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Only in Jesus will we find the true springs of living water. Only He can quench our thirst.
This rule was probably stated more during the training than any other. While there are lots of sports drinks on the market, nothing seemed to quench our thirsts on the runs like water. We were even told to drink at least every 15 minutes just to make it through the training session! As Christians, we also have our own "water" that we must take in daily, the Bible, the Word of God. We may go searching for some of the other "drinks" on the market - the self help books, horoscopes, or New Age philosophy, but only in Jesus will we find the true springs of living water. Only He can quench our thirst. Developing our relationship with Jesus means spending time in the Word. How can we know God and His purpose for our lives if we don't spend time in His Word?
Interestingly, the training program stressed hydrating every day of the week, not just guzzling a lot of water on Saturday or the night before. In fact, when we did this last minute drinking, our bodies rejected the overload and simply "passed it out" as soon as we took it in. So we were not storing up any water and reaping its benefits, but instead we were still dehydrated. Is Sunday the only time we are "hydrating" on the Word and opening up our Bibles? Are we not able to retain the Word only a few moments after leaving church because we're simply performing this overload for a few hours each week? In order for us to be equipped to carry out God's ministry, we must spend time in the Word.
Consider it this way. I have mentioned the group runs and the individual runs. We were told to log individual runs at least twice per week to maintain our endurance level in the training or else our running on Saturday was essentially in vain. Now ask yourself, "Am I depending solely on my "group run" called church on Sunday to get me through? Could I be "stuck" on a sermon from months ago simply because I have negated my responsibility with study during the week and have not moved any further?" We develop our relationship with Christ through our time with Him, in prayer and in the Word. That is how He speaks to us. Have you ever been able to form a deep relationship with anyone based on a 2-hour weekly time period? How can we be in fellowship and relationship with God if we never spend time listening to Him! How can we obey what God is telling us if we don't know what He's saying? I've often heard people say, "God told me this" and they haven't opened up their Bible in years. Is that God or their own desires and selfishness being somehow "justified" by an inner feeling?
Physically, drinking lots of water and staying well hydrated
helps to push toxins out of our bodies. Spiritually, the more we take in the
Word and the less we take in other "stuff", the more readily we can eliminate
sinful thoughts and behaviors from our lives. For instance, in addition to the
water, we were told to watch the foods we ate as we trained for the marathon. In
the same vein, we should watch what we feed our spirits.
Philippians 4:8 instructs us to think on true and honest things. Are you
reading the Word or the Enquirer? Be honest with yourself. Are you listening to
God daily or are you filling up on the wrong things and starving your soul? Make
sure that you stay well hydrated on the living water of the Bible!
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