John Message #12, “Know Him, Trust Him and Enjoy Him” Ed Miller, February 21, 2024

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We’ve come to see the Lord.  I’d like to share a verse before we actually go to prayer.  It’s from Psalm 36:7-8, “How precious is Your lovingkindness, oh God, and the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.  They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house; You give them to drink of the river of Your delights.   With You is the fountain of life.”  I chose that for two reasons, because we’re discussing the woman at the well, and that’s about drinking and fountain, and all, but the expression “they drink their fill of the abundance of their house”, that’s speaks of capacity.  The Lord meets with all of us, we’re all different and we all have a different capacity, but everyone should drink their fill; drink to your capacity, and receive everything the Lord wants to give you.  With that in mind, let’s give our time to the Lord.

Thank You, Father, for allowing us to meet in this place, and we ask You now to take over and to show your dominion over our session.  We just pray that in a special way we might behold the Lord Jesus again.  We know that it’s always Your joy to present and delight in Your Son.  So, we just expect You to minister to us.  I pray that You would protect Your people from anything I might say that is just flesh and blood, and we just want to see You this morning.  Thank You that we can trust You for this, because we come in the deserving name of our Lord Jesus.  Amen.

Welcome again to our study in the Gospel of John; we’re not studying the Gospel of John; we’ve studying the Lord Jesus who is in the Gospel of John.  We come every time to behold the Lord, and that’s why we gather.  We were following John’s stated purpose for writing this gospel, and I’ll just review that much.  John 20:31, “These have been written so that,” so we know why he wrote it, “you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing, you may have Life in His name.”  We just found three principles in that precious statement.  He’s written that we might know the Lord, He’s written that we might trust the Lord, and He’s written that we might enjoy the Lord.  All of the stories in the Gospel of John were selected deliberately to show us how to know Him, how to trust Him, and how to enjoy Him.  We want to know Him intimately, entrust Him implicitly and enjoy Him thoroughly.

In the stories we’ve already looked at, and I’m not going to go through all of those, but we went through the prologue and the story of John the Baptist and the calling of John the Apostle and Andrew and Peter and Philip and Nathaniel and the wedding of Canaan, the cleansing of the temple, the discourse with Nicodemus, and all of that answered those questions, “How can I know Him more intimately and how can I trust Him and how can I enjoy Him?”  And it’s going to be true in the stories that we haven’t looked at, yet.  So, it is true in the story that we’ve been meditating on for the last couple of weeks, and that is the woman of Samaria at the well, John 4 and the entire chapter, all forty-two verses.  Actually it’s not; it’s three quarters of the chapter.   Anyway, every story in John is designed to fulfill that purpose.

In our meditation of the Samaritan woman, we gave an overview to the answer of the first question, “How does the Lord Jesus reveal Himself to the woman?”  Verse 25&26, “The woman said to Him, ‘I know Messiah is coming, He who is called Christ, and when that One comes, He’ll declare all things to us.’  And Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am He.’”  So, he presented Himself as Messiah, and this is one of two times that He clearly came out and said, “I AM Messiah.”

And then He revealed Himself as the gift of God and the giver of living water in verse 10, “Jesus answered and said to her, ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is who says to you, “Give me a drink,” you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.’”  Verse 14, “Whoever drinks of the water I will give him shall never thirst, but the water that I will give them will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” 

When we left off, I was showing in a comprehensive way, in a broad way, the grand deliverance that He offered, and it’s wonderfully illustrated by this woman.  She was delivered from cisterns that run dry, from pails that continually needed to be filled, and by the ropes that wore her out.  So, we just took that—delivered from cisterns that continually run drive.  Jacob’s well was hand dug, and it was not spring-fed; it was a cistern.  After a while the water would drain out or evaporate and would run dry.  As I pointed out last time, this woman was an illustration, and that cistern was a sad parable of her entire life, because the record we have, she went from husband to husband to husband; her cisterns kept running dry, trying to find satisfaction.  The Lord uses the extreme illustration in order to include every lesser illustration. 

