TD Jakes - The Thirst Collision
Thirst is the physiological signal that God allows to erupt in the cranium to remind you that water is important. I'm gonna take my time with this. Thirst is the discomfort that God allows the brain to interpret as a sign that you need water. Thirst is not water, nor is it the need for water. It is the reminder that something is missing out of your body that requires water, and it is the passion that makes you willing to take a walk to get it. And the human body is comprised of 70% water.
I could do without food much longer than I could do without water. There is not a part of my body that does not need water. Water is the highway that hydrates my kidneys, my liver, my lungs, my tissues, my joints, my cells. It is the backup system that fuels and invigorates and motivates me, and I can go without lunch, and I can go without breakfast, and I can go without dinner, and I can even go several days and maybe weeks without breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but I cannot survive without water. I cannot survive without water. I have to have water. I have to have water.
I have to have water, and so God gave me thirst to remind me that I have to have water, that water is not optional. And amidst all the soft drinks and all the cool drinks and all the sports drinks and all the coffee and the teas and the green teas and the black teas and all the other teas, there comes a point in your life that your body says, "None of that will do. I simply need some water, not colored, not flavored, not anything else. I need water", 'cause my lungs won't work right, and my knees won't bend right, and my eyes won't see right, and my skin won't appear right if I don't have water.
But thirst is the trip switch that reminds me of a need I would have whether I had a desire for it or not. Thirst is the desire for what I need, and I thought it was interesting that when Jesus waits at the well for the woman to come down to the well they have a conversation not just about water, not just about hydration, but they have a conversation about thirst. And Jesus says not, "Hello". Not, "What's up"? Not, "You look cute". Not, "What's up with you coming down here this late"? Jesus waits for her to get down to the well to make a startling confession, a startling confession.
The curious conversation of Jesus with this woman, the scandalous moment of this conversation, the opportunistic moment of this conversation has made this woman suspicious. "Why is this man hanging around at the well? Men don't go to the well to get water. This is a place where women hang out. What's up with this dude at the well? Come to hit on me"? This is a tag line. Makes no sense. It's like, "Do you have a light"? It's so hard to talk to church people 'cause they're so phony. They won't admit that they know what a tag line is, and they sitting up there looking all funny like they have never heard a pick-up line in their life.
Jesus's line, of which she suspected, was a pick-up line, 'cause she responded to him by saying, "You know y'all don't have no dealings with folks. What are you doing down here talking to me being a woman of Samaria"? His pick-up line is a shocking line. It is a line that will cause great controversy if I did not have the support of Scriptures. His pick-up line, his pick-up, his start-up, the initiator of the entire conversation, this very interesting, curious conversation of Jesus starts with something that if I said it without Scripture, I would lose my license and all the preachers would write blogs about me, and they would add it to the list of the other hateful things they say about me. But since Jesus said it, it is safe to say he said to the woman who came down by the well, "I thirst".
If I were to tell you that Jesus thirsts without Scripture to support it, you would accuse me of heresy. "Oh, he can't thirst. He's the all-sufficient one. He can't thirst. He has all things. He's the Creator of all things", and yet Jesus starts the conversation with, "I thirst". This is more than, "Do you have a light"? because Jesus cannot lie. He says to the woman, "I thirst". We will not hear him say this again until they have hung him high and stretched him wide and pierced his hands and feet with nails, and then in the throes of the clutches of death itself, against a cascading darkness behind an alabaster sky we will hear his parched lips open once again and say, "I thirst".
The problem with his thirst is that we do not notice the power of his confession because of the magnitude of her own dilemma. "I thirst", is a confession of God who has everything and can do anything. "I thirst. I am driven to the well like you. You came to the well because something clicked off in your head that said, 'I am thirsty,' and I came to the well because something clicked off in my head that said, 'I am thirsty,' and it is the thirst that drives me to the water". It is not the water. It is what drives me to the water.
Come on, stay with me, 'cause I'm headed somewhere, and if you don't follow me you're gonna get lost. It is something that drove me to the well. I shocked all my staff. They don't understand why I'm sitting at the well. I sent them down there to get groceries and here I am sitting at the well waiting on this one woman. I waited on you. I waited on you. I waited on you because I thirst, and you need me because you're thirsting, and it is our thirst and the collision of thirst that brought us together, and I got to show you how thirsty you are. Ooh, I feel something about to break loose in this place.
Thirst is the trip switch that tells you that you're not hydrated, that you need something, that something is missing out of your life, that you need something that you're not getting, and so Jesus, before he can deal with his thirst, must deal with hers. And her propensity to fulfill that thirst with the culmination of this present world has led her to religion, a dead, dysfunctional religion, a religion with a lot of dogma that created self-righteousness and superiority, a religion that made her wanna get into a theological argument with the Master at the well, a religion that was not fulfilling nor satisfying, and yet she pledged allegiance to something that had not quenched her thirst.
Had her religion quenched her thirst, she would not have had so many men. So Jesus eradicates the myth of her theology by telling her, "You don't even know what you're doing in the mountain. Your people worship in the mountain ye know not what". You don't have a clue what you're doing in all of your ceremonies and your religiosity, and you're going to your grandmother's church 'cause your grandmother baked the first sweet potato pie in the church. You have not noticed that you have pledged allegiance to something that is dysfunctional and the dysfunction is showing up in your behavior. I'm gonna cut deep. I'm gonna cut deep. I'm not sure you can handle this.
