When backpacking, hydration is very important. I take a water filtration system that I can use to purify the water making it safe to drink. After several uses, however, the water filter can become clogged up with particles and needs to be backflushed. In order to do this the manufacturer provides a syringe that you can fill with water to flush through the filter backwards. Now, if you’ve ever been backpacking you know that the less weight you carry the better. So backpackers have discovered that by using water bottles that have the right kind of nozzle they can ditch the syringe and just use the water bottle to backflush the filter. The water bottles that work best for this purpose are either Smartwater or Lifewater bottles.
Sometimes, however, we don’t drink as much water as we know we need. Without drinking adequate water you become dehydrated very quickly, and can begin to experience symptoms of dehydration without even recognizing them. For example, did you know that simply being very thirsty is an early sign of dehydration? You might feel sluggish, tired, or have a difficult time focusing. As you continue to ignore the small warning signs you might begin to experience more symptoms such as headaches or cramps. There are more, just take some time to look them up. You might be surprised to realize that you are operating under mild dehydration on a regular basis.
Water truly is life. When I thought about the water bottles we use backpacking, I realized the words, “Lifewater” and “Smartwater” are incredibly appropriate. You can go without food for a month or so, but without water you would die in a matter of days. As a matter of fact, without water you cannot eat, because water is necessary for your body to digest that food.
Jesus talked about the water of life in the book of John when He was talking to the Samaritan woman. “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.” John 4:10 Again, in verses 13-14 “Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Knowing how important water is to our physical bodies, Jesus used it as an analogy for our spiritual life. He told the woman He had water that would give us spiritual life. What water was He talking about?
“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” John 7:37-39
This living water was the Spirit, the Spirit of God that Christians would receive when they put on Christ in baptism. “Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38
Without this water, we could not truly live spiritually speaking. We could exist, but we would have the symptoms of dehydration. Some of those symptoms would include despair, worry and hopelessness. Not having spiritual water would allow sin to grow in our lives, and eventually would lead to our ultimate death; spiritual death. I’m sure we all know someone who suffers from spiritual dehydration. Even people who seem to have everything this world has to offer suffer from these symptoms. How many famous entertainers have committed suicide due to spiritual dehydration? “For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water” Jeremiah 2:13. So many people look for answers in places that cannot ever give them life; “broken cisterns that can hold no water.”
When we take of the Lifewater that Jesus offers us through His sacrifice on the cross, we clean ourselves of the sin that dehydrates us. It brings about health and vigor that we cannot experience without it. Consider what Paul said in Ephesians 5:25-27. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”
Notice that we have been cleansed with the “washing of water by the word.” Let’s make the connection. We are washed of water (the Spirit of God, as we saw above) BY the word. What is the word? John 1:1-5 tells us: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. The Word is Jesus, and through Him we receive the water of the Spirit that washes us and gives us life.
God has given us the ultimate gift, the gift of life, the gift of Jesus. He is willing to give it to anyone who will follow Him. When we put on Christ in baptism we are cleansed by the Spirit through the blood of Jesus. If we are thirsty and want to truly live, we will take advantage of this gift He has given us, and out of our hearts will flow “fountains of living water.”
“For I will pour water on him who is thirsty,
And floods on the dry ground;
I will pour My Spirit on your descendants,
And My blessing on your offspring;” Isaiah 44:3-4
By Fern Boyle
Fern Boyle is a homeschooling mom of six kids who lives in Enid, Oklahoma. Her husband, Doug, is an elder in the church of Christ at Garriott Road, and a pilot in the military, having served in both the Marine Corps and Air Force. Their time traveling from coast to coast has blessed them with friends in the church all across the country as well as many opportunities to grow as Christians. Fern enjoys running, hiking, reading and teaching ladies Bible class. She used to have other hobbies but then she had more kids. Her children are what she loves most, however, watching them grow and develop into wonderful young men and women.