Finding the Fountain of Life
FINDING THE FOUNTAIN OF LIFE
By Hannah Nesher
“ For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.” (Psalm 36:9)
Jewish children playing in a fountain in the Negev, Israel
Where do we find life? We are all searching for it. Some look to money, sports cars, houses; others to power & achievements; still others to relationships to find the life we so desperately need. Not just physical life, vitality and energy (although these are also important); but life for our soul and our spirit! Eternal life!
There was a woman in the Bible who seemed to be seeking for life in relationships. Yeshua met this Samaritan woman at a well where she was drawing water and asked her for a drink.
Yeshua rightly discerned that she had already had five husbands and was currently living with a man, not her husband. He knew her thirst for life and love could not be quenched by finding the right relationship; but only in the Spirit of the living God.
I can relate to this woman at the well. I may not have had five husbands; but that’s just because I didn’t marry every man with whom I had been in a close relationship. Before I came to faith, I kept searching for the right relationship that would fulfill me; but they always left me feeling disappointed. I was looking for love in all the wrong places, until I met the Prince of Peace, Yeshua the Messiah.
Yeshua promised this woman a ‘fountain of living waters’ that would always satisfy her thirst. This is His promise to each one of us:
Yeshua 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.” (John 4:13-14)
At the time of this writing, I am living in the Israeli desert - in the Negev. Thankfully I live in a beautiful oasis filled with life and color: flowers, green trees and birds of every kind singing their songs into the night. This is a prophetic word fulfilled before our very eyes:
For the Lord will comfort Zion,
He will comfort all her waste places;
He will make her wilderness like Eden,
And her desert like the garden of the Lord;
Joy and gladness will be found in it,
Thanksgiving and the voice of melody. (Isaiah 51:3)
An Oasis in the Desert
But how has this miracle come about? The desert blooming and blossoming? Only through the innovation of modern irrigation methods. In other words, it took water - and lots of it!
But all around this small oasis is a barren, wilderness wasteland. I can walk a few steps from my door and encounter camels grazing in the desert and Bedouins watching their flocks of sheep & goats.
Sometimes, we come to a place in our life where we are living in a spiritual desert or wilderness where we feel dry and lifeless, as the Psalmist, David, wrote in the wilderness of Judah:
O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water. (Psalm 63:1)
The desert can be a scary place - full of spiders and scorpions - tests and trials. God said he led us through the wilderness to test us, to humble us; to see what is in our heart. Nothing like a wilderness experience to show us what is truly hidden in our hearts.
"And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not." (Deuteronomy 8:2)
But Yeshua invites us to come to Him when we are thirsty and drink from the fountain of living waters that He gives; and by this He means the Spirit.
On the last day of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles); at the time when the cohanim (priests) were performing the water libation ceremony at the Temple (simchat beit hasho’eva), Yeshua stood up and called out in a loud voice this invitation:
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; (John 7:37 - 39)
Not only are we promised living waters to satisfy our own thirst; but through the Holy Spirit (Ruach Hakodesh), these waters will also flow out of us as rivers of living water to give life to others who are dying of thirst in the deserts of life.
“The poor and needy seek water, but there is none,
Their tongues fail for thirst.
I, the Lord, will hear them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
I will open rivers in desolate heights,
And fountains in the midst of the valleys;
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
And the dry land springs of water. (Isaiah 41:17-18)
Ein Gedi Upper Waterfalls photo by Ronna Cohen
There are times when we feel desolate and forsaken, even by God; but take heart. God is faithful. He will never leave or forsake us. He will make our wilderness into a pool of water and our dry land into a spring of refreshing to other weary souls.
For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness,
And streams in the desert.
The parched ground shall become a pool,
And the thirsty land springs of water; (Isaiah 35:6-7)
What is the key to keeping this fountain of living waters flowing freely through us? We need to guard our heart from all that would hinder or even block the flow of life.
Guard (protect) your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23)
What kinds of things stop the flow of living waters? Things like resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness, strife, hatred, malice…..
It’s amazing how easily these things can creep into our hearts almost unnoticed. Lately I've been going through some hard stuff. We got barred from a local public café because we were reading some scriptures from the New Testament. I forgave.
Then an English language newspaper I had started writing for the community here got cancelled after the first edition - just like that - without even consulting with me - because the chairman of the organization is an ex-Pastor, ex-missionary, converted to Orthodox Judaism and now hates Messianic believers. I forgave.
Then both my grown children left home and I found myself feeling abandoned, lonely and forsaken. Of course I forgave. They did nothing wrong. That’s what grown kids do; but I could sense something in my heart that didn’t belong.
The Spirit of the living God will not compete for space in a heart filled with unconfessed sin; so I had to pray like David,
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a right spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. (Psalm 51:10-11)
Let us not be like our ancient ancestors who turned away from the Lord, seeking life in things that can never truly satisfy.
“For My people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken Me,
The fountain of living waters,
To hew for themselves cisterns,
That can hold no water. (Jeremiah 2:3)
The broken cisterns of material possessions; of fame and fortune; or even of relationships can never become our source - for only God is the fountain of living waters which can satisfy the deep thirst of our soul and give us eternal life.
Dear God, thank you that You are the fountain of life. Forgive us for seeking after life in stuff or in other people. We come to you, from out of this dry and weary wilderness, to drink of the living waters that only You can supply. Cause our desert places to become beautiful, colorful gardens - full of life. Fill us to overflowing with Your Holy Spirit (Ruach Hakodesh); that not only will our own thirst be satisfied; but that we can become a refreshing pool for others to also find eternal life and rest for their soul. Amen v’amen.