Do you have desires or longings that don’t ever seem to be quenched? In the second week of our sermon series called Never Be the Same, David Marvin shows us why we might feel dissatisfied and where true, life-changing satisfaction comes from.
Jesus in Jericho | Luke 19:1-10
The Cure for Sin
Living a Meaningful Story | Mark 2:13-17
Finding Satisfaction for Your Soul | John 4:4-34
Show Your Wounds to Share Your Savior
Do you have desires or longings that don’t ever seem to be quenched? In the second week of our sermon series called Never Be the Same, David Marvin shows us why we might feel dissatisfied and where true, life-changing satisfaction comes from.
Good morning! My name is David Marvin. I work at The Porch on Tuesday nights, and I am so excited to be continuing this series. We are in a series called Never Be the Same. This is part two, if it's your first week joining us in the last couple of weeks, where we are looking at encounters with Jesus that we are studying in the New Testament where people interacted with him and were never the same.
We are going to look at one of the most famous stories and interactions Jesus ever had and a woman who would never be the same. Just in praying this morning, I think there are some people in the room who are going to see the interaction Jesus had and never be the same, and it may even be some people who have been around… You've heard the story, and you've been in church for a while, but what Jesus lays out… You're going to leave never the same.
I'm going to read the text, and it's in John, chapter 4, a famous story known as the woman at the well. If you did not have a quiet time this morning, you are about to get it in right now, because we're going to go through 30 verses, and then we're going to dive in. I'm going to start in verse 4. This is John, chapter 4. In verse 3 we're told Jesus left Judea (Jerusalem area) to go up to Galilee.
Then verse 4: "He had to go through Samaria on the way." Let me hit pause. Samaria, in case you're not familiar, was basically an area inside of that country where Jewish people wouldn't go because Samaritans lived there. What were Samaritans? They were half Jewish, half pagan. They were half-breeds. They were seen as less than, and they were occupying part of Israel, which was supposed to be for the Jewish people.
Basically, there was a ton of tension between Jews and Samaritans. They didn't interact with each other, and Jews would look down on them. Jesus says, "We're not walking around it. We're going right through it." In other words… Here's a map that shows you Samaria. The typical Jewish person would go all the way around, even if it added days to their trip, to avoid going through Samaria, but Jesus doesn't operate like the typical Jewish person or any person. He says, "We're going through Samaria because there's a person I have to meet."
"Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there…" It's a well that was famous at that time. It's still there today. You can go see it. "…Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime." That's going to be important. "Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, 'Please give me a drink.'" This woman had to be surprised, because Jews didn't talk to Samaritans, and for him to ask her, "Can I use and can we drink out of the same cup?" would have been unthinkable.
"He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food." Some pita bread at "Pita Hut" or "Fish-fil-A" or whatever they had at the time. (I'm just doing Bible dad jokes up here.) "The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, 'You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?'"
I said "noon." We're going to find out this woman came to the well at noon. That was uncommon. That was unheard of. You didn't go at noon. It's the blazing heat of the day. It's the Middle East. It's 104 degrees outside. You went in the early morning and you went in the evening…unless you wanted to avoid people. She walks up, and there's her worst fear…not just a man, a Jewish man, and now he's asking her for a drink.
"Jesus replied, 'If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.'" We're reading the story, and it sounds beautiful, and it's poetic, and it's like "That's incredible," and follow the analogy, but when you are a Samaritan woman, who we're going to discover is a five-time divorcée who just wants to avoid being around people…
It's 104 degrees outside. You walk up, and a total stranger is asking you for a drink and then responds with, "You should have asked me, and I would have given you water that's alive." It's not mysterious and beautiful and poetic; it's just a little bit weird. So she says, "But, sir, you don't even have a bucket, and the well is very deep. Where can you get this water that's alive?"
"'And besides, do you think you're greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?' Jesus replied, 'Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.'"
