still thirsty?

clean drinking water

Written by Jamaal Bell

Jamaal is a MDiv and Clinical Counseling student at Ashland Theological Seminary. The editor of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity's blog He served four years in the U.S. Navy from 1999-2003. He earned his Bachelor's Degree in journalism and public relations at Ball State University. Jamaal's writing interests are devotionals, theology, and social justice. He also loves to do video devotionals targeted to teens, however, applicable to anyone.

December 21, 2011

clean drinking water

Some of us obtain success rather quickly. We’ve just been accepted to the college our dreams, we’ve gotten the job of our dreams, we’re making awesome money, we have awesome friends, and/or our churches are GREAT while they are preaching the word earnestly and serving the community.

We get so geeked to be alive in this world!

Many of us instantly thank and praise God the moment positive and exciting changes happen. We thank God for not giving up on us, for opening doors, for opening hearts, and for making the impossible — possible.

But sometimes as quickly as we thank and praise Him, we get too comfortable in our success and we forget God.

Our relationship with God starts to become a relationship based on blessings as opposed to mutual love.

I am convinced there are two types of waters which we can drink from.  The water of the world (or our culture) or the living water of Jesus (John 7:37-39).

The water of the world can provide money, worldly (or cultural) success, prestige, material possessions, and status.  Very attractive isn’t it?  In fact, we all drink from it.  However, what we’ve learned about this water is that it ALWAYS recedes and today is scarce.  This water is difficult to get.

Persons who are trafficked do not receive this water.  Persons and families who are without shelter do not receive this water. Those who have this water are not quick to share. Children born in countries where food is robbed from them and humanitarian aid is used as a war strategy do not have access to this water.  Our persecuted brothers and sisters in North Korea, China, Maldives and Saudi Arabia do not have access to this water.

How often have people sacrificed their dignity, their children, or their spouses for this water?

People chase desperately for this water, don’t they? Have you? I have… No matter how much I drank I just became more and more thirsty.

When we are gluttonous of this water and think we do not receive enough, we become depressed, we divorce our spouses, we hate our neighbors, we gossip, we oppress others, we become insensitive to the needs of others, we become self-centered, we become addicts for water that doesn’t satisfy!

Why does this water in its ingredients suck?  Why doesn’t this water quench my thirst?

Because the worldly (or cultural) water does not nourish the spirit.  No matter how much we drink of the world’s water we will still die.

However, if you truly believe, your soul and your spirit can be nourished by the living water of Jesus, for free! (Rev 22:17)

Jesus is the water needed by the spiritual part of us specifically, but also for our whole selves. Without His water our flesh AND soul will eventually die.

Jesus is the only one that can quench the thirst of our human spirit. Anything or anyone else will only wear out and leave us thirsty again. Therefore, Jesus is what our human spirit needs in order for us to be able to live eternally with Him. Without the Living Water our spiritual body will die just as our physical body.

Do not forget God, in who you are and what you do. Praise and love Him all the time. Recognize His strengths your weaknesses and pray for the Holy Spirit daily.

You need it daily, I need it daily, we need it daily, they need it daily.

Tell others about the living water of Jesus. Do not keep it to yourself and do not hog the water it is more than enough for everyone.

Spend time in solitude with God; maintain covenant relationships (parents, spouse and children); maintain intimate friendships; maintain an active prayer and worship life, and share God with others and drink up.

“Can papyrus grow where there is no marsh? Can reeds flourish where there is no water? While yet in flower and not cut down, they wither before any other plant. Such are the paths of all who forget God; the hope of the godless shall perish.”  (Job 8:11-13)

“With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” (Isaiah 12:3)

“…but 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)


  1. Anonymous

    I love this beautiful picture of refreshment and relief from the dirty, dusty grime of the world. Water washes. It cleanses. Wonderful article.

  2. Michael Snow

    “Tell others about the living water of Jesus. Do not keep it to yourself and do not hog the water it is more than enough for everyone.” Amen! 
    From the conclusion of Oh Holy Night: The Peace of 1914

    …This peace offer still stands today. In the final invitationof the New Testament, it is offered to all:I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you thesethings in the churches. I am the root and the offspringof David, and the bright and morning star.And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let himthat heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirstcome. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.… Everyone who hears this should say, “Come!” Ifyou are thirsty, come! If you want life-giving water,come and take it. It’s free!… Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes,let him take the free gift of the water of life.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

still thirsty?

by Jamaal Bell time to read: 4 min