She was also delivered from buckets that needed to be filled and refilled and refilled.  We hear so much in Christian life that we need a revival and we need our battery charged and we need to get a new cup filling and we need a shot and a booster shot, and all that.  We don’t; once you see the Lord Jesus, you stay filled.  Finally, she was delivered not only from cisterns that continually run dry, from water buckets that always need to be refilled, she was also delivered from the ropes.  We just looked at that as the works of the flesh, drawing it up, and we do so many things to try to satisfy our hearts.

That’s what we looked at last time, and now we want to see the second part.  That’s how Christ revealed Himself to her, as the Messiah, the gift of God, the giver of the living water, and the One who delivers from cisterns, pots and ropes, but now we want to see how does this same story help us to trust Jesus?  We want to know how to depend upon Him in a new way, and then we’ll look later at how to enjoy Him.

Before we get there, I want to add one little thing to how did Jesus reveal Himself?  I mentioned those others, but He also reveals Himself in another way.  Last week I mentioned that in nature thirst seeks for water, but in grace water seeks for thirst, because Jesus was the living water and He sought out her thirst.  Some times we speak as if the Lord was lost.  We say, “I found the Lord,” like He was lost.  He’s not lost; He found you and me.  He’s not lost at all.  John 4:20, “Our fathers worshipped in this mountain, and you people say that Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.”  The heart of the answer that Jesus gave is in verse 23, “An hour is coming and now is when true worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit and truth.  Such people the Father seeks to be His worshippers.”

I just want to say a word about the Lord is the seeker.  The water is looking for the thirst.  God is always the first seeker.  The Bible begins, “In the beginning…God,” and it doesn’t start with us; it starts with the Lord.  It’s not which mountain or where should we worship; it’s worshipping in Spirit and in truth.  Notice the end of that verse, “The Father seeks,” He’s the seeker.  Now I want to go to the beginning of that verse.  The beginning of that verse there’s an interesting expression in verse 23, “An hour is coming, and now is…”  Wuest translates that, “There’s coming an hour, and it is now…”  There’s an hour coming, and it is here.  That expression appears three times in the Gospel of John; once here in chapter 4, and then in chapter 5:25, “Truly, truly, I say to you an hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those that hear will live.”  The third time is in John 16:32, “Behold, an hour is coming and has already come for you to be scattered each to his own home to leave Me alone, yet I’m not alone because the Father is with Me.”  In each case it speaks about a future event and a present reality; a day is coming, and now is. 

Look at John 5 and you’ll get the idea. The future event is resurrection.  There is coming a day when Jesus will literally speak; His voice will sound, and the dead will rise.  That’s coming; that’s in the future and that’s literal and that’s going to happen, and the dead are going to come out of their graves at the voice of Christ, and that’s the hour that’s coming. What is the hour that now is?  “Some will hear the voice of the Lord and rise from the dead.”  You’ve already done that; I’ve already done that.  That’s the hour that now is; when we hear His voice in the word, and when we hear His voice in our heart, when we hear His voice in our Spirit.  There is a foretaste of resurrection, and we rise from the dead.  Some day that will be literal, but right now we have a present foretaste of that reality; we have that truth in prospect.  It’s an earnest of our inheritance.  We don’t have to wait for that future event; we can enjoy that event now.  The hour is coming, and now is.    The same thing is spoken of the disciples in John 16.  There was coming a day, a you remember in Gethsemane, where they scattered, but that possibility was already in their heart, and it’s already in our heart. 

In John 4, Jesus said to the woman, “An hour is coming, and now is.”  What is the hour that is coming for her?  In John 4:23 when the true worshippers will worship the Father in Spirit in truth.  The hour that was coming is mentioned in chapter 7, and we’ll look in detail when we get there, but verse 38, “He who believes in Me, as the scripture said, from his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.   This He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive, for the Spirit was not yet given,” because Jesus was not yet glorified.  When Jesus was at the well, the Holy Spirit hadn’t come down yet from heaven to indwell believers.  That was the hour that was coming, but that didn’t keep her from having the living water at that moment.  She had the reality in seed form, in foretaste, and the “now is” is in verse 14, the gushing fountain that was in her heart.  Jesus manifests Himself as a seeker to those who respond, they will receive His life.  It’s the exchanged life, and she had a present foretaste.  We have the Holy Spirit now, but don’t believe for a moment that there’s not a lot more in your future.  God is going to show us some more.  Ephesians 1:13, “In Him you, also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, having also believed you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s possession to the praise of His glory.”  There’s a lot more future in your life and my life in terms of Christ.  2 Corinthians 5:5, “He who prepared for us this very purpose is God who gave the Spirit as a pledge.”  Right now the Holy Spirit is the down payment; the inheritance is in front of us.  We have a down payment and a full enjoyment in seed form.