He's saying, "I offer lasting satisfaction, unlike anything you've ever experienced or anything this world has to offer." "'Please, sir,' the woman said, 'give me this water! Then I'll never be thirsty again, and I won't have to come here to get water.'" Here's where things get interesting. Jesus says, "Go and get your husband," and the woman says, "Well, what happened was… I don't have a husband."
"Jesus said, 'You're right! You don't have a husband—for you have had five husbands, and you aren't even married to the man you're living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!'" I love her response. I mean, what would you say when a total stranger looks you in the eyes and identifies something that would be impossible that they knew that?
"'Sir,' the woman said, 'you must be a prophet. So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?' Jesus replied, 'Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem [or any location]. You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. But the time is coming—indeed it's here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth.'"
In other words, not in a location, not in a church building, not in a mountain…in spirit (inside) and in the truth. "'The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit [internally, continually] and in truth.' The woman said, 'I know the Messiah is coming…'" So, she's hearing this, and she's like, "I don't know if you're right, but I know one day the Messiah is coming, and when he comes, he'll explain to us everything." "Then Jesus told her…" This is the very first time Jesus introduces himself as the Messiah, the very first person.
"'I am the Messiah!' Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked to find him talking to a woman, but none of them had the nerve to ask, 'What do you want with her?' or 'Why are you talking to her?' The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, 'Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?' So the people came streaming from the village to see him.
Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Jesus…" They came back with food. "'Rabbi, eat something.' But Jesus replied, 'I have a kind of food you know nothing about.' 'Did someone bring him food while we were gone?' the disciples asked each other." Like, "Was it that creepy woman, the Samaritan? That has food poisoning written all over it. This is a worst-case scenario." Jesus has to be thinking, "These guys never follow my parables, my analogies. They don't get it." "My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work."
We're in this series, like I said, Never Be the Same, and this woman would clearly never be the same. I'm going to start with a little bit of an illustration to give us some tracks for where we're going. Is anyone in this room like, "Hey, I'm a big believer in chiropractic; I'm all about it"? That feels like a turn with no clutch, but it's going somewhere. Okay. All right. There are several of you, five of you. I would have said I am not a chiropractic person. In fact, I would have put it on the spectrum…
It's not that I'm against medicine. I don't know if I would have classified it as medicine. I just don't quite have a category for… You know, it's a certificate, a degree. They're messing with your spine. Of all of the things people can mess with, it doesn't feel like you want to get that one wrong. So it wasn't something that was for me…until I had some really bad back pain a year ago, and I was telling some friends, and they were like, "Oh man, you've got to go see a chiropractor."
I was like, "Man, chiropractor. I don't really do chiropractor. I believe in doctors." Totally kidding. Well, that's true. Let's not get distracted. So, I went to the doctor, and he was like, "Oh, here's some medicine for it." I did some yoga. Just nothing I could do. I wish I had a good story of even how I hurt it. I was picking up kids or something when I hurt it, and nothing would work.
Finally, my friend wore me down. He was like, "You've got to go see a chiropractor. It's all about the alignment." I went and saw the chiropractor. In one interaction… I left, and I was a changed man. My back pain went away. I was like, "This is unbelievable." I went from skeptic to believer. I mean, believer to the point where at the end, he was like, "Yeah, your alignment is off. It's going to continue to get off, just because that happens in life, so you really need to get a membership."
At this point I'm like, "I'm healed. I'll do whatever you say, whatever membership." So I bought a membership. I was like, "Man, I'm all in." I went from "What do they even do there? Is this voodoo?" to "I'm all in. I'm a member of a chiropractor thing." It was a moment where I just had this solution for a problem I had, and it seemed like everything changed.
What does that have to do with what we're talking about today? Well, today, I want to talk about the solution for a problem that every person who has ever lived is born with: the search for satisfaction. You and I came into the room, and all of us have lived lives and at different seasons of life are looking for something to satisfy. We feel discontent. We don't like the circumstances we're in. We have this gnawing thing inside of us that is looking for satisfaction.
