Have you ever been thirsty?

Really thirsty.

Like working all day in the sun thirsty. Or hiking in the desert thirsty. Parched and withered, and just needing a drink of water?

Have you ever tasted water that was brackish or fouled? You nearly can’t stop yourself from spitting it out. 

The worst part is that even when it’s gone, the taste lingers.

We each have a current that courses within us. Running from our headwaters towards our heart and flowing through everything we do.

It’s what motivates us from the inside out.

Whether you’re aware of it or not, this invisible force shows up in every area of your life.

Scripture tells us that since we all are descended from the original sin-creator Adam, our current is polluted. Our life is stained. No exceptions.

It would be nice to blame everything on Adam, but that’s simply our sin NATURE. The pollution and stains come from our own doing, as well:

“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.

Isaiah 1:18-20, NIV

A cistern is a reservoir, like a water storage area.

God is saying we’ve walked away from him—the source of life-water—and have done our best to replace him with something we’ve created ourselves.

Something that doesn’t hold water.

“Hold water” is an idiom that means “stand up to scrutiny”. In other words, to be sound and valid.

Something that doesn’t “hold water” is parched, withered, and found wanting.

We each have a current that courses within us. Running from our headwaters towards our heart and flowing through everything we do.

Yes, there’s pollution. But we hang on because this is OUR stream. We control the water rights to the current within us. And we have every legitimate reason in the world to keep our water.

Besides. In this day and age we have really good filters. I mean, REALLY good. Right?

Pop Quiz: If purity has to be measured for quality using a scale, is it really PURE? Or are we merely settling for an acceptable level of impurity?

Back to the point: It’s our water, our control. And the purity is…tolerable. Why would we EVER consider giving that up?

Simple. There’s better water available to us. 

No, we don’t control the water rights. No, this isn’t OUR stream. But it is clean and pure and fresh as the snow-melt from a mountain brook. Living water. 

And there is an abundance of it available to you:

On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”

John 7:38-39, NLV

Today take a moment to read Psalm 51. This was written by King David after Nathan the prophet had confronted him about stealing Bathsheba and murdering her husband Uriah.

Sooner or later we all face our own pollution. Psalm 51 invites all who are broken to come to God and lean into his compassion. It helps us to recognize that if we desire an unpolluted life, God will have to create in us a heart that is clean.

Read this today. If you’re willing, I invite you to make it your prayer.

Look on me with a heart of mercy, O God, according to Your generous love. According to Your great compassion, wipe out every consequence of my shameful crimes. Thoroughly wash me, inside and out, of all my crooked deeds. Cleanse me from my sins.

For I am fully aware of all I have done wrong, and my guilt is there, staring me in the face. It was against You, only You, that I sinned, for I have done what You say is wrong, right before Your eyes. So when You speak, You are in the right. When You judge, Your judgments are pure and true. For I was guilty from the day I was born, a sinner from the time my mother became pregnant with me.

But still, You long to enthrone truth throughout my being; in unseen places deep within me, You show me wisdom. Cleanse me of my wickedness with hyssop, and I will be clean. If You wash me, I will be whiter than snow. Help me hear joy and happiness as my accompaniment, so my bones, which You have broken, will dance in delight instead. Cover Your face so You will not see my sins, and erase my guilt from the record.

Create in me a clean heart, O God; restore within me a sense of being brand new. Do not throw me far away from Your presence, and do not remove Your Holy Spirit from me. Give back to me the deep delight of being saved by You; let Your willing Spirit sustain me.

If You do, I promise to teach rebels Your ways and help sinners find their way back to You. Free me from the guilt of murder, of shedding a man’s blood, O God who saves me. Now my tongue, which was used to destroy, will be used to sing with deep delight of how right and just You are.

O Lord, pry open my lips that this mouth will sing joyfully of Your greatness. I would surrender my dearest possessions or destroy all that I prize to prove my regret, but You don’t take pleasure in sacrifices or burnt offerings. What sacrifice I can offer You is my broken spirit because a broken spirit, O God, a heart that honestly regrets the past, You won’t detest.

Be good to Zion; grant her Your favor. Make Jerusalem’s walls steady and strong. Then there will be sacrifices made, burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings, with right motives that will delight You. And costly young bulls will be offered up to Your altar, only the best.

Psalm 51, VOICE

That’s worship.

–Pastor Steve.