the crowd, “Drink. Don’t just sit there, go ahead and have a drink”. The preacher was Rodney Howard Browne and it was August of 1994. The services were packed with people, joy was in the air, and I had no idea what was going on. I saw some laying on the floor as if they were in some sort of coma, others were laughing uncontrollably, and some were crying tears of joy. I had never been in a service like this even though I had pastored a “pentecostal church” for sixteen years (actually I had started an Assembly of God in NOLA in 1979). This was full on revival and somehow this “drinking” was a major part of it. Here is something Spurgeon said about spiritual drinking.
“No waiting or preparation is so much as hinted at. Drinking represents a reception for which no fitness is required. A fool, a thief, a harlot can drink; and so sinfulness of character is no bar to the invitation to believe in Jesus. We want no golden cup, no bejeweled chalice, in which to convey the water to the thirsty; the mouth of poverty is welcome to stoop down and quaff the flowing flood. Blistered, leprous, filthy lips may touch the stream of divine love; they cannot pollute it, but shall themselves be purified. Jesus is the fount of hope. Dear reader, hear the dear Redeemer’s loving voice as he cries to each of us”
“IF ANY MAN THIRST,
COME UNTO ME
I love what Spurgeon said, anyone can drink. From the preacher to the pimp, from the hooker to the nun, drinking is available for whosoever will. During those services in 1994 The Lord began to help me understand what this drinking really was. Drinking is a form of receiving. I had forgotten how to receive. This blessing of receiving was being restored to my life.
What characteristics in our lives enable us to drink? First, we have to come to The Lord empty. Many times we think we are spiritually mature and therefore we are the givers not the receivers. That was my problem and is the problem with many in the church today. Only the empty, the humble, can drink this spiritual water. We come to The Lord with empty hands and empty hearts in desperate need of Him. Another trait of those that drink is actually spiritual thirst. Jesus said, “If anyone is thirsty…”. Are you thirsty? It takes more than just being “open”, we have to be thirsty for God. Finally, we have to make time. Spiritual drinking has to be a priority in our lives. As we wait in humility and hunger, we will find ourselves drinking in this life changing living water.