Chugging Down Saltwater
Have you ever read words, listened to a message, or heard a friend say something that seemed fairly usual to them, but on the contrary caused you to literally freeze? I mean, caused you to take the kind of pause that blocks everything else? That’s how I felt as I sat in my living room and read this in my devotional, “Saltwater looks and feels like fresh water, but if you drink it for any length of time it kills you… we are dying of thirst because we drink from alternative wells, chugging down saltwater instead of freshwater. Our souls long for living, fresh water, only found in Christ.”
I can’t believe that whoever wrote that had the nerve to continue writing more! Did they not consider that those few lines were all I needed to hear?! I believe this feeling is the work of the Holy Spirit, in the life of the believer and the power that woos the unbeliever to the Lord, God’s gracious way of drawing us closer to Him. These words roused my senses and pricked my heart because the Lord had something to say to me.
I penned these words to conferees at Impact 10 around this time last year:
“If you’re anything like me, you’ve tried to forgo God’s offer to fight for you at least once. There’s just something about the human nature that prefers “my will be done” over “thy will be done.” After several attempts of making my own will central, I’ve realized two things: God’s plan is always best and I need Jesus for everything!”
As I reflect on that one year later I’m thinking, “Did I write that? Did I digress within the year?” The past year has been one of the roughest that I recall. I’ve avoided God in many areas where I’ve felt that He has disappointed me in many things like rough spots and losses in meaningful relationships, asking Him to heal ailing, close family members, to utter dissatisfaction with my season of life and a lack of excitement for what His plan may have to offer.
I did the worst thing I could do in these scenarios. I stopped confiding in Jesus and started drinking saltwater. I think I knew God’s will was best, I was just too afraid of how painful his best might be for me. So, I just avoided addressing the real issues in my heart with God.
But, here’s the truth, even if we are uncertain we’ll like God’s will, He desires that we come to Him, truthfully and drink from His well. Psalm 51 says the God desires truth in our inner part, our heart. What a powerful and gracious God we serve! Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we have peace with God. We can go to Him with how we really feel. And guess what? God can handle our feelings.
He’s not going to walk out of the prayer closet and slam the door and tell us not to talk to him anymore. He’s not going to through a tantrum and say, “You’re not my real friend,” “He’s not going to start crying uncontrollably and fail to be able to lead and guide us through his tears. He is GOD, the fresh, living water for which we all thirst. He is the REMEDY!
We hope that through the power of the Holy Spirit, your experience at Impact 11: The Remedy would lead you to fresh, living water, only found in Christ. There are many saltwater remedies. Instead of taking in God’s truth and communion with Christ for the ailments of life, many, including me, take different meds prescribed by our world. Some take frivolous conversations, fantasizing, or sex for loneliness. Some take TV or food for disappointment and emptiness. Some take gossip, materialism, and busyness for insecurity, anxiety, and hopelessness.
These false remedies never satiate us like truthful, unadulterated fellowship with Christ. I pray that this conference serves a tool to help all see Christ Jesus as the one true Remedy! Trust me; I’ve tried it both ways and I’m experiencing that facing the pain or ailments with The Remedy is 100 times better than avoiding it without Him.
Written by: Erin Burton
Impact 11 Conference Director
Impact 2004 Alumnus