Words Taught By the Spirit
O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Every one who finds himself lost in a “dry and weary land” will experience physical thirst. But what about the soul? Is the Psalmist speaking about our physical need for water only?
When Jesus was passing through the parched land of Samaria, He came upon a woman at a well near the town of Sychar. While resting there, He asked this woman for water. When she questioned Him, He begins to speak figuratively about a different kind of “living water” that will become “a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14).
At first, the woman is confused, but soon she realizes to whom she is speaking and goes away to tell her townspeople to “come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” (John 4:29).
Jesus uses figurative language to reveal a spiritual truth that remains the same in all places and times. We need to satisfy the thirst of the heart with the living water of the Spirit that is freely offered by God to all who will ask to drink it. The language of this world cannot adequately express the spiritual truth behind Jesus’ words, which is why he uses figurative speech when revealing a spiritual truth.
Paul, speaking about the power of the Holy Spirit, says, “The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. . . . This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:10, 13–14).
—Eric Kampmann, Signposts