Sometimes people talk about satisfaction, you know, to live a life where "Yeah, I'm okay. No matter how much I make or what happens, I'm okay. I'm content. I'm satisfied." A lot of times, people think satisfaction is not a one-size-fits-all. It's different for you. It's different for him. For this person it looks a certain way, and for you it may be different. That's not true at all.
The Bible says there's a very clear path toward satisfaction. It's a two-sided coin, really, and it involves two things we're going to look at in the story as we walk through, but first, I want to walk through and identify something else in the story, which is why we're not satisfied, or to use the word Jesus uses, why we're thirsty. So, I'm going to walk back through some of the text.
The first idea I want to talk about is why we're not satisfied. Let me recap what just happened. Jesus comes up. "I have to go through Samaria." The guys go through Samaria. He's like, "Guys, go into town and get us something to eat." He's sitting there at the well. He knew this woman was coming. He sits down. The woman walks up. "Hey, can you give me something to drink?" She's like, "You want a drink?" He responds with, "If you knew who I was, you would have asked me for a drink, and I would have given you living water."
Then he points out why we're not satisfied, or the first answer to the question. "Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life." The answer to why this woman was not satisfied is she was looking in all of the wrong places.
For her, she had been drinking at the well of men. She had gone through one broken relationship after the next after the next. Five divorces in our day is a very uncommon thing. In the first century, it was unheard of. Maybe because of her own decisions or her own unfaithfulness… For whatever reason, she jumped from one to the next. She got into the next relationship; it ended in divorce. She got into the next relationship and thought, "Man, I'm not even sure if I should be in this one, but I don't want to be single and alone." She got into the next.
She had gone from one relationship to the next to the point where now in the story Jesus says she's living with a man who's not her husband. She'd given up on marriage altogether. She had been drinking at the well of men and was thirsty. The reason any of us find ourselves not satisfied is we're going to the wrong source or we're going to any other source than the only one who can satisfy, which is Jesus. I'll cover that in a second.
One of my favorite things with working with young adults is, I would call it, the ever-growing and ever-evolving glossary of terms. What do I mean by that? If you have a young adult in your life or you know somebody, you're going to hear different phrases. It feels like every day there's a new one. Example: no cap. What does no cap mean? It means no lie. Why? Nobody knows. Bet. What does bet mean? I don't have time to go into all of these different examples.
Throw shade. One of my favorites is throw shade, honestly, because it's like insult somebody. There are all of these different terms…bet, savage. If you don't know, after the service just find somebody in a hoodie and they'll explain it to you. I don't have time to go into the fashion problems with young adults right now. Perhaps the most biblical of them all is this term: thirsty. "She's thirsty. He's thirsty." Now if you're laughing, it's because you know what it means.
I remember the first time I heard this term. I was talking to my brother-in-law, and we were talking about some girl. I was like, "Man, you should take her on a date," and he was like, "Bro, she's thirsty." I was like, "Like, she needs a drink, like some Gatorade? That shouldn't be a problem. Just give her some water." He's like, "No, man. Thirsty. It means she's desperate. She wants a relationship. She's so desperate in need. She's thirsty."
If there was any person in the New Testament who was clearly thirsty, it was this woman, going from one relationship to the next to the next. There's a part of all of our hearts and all of our lives where there is a thirsty aspect, an unsatisfied aspect. It's the thing that leads me to constantly need approval of other people or else I can't be at peace with myself. I'm so worried about the conversation I just had in meet and greet. "I hope they didn't misunderstand me, and why did I say that?" I'm consumed by it, because I'm thirsty. I'm not okay if I don't have approval of people.
Pornography is directly related to trying to quench a thirst. Do you know the number-one reason people turn to pornography? A desire to feel desired. They want to be wanted. That leads them out of that thirst to turn. People work 70-hour weeks under the banner of "Hey, I'm just trying to provide for my kids who I don't ever get to see," because they can't shake not having financial security. It's thirsty.
