Originally posted on the Bibles for America Blog.
Throughout the Bible, numerous verses show us God’s desire for us to take Him in, to drink of Him as the living water. For example, in John 7:37-38 we see that God’s desire for us to drink of Him is so great, Jesus actually stood up and cried out during a feast, issuing a call for people to come to Him and drink:
“Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes into Me, as the Scripture said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.”
So how do we come to Him and drink? Only the Lord Jesus can quench our inner thirst; only He is the living water. He wants us to drink of Him to quench our thirst, and even to drink until rivers of living water flow out of our innermost being to others. But quite often, instead of feeling satisfied and watered, we feel dry and even dead. We may want to drink the living water, but not know how.
How to drink the living water
In Isaiah 12:3-6, we see six ways we can drink Christ as the living water:
“Therefore you will draw water with rejoicing
From the springs of salvation,
And you will say in that day,
Give thanks to Jehovah; call upon His name!
Make His deeds known among the peoples;
Remind them that His name is exalted.
Sing psalms to Jehovah, for He has done something majestic!
Let it be made known in all the earth!
Cry out and give a ringing shout, O inhabitant of Zion,
For great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”
Let’s look at how to practice these six ways to drink the living water.
1. Give thanks to Jehovah
We can drink the living water by thanking the Lord. This is something we can easily do first thing in the morning, before meals, and throughout the day.
It’s healthy for us as Christians to be thankful and to practice thanking the Lord all the time. The Lord Jesus has done so much for us through His death and resurrection, and He cares for all of our needs. We all have so much to thank Him for, and He is worthy to be thanked!
The opposite of being thankful is being unthankful. Second Timothy 3 lists being unthankful with being lovers of self, lovers of money, boasters, arrogant, revilers, disobedient, unholy, without natural affection, and many more negative things. We surely don’t want any of these negative characteristics to apply to us.
Our own experience tells us the more we’re unthankful or complain about things, the dryer we become. Our situation doesn’t improve, and we feel worse and worse. But when we thank the Lord, we’re saved from being unthankful and we take a drink of living water. This water supplies and refreshes us, whatever our outward situation may be.
Being thankful is something we can practice. First thing in the morning, we can say, “Lord Jesus, thank You for another day. Thank You for dying for me, for shedding Your blood for me, and for giving me another day to experience Your grace.” We can continue by thanking the Lord for our health, our family members, our job, and whatever else the Lord touches us to thank Him for.
We can especially thank Him for all He is and all He’s done. We can pray, “Lord, thank You for being the light of the world. Thank You, Lord, for coming to us and loving us. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for being my light and my way. Thank You for Your life in me.”
We can continue thanking the Lord throughout the rest of the day for anything and everything He reminds us to thank Him for. Even simply saying, “Thank You, Lord Jesus,” throughout the day waters us. Every time we utter thanks to Him, we drink of Christ as the living water. It’s like taking a drink from a refreshing spring. Instead of being dry, we’re watered and revived.
2. Call upon His name
The next way to drink revealed in Isaiah 12 is to call upon the Lord’s name. Right after instructing us to give thanks to Jehovah, verse 4 directs us to call upon the Lord’s name.
This may be new to many of us, but calling on the name of the Lord is a practice that’s found throughout the Bible, beginning in ancient times in the Old Testament. It’s first recorded in Genesis 4:26 where it says that at the time Enosh was born, men began to call upon the name of Jehovah.
The practice of calling upon the name of the Lord continues in the New Testament. Acts 7:59 records how Stephen called upon the Lord’s name as he was being stoned. Note 1 on Acts 2:21 in the New Testament Recovery Version is a wonderful and full note tracing this practice throughout the whole Old and New Testaments, and is worth reading.
Today, we can call on the Lord’s name throughout the day by saying, “Oh Lord Jesus,” or “Lord Jesus, I love You.” Each time we audibly call on His name, we drink of the living water.
3. Make His deeds known among the people
We can also drink by making Christ’s deeds known among people. He’s done so much that we can speak to others about! He came to this earth and lived a perfect life; He died for the sins of all mankind; He resurrected and ascended; He became a life-giving Spirit to give us eternal life; and He produced the church as His Body through His death and resurrection.
How wonderful all of this is! And additionally, He is still doing so much in each of our lives! We have so many marvelous things to speak concerning Christ. We shouldn’t be silent; we should tell others about the Lord’s deeds.
We can speak to our neighbors, our classmates, our family, and other people we meet during the day. As we speak to them, we minister Christ to them, and at the same time, we take a life-giving drink. Our making the Lord’s deeds known to others is an effective and wonderful way for us to drink the living water.
Perhaps we feel dry because we haven’t spoken to anyone for a while about Christ. But when we open our mouth to tell someone about Him, we ourselves take a drink and are watered and refreshed by the living water.
4. Remind people that His name is exalted
In addition to telling people about the Lord’s wonderful deeds, we can remind others that Christ’s name is exalted. Philippians 2:9 tells us that Christ’s name is above every name. This is something we can speak to those around us.
We can ask people, “Do you know that Jesus’ name is exalted?” Or we can declare this fact, telling them that Jesus is Lord and that His name is the highest name in heaven and on earth. Even our personal exalting of Jesus’ name, when witnessed by others, will remind them that His is the highest name. When we tell others that the name of Jesus is exalted and that Jesus is Lord, we drink living water from the well of salvation.
5. Sing psalms to Jehovah
Did you know that singing is a way to drink? Opening our mouth and singing hymns to the Lord is one of the best ways to drink from the fountain of living water. As we sing, this fountain begins to well up in us, and even overflows. Singing is such an enjoyable way to drink!
So what should we do? We can sing hymns as we start our day in the morning, we can sing hymns as we drive to work, and we can sing more hymns when we’re with fellow believers. Ephesians 5:19 even instructs us to speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, and also to sing and psalm with our heart to the Lord. The more we sing with our hearts to the Lord throughout our day, the more watered and refreshed we’ll be!
6. Cry out and give a ringing shout
We can drink the water of life by crying out and giving a ringing shout.
Have you ever done this? Many times we pray quietly to the Lord, but have you ever cried out to the Lord and given a ringing shout? If you haven’t, give it a try!
Sometimes we may find it difficult to pray. This can be because our mind is full of thoughts and anxieties. It’s not that God doesn’t hear us when we pray quietly. The problem is more with us. To get through all our mental activity, sometimes we have to shout out loud. We can break through the desert of our mind by crying out and even giving a ringing shout.
A great place to try this is when you’re alone at home or in a car. You can cry out desperately, “Oh Lord, I need You! I need You right now! I’m so dry, and I’m even so dead. Lord Jesus, be my life. I can’t make it without You. Lord, I come to You to drink. Oh Lord, quench my thirst!”
You can also cry out to praise and to thank the Lord, and give a ringing shout by saying loudly, “Praise the Lord! Jesus, You are so good! I love You, Lord Jesus!”
When we cry out like this to the Lord, we get saved from all the thoughts in our mind and take a deep drink of the life-giving Spirit as the water of life.
You can practice these six ways to drink every day. Whenever you feel dry or depressed, you can try thanking the Lord, calling on His name, speaking about Christ to someone, telling someone that Jesus is Lord and that His name is the highest name, singing with your heart to the Lord, or crying out and giving a ringing shout.
You’ll drink Christ as the living water, be refreshed and revived in your Christian life, and even overflow rivers of living water to others.
Praise the Lord, we can drink of Him as the living water every day!
Here’s a link to an enjoyable song based on Isaiah 12:3-6 that you can practice singing to the Lord to drink the living water.
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