In John 4, Jesus arrives at Jacob’s well in Samaria and sends his disciples off to find food. He knew that the Father had set up an appointment for him, and he wanted to create the space for the encounter.
Shortly thereafter, the woman arrives to draw water for her household, and the encounter ensues. The story is one of those well-worn passages of Scripture from which the average preacher will draw at least 100 sermons over the course of her lifetime, and I am no exception to this rule.
But the component of the story that I wish to draw from today is the end of it. When the woman leaves and Jesus’ disciples return with burgers and fries, he turns down the food, saying, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about!”
Now the disciples are upset; it was their job to bring Jesus food! It’s a case of who done it?
Jesus calms their fears by saying, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to finish his work.”
This is an amazing statement! Jesus here informs his disciples that even his physical body is being nourished by the will of God . . . by the act of obeying the Father and doing the work that he had given him to do!
This is completely contrary to the way the average Christian thinks. I’m not nourished by doing the will of the Father; I’m depleted by doing the will of the Father! After I’ve served and served and served, I’m tired!
It is so easy for us to thinkand in fact, this line of thinking has reached epidemic proportions in the churchthat our service to the Lord is detrimental to our well-being. When we think this way, we begin to put up boundaries to protect ourselves. Boundaries are a good thing when you are dealing with people who do not have your best interests in mind, but there should be no boundaries in our relationship with God!
There should be nothing in my life that is off limits to God! He should have complete and unfettered access to everything!
But we can strive and strive to surrender our lives to God to no avail if we do not focus on changing our way of thinking (which is the definition of repentance). We must begin to believe that God will restore us rather than deplete us, that being with him is an experience of fullness, not emptiness, and that doing his will is beneficial, rather than detrimental.
When we begin to think this way, our hearts naturally open up, our walls naturally come down, and we begin to give God ever-increasing access to all areas of our lives!
Be encouraged today as you seek to learn to trust him in all things and in every place. You’ll find, if you set your heart on doing it, that the will of God brings greater nourishment than the healthiest of foods!