I think one of the more common ways for a lot of us is almost an unsettledness with today and just a hopefulness of a future season in life. There's just part of every person, at least most people I know, that they're constantly like, "Today is okay, and I can't wait until the next stage of life." Maybe you're single and you're like, "I just can't wait until finally I'm married and the hills are alive with the sound of music and it's all right in the world."
Or when you get married, then you're trying to have kids, and you're like, "I can't wait until we have kids." Then you have kids and you're like, "Oh, I can't wait until they're out of diapers and they can dress themselves." Then they're out of diapers and can dress themselves and you're like, "I can't wait until they're in school. Mama gets some 'me' time." Then you get to "me" time, and you're like, "I can't wait until we're empty nesters," and then "I can't wait until we're retired." There's always this "Oh, I can't wait until finally one day…"
I find this, candidly, personally, in my own mind, where I have this future version or future day out there. I don't even quite know what it is, but when that day comes, everything in the world is right. It's like in this future version, my kids are so perfectly behaved. They're like, "Yes, sir. Hello. How are you?" and they don't need discipline. There are no more spankings. They don't talk back to Mom and Dad. Life is amazing. My wife and I get eight hours of sleep. We're in the best shape of our lives. Work stress… What stress? It's not too much. It's not too boring. Life is amazing.
Our home is not the home we live in; it's our future home, and there are no problems with the future home. HVACs don't break down. The lawn grows so slowly, and you enjoy any time you spend out on it. That's the future. I don't know when it's coming, but it's coming. The truth is even if all of that came, Jesus would say, "You'd still be thirsty." Whatever season out there, it can't quench that. You still wouldn't be satisfied. There's no amount you could have in your bank account that's enough.
There's no picture-perfect family that "Oh man, it's enough," if that's all there is. There's no amount of things in this world, Jesus would say, that can satisfy or quench your thirst. You're always going to need more. You'll always be thirsty. It's like this. This is salt water. Salt water makes up 70 percent of our planet. Only 1 percent of water out there is fresh water. The thing about salt water is if I were to ask you, "How much salt water would you have to drink in order to quench your thirst? If you're thirsty in the room, how much would you have to have…?"
If you know anything about salt water, there isn't an amount. It can't quench your thirst. In fact, it only makes you even more thirsty. There's no amount you could have that would ever quench your thirst. That's what Jesus is saying. There's no amount of success, there's no relationship, there's no future season in life… Those things will never satisfy. You'll be thirsty. The reason we're unsatisfied, the reason this woman was unsatisfied, is we're drinking at the wrong wells, looking to the wrong things.
So, the woman responds after being called out. "You've been drinking at the well of men and looking in all of these other places to satisfy." She said, "Sir, you must be a prophet." She goes into a theological question of, "All right. Let's talk theology. You're a prophet. You clearly know some stuff about God. You guys say to worship in Jerusalem. We say worship here." Jesus gives a really interesting answer.
"But the time is coming—indeed it's here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit [internally] and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship [internally, ongoingly, continually] and in truth." What's Jesus saying? He's saying, "You think about what God wants and what it looks like to worship God and you think going to a place. You think a mountain. You think Jerusalem. You think doing some actions. That's not worship."
The text says what God is looking for is people who worship him internally through their actions continually, ongoingly, not just in a church building on Sunday but every day in between. It's a lifestyle. It's a relationship. He gives us the first answer and the key to satisfaction. Remember how I said it was a two-part coin? It's very simple. It's not easy, but it's very simple. Apart from understanding this and doing this, you and I will not be satisfied.
Satisfaction comes from knowing God. That's what Jesus said. He said what God is looking for is not religious action; it's a relationship with people, that you and I would live in a relationship with God. Satisfaction comes from knowing God. That's the first side of the coin. Or having a relationship with God. What is a relationship with God? What does a relationship with anyone require? Communication, time, priority… Those would be a few things.
If I were to explain, "Hey, I have a relationship with my wife," and you were like, "Yeah, but do you guys talk?" and I was like, "No. I haven't talked to her in years." "Do you spend time together?" "No. I haven't even seen her, honestly. I'm not even sure where she is." Or if I described that with my kids. "Yeah, I think I have two. Honestly, I don't know." You'd be like, "You don't have a relationship with them, and they're clearly not a priority," if it requires communication, time, and priority.
