Jesus promised us that we could have “a rich and satisfying life” as a Christian this side of heaven through a relationship with Him. (John 10:10) And this week we will look at the final three roadblocks from John chapter 4 that prevent us from finding a life that satisfies. Take a minute and read this passage again.
Roadblock number five is BUYING INTO DECEPTION. Now, in verses 16-18, Jesus begins to confront the woman’s sinful lifestyle. He says to her, “Go and get your husband.” And she replies, “I don’t have a husband.” Jesus says to her, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband, for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!” This young woman had been deceived into believing a lie, that her “thirst” could be satisfied through a relationship with a man. In fact, she had tried marriage five times, and now had resorted to shacking up with whoever came along! What went wrong? She was looking for love in all the wrong places! She kept running into men, instead of running to God! And all her desperate attempts to find fulfillment in life had left her empty and unsatisfied. Have any of us been deceived into thinking we can substitute relationships, careers, or stuff for God and be satisfied? The truth is, people will disappoint you (even your pastor). Count on it! Our careers will fall short of our expectations. And our toys will eventually lose their appeal. But Jesus promises to satisfy your soul! Listen, if we’re seeking anyone or anything but Jesus to fill the emptiness in our lives, we’re going to be found thirsty!
Roadblock number six is CONFUSION ABOUT WORSHIP. “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshipped?” (vs 19-20).” She got hung up on the place and style of worship. Sound familiar? Churches are constantly dealing with conflict over how and where worship is done, and in the process, worship is completely missed altogether! Have you been part of that? Most of us have! And if the enemy can’t keep us from the truth, he’ll push us past it. If he can get us to focus on our differences in style of worship, he has kept us from focusing on the object of our worship! We need to remember that God loves diversity. He made us differently, and enjoys our different expressions of worship! And if we let ourselves get caught up in our differences, they can become roadblocks that prevent us from ministering to thirsty people at the well who are looking for something that will bring satisfaction!
Roadblock number seven is FAILING TO RECOGNIZE JESUS. “The woman said, ‘I know that Messiah is coming, the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” (vs 25-26). This woman was face to face with Jesus, but couldn’t see Him for all the roadblocks in her life! The very One who could give her everything she ever wanted in life was standing right in front of her, and she missed Him! Then Jesus told her, “I AM the Messiah!” Take a minute and read verses 28-30. Here we see that the roadblocks were finally taken out of the way, and she realizes who was standing in front of her! And what did she do? She left the water behind that had left her thirsty and ran into town to share the living water with those who were still thirsty!
Just like this woman, we need to leave the substitutes in our lives behind us, let God fill us up with Himself, and then let His living water spill over onto others around us who are thirsty! Jesus met this woman right where she was, in the midst of immorality and in the midst of pain. Others had written her off, and she probably had given up on herself as well. If this is you, be encouraged! Jesus is there right in front of you. He’s been there all the time! Won‘t you reach out to Him? He’ll accept you right where you are and love you where you need to be! Let Him take away the roadblocks in your life and replace them with a life that satisfies!