Do You Have a Drinking Problem?
by Tonja Taylor
7/10/2021 / Christian Living
O Lord, the Hope of Israel, all who forsake You shall be put to shame. They who depart from You and me [Your prophet] shall [disappear like] writing upon the ground, because they have forsaken the Lord, the Fountain of living waters.-–Jeremiah 17:3, AMPC
Jesus answered her, If you had only known and had recognized God’s gift and Who this is that is saying to you, Give Me a drink, you would have asked Him [instead] and He would have given you living water.—John 4:10, AMPC
I have had a drinking problem lately.
I certainly don’t mean alcohol (I don’t touch the stuff!), and I’m not talking about wanting a daily kombucha (fermented tea loaded with probiotics). I mean I’ve actually been a little thirsty, because I’ve let the junk of the world creep into my thoughts and soul, instead of flooding myself with the Word, to displace the mud and mire of life.
However, I listen to the Word and read it daily. I like to listen to preaching. I worship–both listening, and singing myself.
You’d think, with all of that going on (plus the absence of the daily news junk and absence of television, and not a lot of internet other than online tutoring and doing reseach, plus posting to FaithWriters, of course!), I would never feel thirsty.
I know the LORD is with me always, praise Him. I understand that, while I love to feel His Presence, He is with me no matter if I feel Him or not.
Even if the mountains were to crumble and the hills disappear, my heart of steadfast, faithful love will never leave you, and my covenant of peace with you will never be shaken,” says Yahweh, whose love and compassion will never give up on you.–Isaiah 54:10, The Passion Translation
He will never leave me nor forsake me. Praise the LORD for His faithfulness!
So why have I felt “thirsty”?
Part of it, I finally realized, is because I’ve been trying to make things happen myself.
As one internationally-known preacher stated that God told him, “Frustration is not faith.”
Yet, aren’t we supposed to take action?
Do what’s in your heart, I’ve heard preachers say.
I’ve done that many times–and crashed. Not every time, of course; the LORD puts His grace and mercy on things and helps them work out–even when we crash, He works it all for good (Gen. 50:20).
He is such a loving, faithful, sweet Father!
You’d think that, especially with me listening to and reading and proclaiming the Word every day, and listening to Christian music (only; my choice, since the LORD weaned me off rock ‘n’ roll years ago), that I’d be forever joyful (and I am, compared to many, more joyful and animated than most I know.
God has done so much for me; how can I not be thankful and joyful?!
Take a step, I’ve heard from many preachers through the years. Faith without works is dead.
Yes, I agree.
Write the vision and make it plain (Hab. 2:2)…
I agree about that too–but after a recent few days of getting away and fasting and praying and being quiet (no internet, no television, no movies, and not even any worship music except what I sang myself)–I tore up my list of many goals and visions. (He has answered the fast and prayer, by the way, by showing me several changes to make. I trust Him and rejoice and thank Him. He is so faithful and good, and always leads us in right paths (Psalm 23)!)
So, even at the cabin while fasting, I tore up my list of many visions and plans and goals, even though there is such a big push to write the vision and get pictures and all that. I do agree that it is important to do these things, for they focus the mind on thinking bigger and being positive. Faith can certainly become sight, and it has for me, many times. All things are possible to him who believes, and all the promises of God are “Yes!” and “Amen!”
Still, I tore up my list.
Because I’ve been asking the LORD to help me refine my life, to focus on what is most needful for now. It is easy–especially for me, a dreamer (which writers are, overall), to come up with huge ideas.
Nothing wrong with that. God likes it. He’s the big God, and there is nothing too hard for Him.
Still, I’ve had big goals and dreams, but to accomplish those, there must be agreement by one’s spouse, and other people to help bring it to pass. God has arranged for us to do big things by working with others in unity.
So, although I’d like to be Super-Christian and do tremendous world-changing things; although I’ve actually launched my own legal ministry twice through the years–and had to shut them down because of lack of unity by key partners–I’ve finally undertood that God is not requiring these things of me.
He knows me (and my spouse and the others) better than myself. He sees time, from beginning to end. He knows all things.
There is an enemy, and often, the enemy has been involved to shut things down. However, my God is so much bigger, and my loving, faithful, all-knowing Daddy God forever works all things together for my best and His glory. I’m His daughter and He cares for me. I’m His daughter and it will always go well with me.
So, I finally understood that I’ve been trying to perform for God.
All He wants is me to love and live His Word, and do the couple of things He’s told me. Certainly, writing is one of them!
He told me once, years ago, “Life is simple unless you make it hard.”
I repent, LORD, for making it hard, by adding so many other things to what You told me to do!
Just like I’ve told my darling daughter (now 24, recently graduated from university, and married to her best friend of over 10 years, praise the LORD) to “just rest,” my Daddy God has told me that many times through the years.
He is so good!
He tells us to labor to enter into rest.
2 For indeed we have had the glad tidings [Gospel of God] proclaimed to us just as truly as they [the Israelites of old did when the good news of deliverance from bondage came to them]; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not mixed with faith (with the leaning of the entire personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness) by those who heard it; neither were they united in faith with the ones [Joshua and Caleb] who heard (did believe). 3 For we who have believed (adhered to and trusted in and relied on God) do enter that rest,-–Hebrews 4:2, 3a, AMPC
It’s good to have goals and dreams, but not even Jesus could do everything. He required the help of His disciples, and He still uses us disciples today to get His work done.
We are in the end times, the Last Days, and I want to be about His business. There are two things I know He has told me to do through the years, and I have been obedient in some ways to do these, but there is more.
The Spirit of Truth leads us into all truth. Thank God. Our Father will never stop leading us ever higher and deeper with Him.
It is in Him that we live and move and have our being.
We don’t know the details, and this world–even the USA–is really crazy. Thinking about it without considering the goodness and power and faithfulness of God truly can drive people to exhaustion, depression, and suicide.
However, above all, we can rest in Him, knowing that He is the I AM, the Eternal One, Who knows all and sees all and is monitoring and protecting and blessing our lives 24/7. He loves us, and He will never let us go. There is no where we can be where we are out of His vision. Praise Him! He is the ultimate Secret Service–and He never fails!
What is the answer to true peace and comfort? While exercise and more sleep and good food and more vitamins can help, in addition to helping others (for while doing that, we usually forget about ourselves and our challenges). One answer is to simply choose to trust in the LORD–anyway. No matter what it looks like. To rehearse His faithfulness in the past, and to thank Him and praise Him, because He is worthy, and faithful, and good–no matter what!
For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus [the leaning of your entire human personality on Him in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness] and of the love which you [have and show] for all the saints (God’s consecrated ones). —Colossians 1:4, AMPC
Sometimes, the last thing our bodies and minds and mouths want to do is praise the LORD. But it is important that we praise Him anyway, no matter how we feel.
Thank God, faith is not a feeling, but a force. The more we praise Him, and the more we purposeful stay focused on the Word.
So we praise Him. We trust Him. We do what we know to do, and it is enough. We know and believe His Love.
We drink of His Spirit in these things, and are satisfied!
He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water.—John 7:38, AMPC
Tonja K. Taylor is a joyful, free worshiper, teacher, author, wife, and mother who adores helping others know the sweet faithfulness of God. Through her YouTube channel, “River Rain Creative” and other platforms, she tutors people around the world in faith, worship, writing, English, and more.