What I was saying I wanted was different from what I actually needed.
NOVEMBER 2, 2021
Matt Heard: What I was saying I wanted was different from what I actually needed. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
If you’ve suffered too long, under a do more, try harder religion, Key Life is here to proclaim that Jesus sets the captives free. Steve invited Matt Heard to teach us all this week. Matt is a speaker, teacher, writer, pastor coach, and the author of Life with a Capital L.
Matt Heard: Matthew thank you. Well, we’re fully into our week now and all the stuff is happening. And in the midst of that, let’s take a few moments and hit the pause button and reflect on, as we started talking about yesterday, how thirsty we are. It’s something that’s always there. I use the German word that CS Lewis taught me, sehnsucht that deep yearning and longing and ache. And we’re taking a look at Jesus’ conversation with a woman by a well in Samaria. And they’re talking about that very thing. If you’ve got a Bible handy, why don’t you turn to John chapter four. And if you don’t just listen carefully along, I’m going to read verse 10, as they’re having this discussion, she’s drawing water from the well, and Jesus says.
“If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would would’ve asked him and he would have given you living water.”
Now, skip down a couple of verses to verse 13.
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.” And so the woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
And so, she’s beginning to warm up to this idea of water, but she hasn’t fully embraced the metaphor that Jesus is talking about, but she’s about to find out, verse 16 says.
He told her, “Go call your husband and come back.” “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right, when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
Now, remember this woman had been married five times, she’s living with a guy, she’s trying to address something deep within her, but the judgmental, legalistic crowd might say, that a boy, Jesus, let her have it. They think that he’s leading her down shame alley, sending her on a guilt trip. He’s doing nothing of the sort, he’s loving her, he’s not judging her, but he’s also, when we love somebody, we care about their journey. And so, he’s really using words like a surgeon would use a scalpel. And he’s wanting to operate on what her compass is and what it’s pointing to, saying it will be something that will satisfy her. He’s really exposing her go to. And at that time it was men and marriage, for any number of different reasons, she was saying, okay, I’ve got to keep going after marriage and men, because that’s what’s going to address some of my deepest longings that we talked about yesterday. And it wasn’t working. And Jesus is wanting to expose that to her because we’ve got to come around ourselves and say, you know what I’m doing in my life, trying to address my thirst is not working. That’s a powerful moment if we humble ourselves and get to that point and say, you know, Henry David Thoreau, once wrote.
Many men go fishing all their lives without knowing it’s not fish they are after.
We all have these pursuits that we’re involved in, in our lives. And we think those pursuits are going to address our thirst. One time, I was in Paris and I was learning French a little bit and I was sitting at a neighborhood cafe on the sidewalk there, and the waiter comes up and I wanted a glass of water and some Coke. So, the first thing I ordered was the Coca-Cola because it felt comfortable with my French pronunciation of Coca-Cola and I forgot to order the water. So, the guy came back, the waiter, he had put a bottle of Coke in front of me in a glass. And I said, merci, I felt pretty good about my pronunciation of that. But then I tried to, in French, I asked him for a glass of water and he looked at me and nodded, said oui. But before he left, he actually took the bottle of Coke and poured some in the glass. And I said, merci, that was kind of him. So, he went off and he came back by the table a couple of times and he hadn’t brought my water. So. I did an excusez moi, and I asked him, would you please bring me a glass of water? And he looked pretty perturbed and took the Coke before he left to get the water and poured some in the glass and then put it down and went about his business. He passed the table a couple more times, still hadn’t brought the water. So, I asked him one more time and the guy lost it. I mean, he started saying stuff that wasn’t in my French dictionary, but I could fairly well figure out what some of those words meant. And he swept his arm across where the Coke was, he grabbed that bottle and began sloshing it in the glass saying all of this stuff, slammed it down, stormed off, everyone’s looking. And I’m wondering, man, he is having a bad day. I was trying to figure out what has gone wrong here? I’ll fast forward. I was using a French dictionary that was probably too cheap and my French knowledge, my knowledge of the French language was probably not good enough because what I had done, is I had picked the verb water, meaning to pour. And so, what I was asking the guy without knowing it, as I was saying, would you pour my Coke. And so, he’s thinking this lazy American doesn’t want to pour his own Coca-Cola, so I’ll pour it for him. So I laughed. He came by, explained what I’d done. He didn’t laugh. He actually got somebody else to take