Our minds are restless because our God-given intellects seek a purpose. We seek a purpose beyond the pleasure of the moment. We seek a purpose beyond even a lifetime. There exists within us all a divinely-implanted sense of purpose that reaches through the ages, which nothing under the sun can satisfy. Is there any hope of finding that purpose?
Let us observe the contrast between two men of whom the Master spoke.
They both happened to be at the same place at the same time. They were in a temple, so that tells us they were both “in the same place” in another sense: They were each seeking satisfaction, desiring to assuage their inner hunger for that “something beyond” what their day-to-day lives brought them. No doubt, they both wanted to establish that “connection” with their real purpose in existence.
Their methods of seeking satisfaction, however, were profoundly different, and perhaps we will see that that foundation made all the difference in their hope of finding.
One was a religious man - that is, a man who did all the right things outwardly to be a “good person”, and who felt rather smugly that he had made considerable progress in moral attainment. The other man knew better than to think any such thing of himself.
He had no victories to show over issues in his life that regularly pricked his conscience. But, he had a hunger for victory.
One man was quite self-satisfied; the other was dissatisfied. One man was full of presumption and pride; the other was humble, with a much more accurate view of himself before a holy God than the first man had.
The Master stated clearly that only one of the two men found what he was looking for. The boastful sense of possession left the one man empty, while the penitent sense of want sent the other man away full. (Luke 18:9-14)
Could it be, then, that it is our very sense of lack that is the measure of our hope? ------+++++------
The promise indicates a well...
Well over a million people there were. Can you imagine yourself among them there in the desert, with no water? They needed water! Did the Lord lead them out there to make them die of thirst? Would He mock their trust in Him? No! He pledged Himself to give all that they required. He promised them water. “That is the well of which the Lord had said to Moses, Assemble the people together, and I will give them water.” (Numbers 21:16) The promise indicated a well. And sure enough, there in the barren, bleak desert, a well sprang up – and their thirst was abundantly quenched.
We, too, are thirsting. We need fresh supplies for the life of our souls. Has God promised to give, to meet our needs? Yes, of course – many times, over and over again in His Word. Then the promise is itself an indication of the provision. Our Creator will not cheat His creature who trusts in Him, depending upon His truth. The heavenly Father will not break his word to His child. “Being absolutely certain that whatever promise He is bound by, He is able also to make good.” (Romans 4:21, Weymouth)
Therefore, like David, we can plead: “Remember Your word and promise to your servant, on which You have caused me to hope.” (Psalm 119:49) This is a most blessed key to prevailing prayer. Charles Spurgeon wrote: “It is a double argument: It is Thy Word - wilt Thou not keep it? Why hast Thou spoken it, if Thou wilt not make it good? And secondly, Thou hast caused me to hope in it - wilt Thou disappoint the hope which Thou hast Thyself begotten in me?” Let us be encouraged to look for the wells that our gracious God has promised to provide for us.
“The nobles of the people digged it.” (Numbers 21:18) We, too, must dig – He doesn’t reward the idle! We must seek after what He has promised to give. Desire, faith, and effort must be active to obtain, to open the channels for His grace to flow to us. As we fervently seek Him, we will surely discover His wells of water - living water. “They shall not hunger or thirst, …for He who has mercy on them will lead them, and by the springs of water will He guide them.” (Isaiah 49:10) “For the Lamb … will be their Shepherd, and He will guide them to the springs of the waters of Life.” (Revelation 7:17)
“Now, Lord, let the word which You have spoken be established, and do as You have said, ... that Your name (nature, character) may be magnified forever.” (I Chronicles 17: 23-24) When we feel led to put our finger on a promise of Scripture, under the confident impression that God Himself is speaking its message to us personally, we can, in utter faith, take the strong position of humbly pleading this reasonable request: “Do as Thou hast said.” We need only be sure of one thing: that we are in the line of God’s purpose. (Many times we ask for things which are not absolutely promised, and though we persevere in our petitioning, we wonder why the answer does not come.) It is essential that, as on this occasion in the life of David, we be fully persuaded that what we ask is according to God’s will. F. B. Meyer wrote: “There need be no anguish, or struggle, or wrestling; we simply present the check, and ask for cash, produce the promise, and claim its fulfillment; nor can there be any doubt as to its issue.”
Human promises are often worthless, and many a broken promise has left a broken heart. Our loving Father’s promises, however, are “exceeding great and precious” (II Peter 1:4), based on the everlasting faithfulness of God. Since the world began, God has not broken a single one of His promises to those who trust in Him. He has promised to go before us and prepare the path. He has promised that He will never leave nor forsake His own. Scan the promises from beginning to end in His eternal Word, remembering that they are ordered in all things and sure, each bearing the signature of the Almighty. They touch every phase of our lives, and they are our wealth and our security, for they are “Yea and Amen in Christ”. (I Corinthians 1:20) Every promise of His is built on these four eternally solid pillars:
His holiness means He cannot ever deceive;
His goodness and grace keep Him from ever forgetting His children’s needs;
His truth assures that He never changes; and
His matchless power makes Him ever able to accomplish.
O friend, our very thirst, our need - this outreach of our heart for God, is proof that our need will be met. We need no further proof than our very yearning. God will not mock the hope He gives.