A key aspect of having a life that has satisfaction will require an ongoing relationship with God. What does a relationship require? Communication. That's spending time with God in prayer. Not just 20 minutes in the morning, but continually throughout the day pouring your heart out, your anxieties, your fears, what you're feeling. How quick are we to turn to friends or coworkers or just people around us to describe our anxiety or describe our frustration and not turn to God?
The God who's there… The Bible describes him as a Father who has invited us to continually go to him in communication, constantly, telling him what you're feeling, what you're fearing, what you're facing. Another aspect of communication would be listening. How do we do that? We do it by studying God's Word. It has probably never been easier to study God's Word than today. If you don't like to read…Audible. They have Audible.com. It'll read it to you.
They have apps that are designed… You can join us in jointhejourney.com where we go through Scriptures as a body together, and every day you get a devotional sent to you. Go to jointhejourney.com, and you can sign up with thousands of others just like you. You can go to The Bible Recap. Bible Recap is another excellent resource where every day they'll walk through and journey through God's Word.
There are all kinds of different apps that'll send you notifications to study God's Word, but a key component… If you want to be satisfied and you're like, "I'm just not really in on that," then you're not really in on being satisfied, because you were created to be connected to your Creator, and apart from that, you're not going to be satisfied.
This is a glove. I know. I went to seminary. I can explain these things. This glove is O.J. Simpson's glove. (Too soon. Probably not right.) If I were to ask you, "What is the purpose of this glove…?" There are a lot of things I could do with it. I could wear it like a necklace. I could do a little hat thing. I could try to put it on my foot for a sock. I could use it as a paperweight.
There are a lot of things I could do with it. None of those things are what it was created for. How do I know? The way I know what it was created for is whose image it's made in. It's made in the image of a hand. So apart from a hand and being connected to a hand, it cannot fulfill and experience and live out its purpose.
Whose image are you made in? God's. So apart from being connected in a relationship with God, you cannot fulfill or experience your purpose or, said otherwise, be satisfied. You were created for continual, ongoing, not one-time thing relationship with God who loves you, knows you, and has invited you into that…communicating, spending time with, prioritizing.
When you do, it's like it satisfies something at a soul level. It quenches a spiritual thirst that every person who has ever taken a breath came into this world having because they were created for it. They were made in the image of God, like a glove is made in the image of a hand, and apart from a relationship with or connection with God, they'll never experience that.
So, Jesus lays out to this woman that God who's here is pursuing and wants you to experience satisfaction, and some of that comes with you knowing God. The woman, who is the most relationally dysfunctional person in the Bible, certainly at least in the New Testament… Can you think of anybody else who has gone through five different marriages and now she's on her sixth man? Maybe the man didn't want to have a marriage with her and it was just done. She was an outcast among outcasts.
Jesus says, "Do you know what God is all about? All of these different people you've had broken, messed-up relationships with… You're the most relationally dysfunctional person there is. God wants a relationship with you," which is why he was there. That's why he had to go through Samaria. He reveals himself. "I am the Messiah. I am God." We're not told all of the extent of the conversation that took place, but something happened where that woman was changed.
She runs off to the town and begins to say, "Come see a man…" All of the different people she had gone to the well at noon to avoid… That's why you went at noon. Carrying all the shame… She leaves it behind, including her water bottle, and runs back to town to say, "Come see a man who told me everything I ever did. It could be the Messiah. Come see him! Come see him!" She takes off running to go tell the town.
Just before that, the disciples walk up, and they see Jesus talking with this woman, and they're going, "What are you doing? What's happening?" They're confused, and they're wondering what's going on. They urge him, "Hey, eat something." I'm going to read it again. "But Jesus replied, 'I have a kind of food you know nothing about. […] My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.'"