care of me, from that point on. But what was going on there is, what I was saying I wanted, was different from what I actually needed. And we’ve all got longings, they’re embedded in us, as image bearers. Where we begin to differ is the pursuits that we come across, that we adopt, that we put in our list of things to do, that will satisfy those longings. Now, I’ve got to go deep with my longings. You need to go deep with your longings. And the reasons, a superficial engagement with our longings will lead to a superficial engagement with the Gospel. So, when we go deep with our longings, we’ve got to accompany that with a depth regarding the Gospel. That’s some of what we’re doing this week. So, let’s take this step. Think about all your pursuits and for this woman, it was men, it was marriage. And she was trying to address those longings we talked about yesterday, like for significance and identity and intimacy. What are you doing in your life? Let me give you a few pursuits, like relationships, work, hobbies, sports, addictions, eating, art, church, politics, stealing, volunteering, boyfriends, girlfriends, parenting, fame, porn, social media, trolling, religion, drinking, vacations, shopping, sex, collecting, making money, spending money, giving money, success, possession, social causes, selfish causes. That list goes on and on as well. And you’re hearing good stuff in that list and not so good stuff. And then downright sinful stuff. But all of those are pursuits that we will go to. And, you know, we don’t all do all those pursuits, but we all have some, and we’re doing those pursuits thinking that they will quench our soul thirst, they’ll address those deeper longings. God says in Jeremiah chapter two, verse 13, he says, my people have committed to sins, number one, they have forsaken me the spring of living water. There’s that phrase, living water that Jesus also used. And then he says, secondly, they’ve dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. Now a cistern was a water container, in ancient Israel, it would have been made out of stone or pottery. It’s basically a canteen and he’s saying my people. He’s not saying, Hey, people that despise me. He’s talking about my people. He’s talking about you and me. He says, there are two things that we walk in danger, number one, we turn our back on the spring of living water and we dig our own cisterns, broken cisterns that can’t hold water. So, when Jesus is saying, go get your husband and come back, he’s exposing the brokenness of that cistern, that she had been using as a pursuit to satisfy your ultimate longings. He’s saying, you know, nothing wrong with men and marriage, but you can’t go to men and marriage to quench the thirst that only I can address and satisfy. So, for her, it was go get your husband and come back, for you and me. It might be, go get your golf clubs and come back. Go get your job titles, your degrees, especially the theological degree and come back. Go get your addiction, your house keys, your car keys, you know, that dream boat, those boat keys or the beach house keys and come back. Go get your volunteering, schedule, your porn, your drugs, your girlfriend, your boyfriend, your spouse, your kids, your carefully picked neighborhood. And again, he’s not judging us, he’s saying, get those things and let’s lay them before them. And let’s really take a look, are they addressing your deepest thirst? Arizona, a few years ago, I read about some folks in a shopping center and they watched as 30 brown pelicans landed on the asphalt and it was awful. They were tumbling over and bruised, broken, but they finally figured out what had happened. There was a drought in California. It’s where these pelicans had come from, they could tell that from the tag. And those pelicans, had seen a mirage in the heat of Arizona and they thought they were landing on water, they needed water. I know what that feels like. You probably do too, where we go after stuff and it causes us more damage than we were before because we’ve gone to a broken cistern. Evaluate your cistern, your pursuits, and let’s say, let’s to back to the source of living water. And as a result, I hope you thrive today.
Thanks Matt. That was pastor and author, Matt Heard, continuing to teach us about that deep longing inside us, through the story of the woman at the well. Matt will be back to continue his teaching tomorrow. Hope you’ll join us again then. Let me ask you, what’s your favorite holiday? And for some people it’s the birthday, classic choice. Of course, there’s Christmas too, National Taco Day, but for me it has to be the holiday at the end of this month, Thanksgiving. But here’s the thing, while it’s easy to give thanks when things are going well, it’s a different situation when things are going bad. You may even be wondering, how are we supposed to do that? How are we supposed to give thanks when our life is just a parade of pain and disappointment? Well, that’s actually an honest question and Steve has addressed it in a message called The Principle of Praise. If what I just said has grabbed you, then you are the one we would like to send this CD to, today. Would you do this, call 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. And ask for the CD called The Principle of Praise. You can also e-mail your request to Steve@keylife.org. And if you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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