People talk about the millennium, and they describe it, and they go into all of the things, and I love reading about the millennium.  They ask, “Are you pre mil?”  I’m pre-pre mil.  I’ll tell you why, because right now I’m enjoying the millennium.  In the millennium Jesus is going to reign.  According to John 5:17, “Those who receive the abundance of grace will reign in Christ.”  I’m already having Christ reign in my life.  In the future Satan is going to be bound.  Hey, he’s already bound in my heart, because of trusting the Lord Jesus.  Some day righteousness will cover the earth like the waters cover the sea.  Already, I have the secret of His righteousness flowing in my heart.  I’m already living in the millennium, and the lion is already feeding with the lamb, and there is peace, and the war is over.   This idea that the day is coming, and now is, don’t miss the present foretaste.  Every future truth has a present foretaste.  Study the truths of heaven and say, “How can I enter that now?”  When you begin to study those truths, and see the present foretaste, it’s going to take you to another level in your enjoyment of our Lord Jesus Christ.

That’s not new.  2 Chronicles 6:9, “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of the heart who is perfect toward Him.”  He’s always been the seeker; His eyes have always been going to and fro.  Notice what it says.  He’s not looking for the strong; He’s looking for those to whom He can show Himself strong.  He’s looking for those who will receive and be open to His strength.  If He was looking for the strong, He wouldn’t find anybody, because we’re all helpless and we’re all weak.

Who is Christ?  We’ve seen that; He’s Messiah, and He’s God’s gift, and He’s the giver of living water, and He’s the One that delivers us, and He’s the One that seeks us out.  Now we come to the same story, and how does this story help me to trust Jesus?  That’s the second reason that John wrote this, so we would believe Him and trust Him. 

In chapter 1 we saw that faith was described as receiving a gift.  John 1:12, “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.”  At the end of chapter 1, He said, “Come, and you will see.”  Faith is described as coming.  At the wedding of Cana, faith was described as obedience, John 2:5, “His mother said to the servants, ‘Whatever He says to you, do it.’”  In the Nicodemus story faith is described as looking, beholding, John 3:14, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up; whoever believes in Him will have eternal life.”  The snake-bitten sinners in Moses’ day had to simply look at the brazen serpent on the pole, and what is faith?  It’s as the serpent was lifted up, Christ is lifted up, and we just have to look, and the simplicity of that.  When we were in chapter 3, faith was described as decreasing, verse 30, “He must increase; I must decrease.” 

Now we come to chapter 4.  Faith is never defined in the Bible; there is no definition of faith.  Even Romans 11:1 is not a definition; it’s a description.  Faith is described as receiving, as coming, as obeying, as looking, as decreasing, and now we come to chapter 4, just another description of faith, and in one word, what is faith?  It’s drinking; that’s the simplicity.  John 4:7 at the end, “There came a woman of Samaria to draw water, and Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink.’”  Verse 10, “Jesus said to her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, who it is who says to you, “Give me a drink,” you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.’”  And then verse 13, “Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again.’”  Verse 14, “Whoever drinks of the water that I will give them will never thirst; the water I give will become in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”  Over and over again in this chapter, drink, drink, drink; drinking describes the simplicity of faith. 

My memory is not as good, and it’s really going away, but I know enough to know that God is putting new babies in our life all the time.  We’re getting great-grandchildren, and we’ve got one coming and we got one last week, and they just keep coming.  Praise the Lord for that!  The point is, a baby knows how to drink.  Drinking is so simple.  It’s not the process of drinking.  When you’re thirsty, you take a glass of water and you drink.  You don’t think about it; you just drink, and it satisfies and slates your thirst.  You don’t have to understand the process.  In fact, if you tried to understand the process before you took the swallow, you might die of thirst.  God has made it automatic; He’s made it so it just happens, and it’s involuntary, and you don’t have to understand. 