Jesus just used water as an analogy and how he offers a type of water that can quench your thirst. Now he just used food as an analogy, as a type of thing that he offers that can be done that can quench your spiritual hunger, and he gives us the answer. He says, "Just like bread can fill your stomach, can satisfy physical hunger, doing the will of God, serving God, telling Samaritan women or people in general about God satisfies me at a spiritual hunger level."
He uses another analogy to say, "There is a satisfaction I get…" In other words, he's not making up that he wasn't hungry. He's not like, "Oh yeah. I'm fasting. I'm spiritual." He's saying, "In the same way that bread satisfies your stomach, doing God's will satisfies me on an internal level." The first side of the coin of satisfaction is knowing God. The second side is making him known. It's what you and I were created for: serving God, serving God's kingdom.
Apart from living that out, you and I will not experience satisfaction. You can leave here and not like that, get excited about that. It's the truth. The third point is satisfaction comes from making God known. Jesus said, "I get satisfied by doing God's will." That means sharing my faith and serving God's kingdom, using my time, money, energy, resources, living a life that's not devoted to myself but serving God.
Let me be honest. I don't like sharing my faith. This is a safe place. Can we just keep this between us? I don't like being on a plane or going out there… I get nervous. I can find myself overthinking it. I'm constantly with a stranger or family member… I'm like, "Man, how do I get in this conversation?" Part of it is because I don't want to be the Jesus juke guy who's like, "Oh man. It's so hot in here. Do you know what else is hot? Hell. Has anyone told you about Jesus?"
I don't want to be that guy, and I'm trying to think of how to get in this conversation. Do you know what happens, though, every time I share my faith? It's like something on the inside of me lights up, as though I'm like, "This is the thing I was made to do." I don't mean sharing from a stage, like, "Here, a sermon." I mean on an individual, "You don't know anything about me," total stranger or family member or somebody I do know, where I'm just going to share, "This is why I have hope. This is why I have a relationship with God" or share about my relationship with God.
Every time I do that and I tell them, "Do you know how much God loves you? He sent his Son to die for you on the cross to pay for everything broken you've ever done, everything messed up that I've ever done," it's like something on the inside comes alive, as though I feel like, "This is what I was made for!" The truth is that's because it is part of what I was made for. And so were you. Apart from you serving God's will, Jesus would say, you're not going to experience the satisfaction or the nourishment, the filling of that hunger you have, because you were made for it.
I know even talking about sharing your faith can make everybody like, "Oh my gosh. I'm so nervous right now. He can't be talking to me." If that's you and you're like, "Never going to do that. Not going to do it," I want to challenge you specifically to something. I want you in the conversations you have with somebody you're pretty sure doesn't have a relationship with God or you're at least unsure, and you're writing me off right now, saying, "Nope! Never going to do that. Not really my thing…"
I want to challenge you. In the conversation that you're not going to share about that you've already written off, I want you to just do one thing. I want you to think, "If I was going to share my faith, this is probably how I would do it right now." I'm not even telling you to step over the line and do it. I'm just saying you're in that moment, and they're sharing, "My mom died, and I'm having a really hard time," and you begin to go, "Huh. If I was going to share my faith, I probably would go, 'Do you know where I turn when it's a really hard time? I turn to my relationship with God because of Christ and what he has done in my life, and when I came to faith in him…'"
I'm not even telling you to do it. I'm just saying step up to the line of the purpose for which you were created and at least see what's on the other side. If you decide, "I'm going to take that step," what you're going to experience is being satisfied. Others of you have been hanging around or floating for a while, and you're not serving anywhere. You've been using COVID as an excuse to hang on as long as you can of "Man, I'm not going to serve."
This week, your chance to experience or step in the direction of being satisfied is you need to make the decision, "I'm going to serve somewhere. I'm going to use the gifts, the talents, the way that God made me, and I'm going to go serve somewhere." Maybe you join Mickey, and you go to watermark.org/servekids, and you're going to get plugged in. You're thinking, "I don't even like kids." Great. You probably won't even get in, because we have a pretty high bar of the people we let around our kids, but you'll at least be able to check the box and say, "Yeah. That's right."
