Spiritual Dehydration


Spiritual Dehydration

My symptoms of muscle cramping, dry skin and eyes, headaches, dry mouth, constipation, and aching joints grew worse each day. I could not understand what was wrong with me. My mother-in-law was suffering similar symptoms when someone suggested that she was probably dehydrated. She started drinking more water and her symptoms disappeared. It occurred to me that dehydration might be my problem as well. I started drinking more water, and most of my symptoms were relieved in one day. Hydration is vital.

Seventy-five percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Every cell in the human body requires water. The male body is 60% water and the female body is 50% water. Even mild dehydration can alter our mood; impair memory, and cause headaches and constipation. Severe dehydration can even lead to death.

Water is mentioned in the Bible 480 times in the NIV translation from Genesis 1:6 to Revelation 22:17. You will find water in the very first chapter and the last chapter of the Bible!

I believe we can become spiritually dehydrated as well. The Psalmist described it this way; “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul longs after You, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Ps. 42:1-2 NIV).

Jesus declared himself as the only cure for spiritual dehydration. “Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life”’ (John 4:13-14 NIV). The temple priests did a ceremony on the final day of the Feast of Tabernacles where they paraded a large golden pitcher filled with water from the Pool of Siloam back to the Temple in Jerusalem. At the climax of this event, Jesus stood in front of the large crowd gathered and made a declaration. “On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them”’ (John 7:37-38 NIV). Jesus wanted to make it perfectly clear that physical water alone will not satisfy the thirsty soul.

There is an oasis with fresh, life-giving water called En Gedi in the Judean Desert. Our En Gedi is Jesus, but we can be an En Gedi to others as well. Absence of God’s presence makes one spiritually thirsty. I was in the lobby of our church one Sunday after the service when I noticed a guy who looked familiar. His physical appearance revealed that life had been a hard road for him. Suddenly, it dawned on me who he was and I called out his name. (At one time I had been his Pastor). It took him a few seconds to recognize me, but when he did, he cried out in a loud voice, “Kevin! I can’t believe it’s you!” He wrapped his arms around me and nearly squeezed the life out of me. He was crying as he kept saying, “It’s so good to see you brother! I’ve been through hell! I can’t believe it’s really you!” Honestly, I was getting a little self-conscience as dozens of people past by staring quizzically at us in the lobby. Finally he let go and we talked a while as he told me how his life had spiraled downward since I had last seen him. While I contemplated his extreme reaction to our reacquaintance, I came to realized that I was his En Gedi. He had been in a spiritually dry desert for a long time. Seeing me that morning reminded him of a time when he walked closer with God. While he was hugging me tightly he was drinking from the living waters within me. He was desperate to fill his thirsty soul. Proverb 25:21 says, “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink”(NKJV).

The great news is, there will come a day when we will no longer physically or spiritually thirst. “Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 7:15-17 NKJV).