I’m a little nervous because we have nurse with us here, and so I might have gotten some of this mixed up, but I looked up on Google the physiology of drinking.  I didn’t know that there were thirty muscles and nerves that go into effect every time you take a drink.  If you wanted to take a drink and satisfy your thirst, and you had to decide, “How can I make sure this goes through the right channel?  I don’t want this to end up in my nose.  I don’t want this to end up in my lung.  So, I’m going to have to study how to drink; I’ve got to teach my pharynx how to find my esophagus to avoid my trachea.  If you had the process, you die of thirst.  What part do vocal chords have in drinking?  I didn’t know that they were involved, but they are.  I didn’t even know I had an epiglottis, but somehow that’s included in all of this.  So, any questions on that, just see Tyler after the study.

The reason I bring this up is because faith is drinking, the simplicity of drinking, and everything falls into place if you just drink, because faith is as simple as drinking, and many, many hundreds of thousands of Christians don’t drink; they go through the process of faith.  They begin to say, “Oh, I need to trust the Lord.  How does it work?  What part does my mind have in faith?  What part does my will have?  What part does my emotions have in faith?  I can’t trust the Lord until I understand faith.  Is faith a gift?   Does repentance come first?  Do I have to have a revelation before I have faith?  What if I wasn’t sincere?  I need my faith stronger.  I need Him to increase my faith.  I need more faith; pray for me.  You have faith; I need faith.  We’re doing the same thing with faith that I just described about drinking.  Just believe, just drink!  It’s not complicated.  Don’t have faith in your faith; have faith in Jesus; have faith in the object of your faith.  The more you try to believe….  Some people say, “I’m trying to trust the Lord.”  What an insult!  If you said to me, “Ed, I’m trying to trust you,” I’d say, “What do you mean that you’re trying to trust me.  You can trust me.”  You say, “I’m trying to trust the Lord,” and we’ve focused on faith.  The more you focus on faith, the less you’ll be able to exercise faith.  We don’t focus on faith, “Lord, make it real.  I believe; help my unbelief.” 

I heard one man say one time, and he was praying, and he actually prayed this out loud.  He said, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.  Wait a minute; my unbelief doesn’t need any help; help my faith.”  It’s like trying to go to sleep.  Did you ever try to go to sleep?  The more you try, the harder it is.  I’ll tell you how to go to sleep; just go to sleep.  You don’t have to try to go to sleep.  In the Bible sleep is a picture of resting in the Lord.  People say, “I’m trying to rest in Jesus.”  You’re dead in the water; you aren’t going to rest if you try to rest.  The only way to rest is to rest, and the only way to believe is to believe and the only way to look is to look and the only way to come is to come and the only way to trust the Lord is to trust in the Lord.  Imagine if a centipede worried about what leg went first before he walked?   Great honk in the morning, his feet would stumble all over the place.  He just walks.

I remember going golfing one time with a dear friend of mine, and he had a sense of humor like Bob Newhart.  We were tied going into the 18th hole and we were both competitive.  We had a couple of strokes to go to get to the 18th hole.  As I was about to make my shot, he said, “Ed, can I ask you a question?”  I said, “Sure, ask me a question.”  He said, “Do you inhale at the top of your backswing, or is it when it’s your downswing, or when the club strikes the ball.  And then when do you exhale?”  I forgot how to breathe.  I couldn’t make the shot.  It was deliberate; he was trying to distract me.  I hope you understand what I mean when I say, “Don’t be distracted by your faith; don’t have faith in your faith.  Have faith in your Lord Jesus; trust Him and just drink.  What’s the key to drinking?  I’ll tell you in one word—thirst, that’s the key to drinking.  When you thirst, you get a drink.  Isaiah 55:1, “Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the water.  You who have no money, come, buy, eat, come; buy wine and milk without money and without price.”

So, the Lord is the seeker, and when you respond to that seeking, then the living water belongs to you.  When did this woman begin to drink?  Notice verse 15 please, “The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or come all the way here to draw.’”  When she said, “Give me this water,” that’s when she got it.  Notice the next verse, “And He said, ‘Go call your husband, and come here.’”  The first sip of living water was a recognition of who she was.  When you taste of the Lord, you begin to know who you are.  That’s the thing that set her off; that was her first sip.  It isn’t that He said, “You need to know your sin and confess your sin before you trust Me.”  No, you trust Me first, and I’ll show you who you are, and that’s exactly what happened here.  Faith is receiving, and coming, and obeying, and beholding, and decreasing, and faith is drinking.