Maybe you're a single adult. If you're a single young adult, you should be serving in kids. First, because you'll have a great chance to see other single young adults and be like, "Oh, you like kids too. Oh, do you want to have some of these?" Just saying. Maybe you're going to serve in South Dallas in all of the initiatives that are going on where we are trying to see an entire city, or see as much as we can, transformed and poverty alleviated.
I don't know what ways God has made you and burdens he has placed on you, but I know if you are not serving him, if you're not knowing God and also seeking to make him known, you're not going to be satisfied. You're going to be thirsty. It's like this. If I said, "Everybody breathe in. Like, inhale. Ready? On three. Breathe in. Breathe in. Breathe in. Breathe in. Breathe in…" Do you know what happens if you don't breathe out? You die.
Do you know what happens if all you ever do in your Christian life is "I take in. I take in. I come to church. I'm here. I take in. I take a class, read some stuff. I'm going to go to brunch after this and be like, 'What did you think? Was it a good sermon?' 'Oh, it was okay.'" If all you ever do is take in, take in, take in, take in, and you never breathe out, your spiritual life dies. You weren't created for it.
When you decide and when you move in the direction of "I'm going to know God; I'm going to make him known," you experience what Jesus would say: nourishment at a soul level, a quenching, a satisfaction of spiritual hunger that comes from whose image you were made in. In conclusion, satisfaction comes through knowing God and making him known, and we're thirsty anytime we look outside of him to satisfy a spiritual thirst.
I think a lot of Christians… You hear stuff like this, and you're like, "Yeah. That's pretty simple. I've heard that before. 'Know God. Make him known.' Still not working for me. Been doing that." Do you know what's funny about that chiropractor? I went and I had that life-changing experience. Never be the same. I got a membership. I never went back. Back pain came up and just life and distractions. Things get busy. It's hard. Who has time for the chiropractor?
If you would have come up to me and asked me, "Oh man, you were all about the chiropractor and you got a membership. How's that going? Are you feeling a lot better?" and I was like, "Oh, yeah. No, it's not going good at all. I still have back pain," and you asked, "Well, how often are you going?" and I was like, "Well, I haven't been back. Chiropractors just don't work," you'd go, "It's not that the chiropractor doesn't work. You haven't been taking advantage of what you have access to in your membership."
So often, this is the Christian journey and Christian experience for people. They trust Christ. They sign up. They go all in. "I'm a member. I'm giving my life to you." Then life happens. Distractions happen. Busyness happens. People come up to them, and they're like, "Oh man. I still don't feel satisfied. I hear stuff like that. 'Know God. Make him known.' I'm a Christian. I still don't feel really satisfied."
Someone is like, "What is your daily, ongoing, continual relationship? Are you spending consistent time? Are you serving and using your gifts to make God known? Are you doing those things?" "I mean, I'm trying. I don't know that it really works." Maybe the problem is not that you have a faith that doesn't work; it's that you have not taken advantage of all you have access to as a Christian.
Just like a foolish person would say, "Chiropractors don't work even though I'm not really going and taking advantage of the membership," a person who says, "Yeah, I know there's a path toward satisfaction, but I'm just not going to do those things. I'd rather be unsatisfied…" That's fine. Just don't claim it doesn't work.
As I close, I want to speak to someone very specifically in the room, someone who has walked in today, and you are like the woman. In some ways, all of us are. You're carrying a shame. The woman who carried that shame who went to the well at noon… She's covered in shame. "People don't want me. I'm not even sure God wants me." What she discovered was the complete opposite.
In verse 4, it says something really interesting at the beginning that I read. It says, _ "He had to go through Samaria…" _ Just think about that sentence: "He had to go through Samaria." That's a really interesting way to put it. He's God. He doesn't have to do anything. It's as though Jesus was compelled. "There's someone I'm going to go pursue, someone I have to go meet. I'm going to go out of my way to pursue this person."
