Last week I wrote about how Jesus came to give us abundant life…a life that starts here and now. I mentioned that the reason many struggle finding this abundant life is because our efforts are being opposed. To achieve and maintain this abundant life we must fight an enemy, the world around us, and our self-centered nature. Beginning today, I want to address how our self-centered nature opposes our efforts toward the abundant life.
In the verse above, Jesus gives us an important clue about our nature.
He tells us that we are thirsty.
Jesus as Creator knows that each of us thirsts, or rather, each of us has longings. We often don’t recognize these longings, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t present. Being the complicated creatures we are, we have the capacity to be “driven” by inner longings and yet not be fully aware of how they are directing us. The longings or ‘thirst’ are often subconscious, so that only our actions reach our awareness.
The end result is that much of what we do is driven by what Jesus refers to as thirst.
Blaise Pascal puts it somewhat differently in this quote: “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person, and it can never be filled by any created thing. It can only be filled by God, made known through Jesus Christ.”
In his excellent book on spiritual formation, Conformed to His Image, Ken Boa writes about three psychological needs placed by God within each of us. God has placed within each of us a need for love, a need to achieve identity or worth, and finally a need for impact or fulfillment.
As I’ve mentioned, most of us are only vaguely aware of those needs, yet if we were to closely evaluate our actions, we would find that almost all our actions can be tied to one of these three needs.
We’ll take some time to explore these needs separately and how they impact our lives and decision-making. For now, take some time to review how your actions these past few days might be connected to these three critical needs.
Prayer: Lord help me understand my thirst in greater measure today.