I love the hymn of Edward Page, “Simply trusting every day, trusting through a stormy way.  Even when my faith is small, trusting Jesus, that is all.”  And the chorus is, “Trusting as the moments fly, trusting as the days go by, trusting Him, what ere befall, trusting Jesus, that is all.”  That’s the simplicity of the Christian life and the victorious life.  The more you grow in the Lord Jesus, the less conscious you will become of your faith.  The more I grow in the Lord, the less conscious I will become of my faith. 

Having looked at that, let me begin to answer this question.  John also wrote so that we would enjoy the Lord.  What is there in this story that helps me enjoy the Lord Jesus, and how does the story of this woman, how it applied to her, how will that apply to me.  John 4 gives, I think, three aspects of enjoying the Lord.  One aspect as it applies to me, one aspect as it applies to everybody else, to the world, and then one aspect as it applies to the Lord Himself, let’s just look at those wonderful principles.

What is spiritual life, living water, the fountain as it applies to me?  I love the expression I stole from Hudson Taylor, the exchanged life, because I think that is the best description; it’s His life and not mine.  That’s what you’re going to have here.  All of this was so sweet and supernaturally natural.  I already shared how she was delivered from cisterns and buckets and ropes, but now I want to show you behind the scenes, and why that deliverance was possible.  Verse 7, “There came a woman of Samaria to draw water, and Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink.’”  The Lord Jesus says, “Give me a drink.”  Now, sometimes in the English version you can get a little bit mixed up.  He didn’t ask her for a drink.  He didn’t say, “Would you please give me a drink of water.”  That’s how she understood it because of verse 9, “The Samaritan woman said, ‘How is it you being a Jew ask me for a drink, since I’m a Samaritan woman?  Jews have no dealing with the Samaritans.”  But in the original it’s a different word.  Jesus changed the word.   In verse 10, Jesus said to her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked Him.’”  Now He uses her word.  When He said, “Give me a drink,” He wasn’t asking; He was commanding.  That’s imperative.  He was saying, “Give me a drink.”  He was commanding; it was an order.  If she had responded, it would have been an act of obedience. 

Spurgeon in his wonderful graphic way, he was a wordsmith, he said, “Jesus didn’t have to ask her for a drink of water; He could have commanded the water and it would have leaped out of the well right to his lips.”  Oh course, that’s true, He could have done that.  But if she knew the One who was commanding her, “Give me a drink,” she would have asked, and now the word “asked” is very interesting.  It’s the word “beg”; she would have begged, earnestly desired to give.

I once heard our brother and dear friend, Tom Wontrop, speaking on this text and this conversation, and he made an interesting observation.  He said, “Why did Jesus command this woman?”  He said that He commanded her, so she would ask Him for the same thing that He commanded her to give.  Then he expanded on that to the grand principles of Christian living.  He said, “God commands you to do something, so that you’ll ask Him to give you what He’s commanded you to do for Him.”  I hope that wasn’t too confusing.  Every command is a promise. 

Do you realize that you, in yourself, are not able to do anything that God commands you to do.  You say, “I’m going to set my heart to obey the Lord.”  Give it up; you’re not going be able to obey the Lord; it’s not possible.  So, why did God command me to love my Lillian as Christ loved the church?  Why did God command me to pray for my enemies?  Why did God command me to turn the other cheek?  Why did God command me to be thankful in all things and for all things?  Why does He command me to pray without ceasing, and to be filled with the Spirit, and to reckon myself dead to sin?  And then He tops it off with, “Be perfect as My Father in heaven is perfect.”  Did you ever try that one?  Try to obey God.  Why did He command me that?  He commanded it so that I would come to Him and say, “Lord, please give me the love to love my Lillian as You love the church.  Lord, please give me the grace to pray for my enemies.  Give me the willingness to turn the other cheek.  Give me what it takes, whatever it is, to be thankful in this situation and that situation, and to count it all joy when I fall into diverse temptations.  He commands you, so you’ll ask Him to enable you to do what He commands.