What you need to know is the same God has gone out of his way to pursue you. You never put your faith in Christ. You never had a moment where you actually received Jesus as your Lord and Savior as the payment… This is what it means to be a Christian. He paid for your sin on the cross, and you say, "I'm not going to try to earn my way by worshiping on a mountain or worshiping in a church service or doing a bunch of good things or not doing a bunch of bad things. I'm going to receive by faith…
Jesus, I believe you paid for me on that cross. I receive you as my Lord and my Savior. You were enough. You paid for everything bad I've ever done and everything bad I'm not even aware that I will do in the future. I believe that. I receive that. I accept you as the payment. When you rose from the grave, you showed the check cleared. The payment was more than enough. The card went through. Your payment was enough."
He has gone out of his way for you, not through Samaria but going to a cross on your behalf, on my behalf. Here's what I want you to know. That shame you carry… If you were to encounter God, you would experience what this woman experienced. Think about her testimony. Do you remember it? "Come see a man who told me everything I ever did. Come on! Come see a man! He knows everything about me. He knows everything. Come! Come! Come!"
She goes back to the people she tried to avoid. "Come see this man. He knows everything about me, and he wasn't repelled by me. He pursued me. He wanted a relationship with me. Come see this man who knew everything and didn't reject me." What did Jesus know about this woman? Well, the Bible says he knew she had five husbands and she was sleeping with a man who wasn't her husband.
The Bible also says God knows everything. Fair? Which means he knew everything. He knew the husbands' names. He knew the fact that she got into that second marriage, and she wasn't really sure that he was the right one, but she just didn't want to be alone, so she decided. Then she got into the third marriage, and she was pretty sure "I don't even love this person." He knew all of the reasons why she did what she did. Here's what you need to know: despite that, he pursued her, he loved her, he accepted her.
As it relates to you, God knows everything about you. He knows every pornography addiction in the room, and he doesn't just know that; he knows why. He knows about the first moment when you were 12 when somebody showed you something and you can still see the image. It has trailed with you, and you turn to it, and you kind of feel justified because you feel sexually neglected. He knows all of it. He knows why.
He knows of the same-sex attraction you struggle with that you hate, and you find yourself eternally tormented, and sometimes you just want to give into it. You don't even feel like it's… He knows everything. He knows the control you have over your kids and that you really can't stop. It puts a wedge between you and your husband, but you find yourself unable to let go, because you saw what happened when your sister or your brother didn't have parental supervision in their life, so you're going, "I'm not going to let that happen to my kids."
He knows about the workaholism that takes place in this room, where you're going, "I'm going to do everything I can. I'm not going back. I was raised on the streets. I was raised in poverty. I'm not doing that. I'm going to be my own person. I'm getting out of it," and it has caused you to not use your life in a way that God would want. It has caused you to be worshiping at the idol of financial success. He knows everything, and he doesn't just know that; he knows why, none of which excuses it. It's just a part of the messy complexity that is being human and the story woven you have, that all of us have.
What you need to hear is he doesn't reject you. He pursues you, and he loves you. He knows all of it. He knows the reasons you do things that you don't even know, and that doesn't repel him. It makes him move toward you. If you decide, "I'm going to receive the free gift of living water that he offers when he gave his life on the cross," you will step toward being satisfied and you will never be the same. Today is your day, and he has you here for that reason. Let me pray.
Father, I pray for every person who has never drank from the fountain of living water that today would be their moment and they would stop attempting to earn a relationship with you, that they would trust in what you did on that cross for them, they would run to the Father, trusting in what Christ did. I pray for every person in our body, God. All of us have distractions, have things that fight for our attention.
We have anxieties. We have fears. We have things that weigh us down and interrupt our pursuit of you, of knowing you and making you known. Said otherwise, they interrupt our ability to be satisfied. Would you help us, and would we believe that though it's not easy, being satisfied is simple, and it comes through relationship with you, knowing you and making you known. Help us. We worship you in song, amen.