See, you think you're horny, but the reality is you're thirsty. I warned you. I warned them. That's all I can do, is warn you. That's all I can do, is warn you. I warned you. You should have gotten the kids out of the room. I'm sorry. I told ya. I warned you. You've had five men, and the one you got now ain't yours. And the reason you hop from bed to bed and man to man and woman to woman and situation to situation is because you're not being hydrated.
Jesus, who told her he was thirsty, now admits he has water, and he says, "Woman, if you drink from the water that I have", check this out, "you will never thirst again". And she says... yeah, I'mma preach it, baby. I promise. She says in a moment of humility, and it took her a while to be humble because she was one of those slip-neck sisters... And so half of the story was spent trying to get past her mouth. It takes God much longer to get past your mouth because you like your story better than his. You have to give up on your story to get to his story and, finally, in a moment of contrition and humility she humbles herself, stops being suspicious of him, and in all humility she said, "Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not. I'm tired of coming here for a drink".
This is the impetus of real worship. Real worship is not provoked by banners or singers or praise leaders or dancers or trumpets. Real worship is born out of thirst, thirst, and the reason that some people come to church and still don't worship is because they do not associate worship with water, so they see worship as something to get out of the way. "Let's get it out of the way so we can get to something that's intellectual, 'cause I wanna hear the Bishop teach", because what you think you need is intellectual stimulation, but what you really need is water, because you are thirsty.
You are mean to your wife because you are thirsty. You treat your dog like a doll because you are thirsty. You snap off on your husband because you are thirsty. You're angry with him because he wasn't your messiah, and yet you stand in front of the Messiah and there you are right in front of everything you ever thirst for and there she is in front of Jesus telling him about Jesus, 'cause you're smart enough to know about him, but not smart enough to drink from him, so she stands in front of Jesus and says, "There is a Messiah coming". And Jesus said, "I that speak unto thee, I'm he".
If you'd stop teaching a minute, you could learn something. God, help me. God, help me to peel past all of the junk that we put up to camouflage the fact that we are thirsty. God, help me to tear down all the mask and the disguises we wear to camouflage the fact that we are thirsty. God, give me the grace this morning to destroy the yoke that stands between me and my assignment this morning, because somebody is thirsty. Anoint me to break through that wall that makes you think that what you thirst for will be satisfied in the arms of anyone other than Jesus, so you can stop running past Jesus running into arms that fail you, running past arms that have been there for you because you thirst.
There is a deal God makes with Adam in the creation, and it is simply this. "Adam, I will be your God, but I will not be your wife. I will give you a companion. They will be your companion, but they will never be your God". If you stop making gods out of companions and then being bitter because we didn't live up to an assignment that we are not capable of, I can be your husband, but I can't be your God. He can be your God, but he can't be your husband, if we can ever untangle them two things, because you want me to be your God and never fail you. God, who had Adam, said, "It is not good for man to be alone".
Wait a minute. Man isn't alone. He's got you. God says, "Yes, he got me, but I won't be his wife". Let the wives be the wives and let the gods be the gods. But you have been confusing the two, and so you make god out of men, and you give them your body, but you have never fully worshipped because you treat God like you ought to treat the man. You left Sychar and came down from Sychar, down to the well to get the water.
You have to leave something to get something and the reason church doesn't work for some people is because you come to church but you never left home. You won't leave you. I don't care who sings, I don't care who praises, I don't care how they worship, and you will sit there with your stage self and tell me, "That's just how I am". And I'm telling you that is the problem. Until you leave how you are, you cannot have an encounter, you cannot focus on the geographical location and miss the spiritual location of connecting with God, because God is waiting for you in the spirit.
And if you think you are thirsty for him, let me tell you how thirsty he is for you. Let me tell you how thirsty he is for you. Let me tell you how long he waited for you while you served idol gods, while you chased money, while you had to work on Sundays, while you could get double time if you worked on Sundays, while you went after the God that gave you the strength to do the job. You ignored him for the opportunity that the job gave you, while you waxed the car on Sunday that God gave you, and now your house is too nice. You didn't feel like getting out of the bed.
Let me tell you how God waited for your lazy, trifling self. I'll take you on this morning. I'm not scared. I'll take you on. Somebody throw your hands up and say, "I thirst". I thirst, I thirst, I thirst. You see, I want you to get this 'cause you're smart, and you're young. I want you to understand that thirst is uncomfortable, that thirst is painful, but thirst is important. It reminds you that something in your body is lacking and water is to the body what worship is to the spirit. The reason the body craves water is because it's made of water. You need what you're made of.
Oh, come on with me. Come on with me. Come on with me. Deep calls unto deep. Like calls unto like. You crave what you're made of. Let me tell you something. You are not a body. You have a body. You are a spirit and spirit needs spirit and that's why God is waiting on you in the spirit to get tired of your flesh and tired of your pride and tired of your mouth and tired of your opinion and leave the city of your flesh and come down to the well of the Spirit. The writer didn't write the story about the water. He's trying to tell you about the spirit and the first 20 verses are talking about water just so that he can bring you into God is a spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in Spirit and in truth.
Oh, he said, "If you're gonna meet me, you gotta be in Spirit", which means you can't be in flesh and in the Spirit. You gotta get your water pots and leave your flesh and come down into the Spirit and seek his face. Knock and the door shall be opened. Seek and ye shall find. Ask and it shall be given.
And God says, "I'm gonna keep making you uncomfortable until I get your attention. I'm gonna keep sending you signals. I'm gonna send signal after signal. I'm gonna disrupt your life until you recognize that it's me that you need. It's me that you're craving. It's me that will heal that child in you. It's me that will touch that little boy in you. It's me. It's not her. It's not him, it's me". Lift your hands and open your mouth if you're thirsty.