I think it was Augustine who said, “Lord, provide what Thou commandest, and then command what Thou wilt.”  Isn’t that a beautiful idea?  If God is going to enable you, and He is, what is life to mean?  Life is the freedom of knowing that nothing depends on me, that everything depends on Him.  I don’t care what command He gives, I’m coming back to Him, like Psalm 55:22 says, “He casts His burden on you, so you will cast that burden back on Him.”  That’s in the margin of the New American Standard.  Anyway, that’s life for me; that’s the exchanged life. 

How does that apply to others?  You know this message ends with missions.  You know how the woman went….  By the way, every doctrine in the Bible ends in missions.  If it doesn’t end in missions, you don’t understand the doctrine.  He came to seek and save that which is lost.  He’s got a worldwide heart.  Everything is about souls; everything is about missions.  It’s not only this story; it’s every story.  You haven’t fully understood what you’re studying if you don’t see God’s missionary heart.  Having said that, look how this ends.  Verse 39, “From that city, many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified.  ‘He told me all things I’ve done.’ So, when the Samaritans were coming to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them.  He stayed there two days.  Many more believed of His word, and they were saying to the woman, ‘It’s no longer because of what you said that we believe; we have heard for ourselves and know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.’”  As I said, it ends in missions.  For me, it applies to me as the exchanged life.  It applies to others as the exchange manifested, and now Christ is manifested through this woman to others. 

Jesus explained this in terms of using an illustration of farming, agricultural, sowing, planting, reaping, harvesting, production, fruit; He gives an illustration.  Before we focus on that principle, how does His life apply and relate to others, I want to just show you the illustration, and then you’ll get the principle.  All the way through this story, I hope you’ve noticed that He’s contrasting.  Sometimes we say that He’s comparing this to this.  He’s not comparing; He’s contrasting, because this is different than that.  So, He takes physical thirst and contrasts it with spiritual thirst, and He takes physical water and contrasts it with spiritual water, and He takes a temporal satisfaction, “You’ll thirst again,” to an eternal satisfaction, “You’ll never thirst,” and He takes Jacob’s well, his cistern, and contrasts it with a fountain that’s in your heart that keeps bubbling over.  He’s going to continue with illustrations, but they’re going to be a contrast.  He uses the illustration of physical sowing, reaping and harvest. 

Listen to verse 35, “Do you not say there are yet four months, and then comes the harvest?  Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes, look on the fields, they are white for harvest.”  There are a couple of ways to look at that.  Some think that there are four months and then comes the harvest, think that it’s literal.  In other words, either they were in the month of February, and it would be four months, and then they’d have the first harvest.  Or else they were in that harvest, and by the fall, four months they’d have another harvest.  Some say that’s literal, and He’s trying to tell us when it was exactly that He talked to the woman; it was four months before the harvest.  But there is a second view, and I incline to this one.  I heard Vernon McGee say one time, “If you disagree with me, you’ll be in good company.  You have to decide if you want good company or do you want the truth.” 

Anyway, I incline to this one, that the four months to the harvest was a proverb, it was a saying, because look how it begins, “You say,” or, “Do you not say,”
Is it not a saying that there is four months between sowing and the harvest.”  Whichever view you take, it’s not going to affect the principle, but I believe the principle can be expressed in this single word—expectancy.  You see, when Jesus dealt with thirsty people, He expected an immediate harvest, right away.  His point is that in natural things there’s a season, there’s a period between the planting and the growing; there’s time in there.  So, you expect four months; you plant it and then four months later you can reap.  That’s true in physical things, but contrasting that in spiritual things there is no separation; as soon as that fountain begins to bubble, others are attracted to Christ.  He said, “Lift up your eyes, look at the difference; you don’t have to wait any time because it’s immediate.” 

The prophet Amos anticipated this in chapter 9:13, “’Behold, days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when the plowman will overtake the reaper and the treader of grapes, him who sows seed,’”  that it’s going to come together.  That woman didn’t have to go back and say, “Wow, I’m a new Christian now.  I hope the town can get saved.  I need a course on soul winning.”  So, then they’re going to have to look up a course on soul winning.  Do you think she went home and got on her knees and said, “Lord, now that I’m saved, give me a burden for souls; I need a burden for souls.”  She did not; she went home and she was filled to the brim and flowing over at all times.  She was just exuberant, and it flowed and everybody was responding.  That’s how it is in Christ; that’s the reality.  The moment she trusted Jesus, in that moment a fountain was in her heart, and that fountain was flowing over and bubbling over.

There’s more I want to share about that part of it, how it affects others, but I want to end up, I don’t want to just leave that in the air, but how does this relate to the Lord?  For me, it’s the exchanged life.  For others, it’s the manifestation of that life to them.  What about to the Lord?  How does enjoyment relate to Him?  John 4:7, “There came a woman of Samaria to draw water, and Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink.’”  He asked for a drink.  Notice what He did in verse 8, “His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.”  He sent His disciples away to buy food; again, it was a contrast.  On the level of earth, He was thirsty, and He was weary.  On the level of earth, He was hungry, so He asks her for a drink and he sent them in to buy food.  Did he ever get His drink?  Did he ever get his sandwich?  He was thirsty and He was hungry.  She dropped the water bucket and ran to town; He didn’t get a drink from her.  When they came back, listen to verse 31, “Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Him saying, ‘Rabbi, eat.’  He said to them, ‘I have food to eat that you know nothing about.’”  Did He ever drink?  Did He ever eat?  Oh, He did; indeed He did!  Jesus needed to be refreshed, and He was refreshed by refreshing her, and He was filled by being able to feed her.  The joy of the Lord is when we respond.  I enter into satisfaction when I appropriate Christ.  The world enters satisfaction when He is manifest to them.  What satisfies God?  The thing that satisfies God is your willingness to let Him satisfy you, my willingness to let Him satisfy me.  In this connection I love Psalm 116:12&13, “What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me?  I will take the cup of salvation and call upon the Lord.”  What can I give?  I’ll take; that’s what we can give, a heart that receives.  The Lord finds such satisfaction and joy in giving; His thirst is satisfied when you allow Him to satisfy your thirst.  His hunger is satisfied when you allow Him to satisfy your hunger.

 I have an illustration from Jeremy Taylor.  I think I’ve given it before.  One of these old books I love; this is in the 1600’s actually; he was a theologian from the Church of England.  I have several of his works and they’re wonderful.  In one of his sermons, he was using the sun as nature’s greatest giver, and how the sun just gives and gives and gives.  When I came to the end of the page, I’m reading this sermon, he asks this question.  He says, “Now, does the earth have anything it can give in return to thank the sun, because the sun has been giving the earth a lot.  Does the earth have anything that it can give?  I didn’t turn the page.  I decided to meditate on that question.  So, I just sat there thinking and pondering, and I ended up with my answer.  I said, “No, there’s nothing… What can the earth give to the sun?  Give me a break.”  I turned the page, and the first word was “yes”.  I thought, “This is going to be interesting.”  He said, “The earth can give the sun a testimony by receiving.  Then he went on to explain that the sun is just a giver.  It’s not just a ball of fire in the sky.  But if it weren’t for the earth, that’s all anyone would ever think, that the sun is just a ball of fire up there in the sky.  But it’s the source of life, and not only life, but millions of forms of life.  It’s the source of color and every hue of color, and it’s the source of energy, and it’s the source of fruit, and it’s the source of growth, and it’s the source of light, and it’s the source of heat, and the earth receiving, receiving, receiving gives a testimony, “Look what the sun can do!”  And so, he applied it to the Son, the Son is the great giver.  Ever since man fell into sin, he thought he was the giver.  God created man to be a receiver, and only by grace do we become receivers.  So, God loves to give and give and give.  What can I render to the Lord?  I’ll take the cup; the more you take, the more glory you give.  The more you receive, the greater the testimony of the Son of God, and we satisfy God when we let Him satisfy us.  The heart of Jesus was so blessed when that woman responded and when they came back and said, “Master, eat, Rabbi,” and He said, “I have a food you don’t know anything about.”

So, John is again fulfilling his purpose; he’s showing in this story who Christ is, and he’s showing what faith is, and it’s just drinking, and he’s showing what life is, and it’s the exchanged life and it’s manifesting Christ and it’s letting Him bless you.  Let’s pray.

Father, thank You for Your word, not what we think it means, but everything You inspired it to mean.  Work that in our lives and in our hearts.  Lord, we just pray that You would work in us to be receivers, so that we can bless Your heart.  We thank You, Lord.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.