Thirst can be a powerful motivator. When thirsty, a person might do just about anything to quench that thirst. That thirst begins to dominate your thinking, which in turn strongly influences your words, your attitude, and your actions. It leaves you with a “gotta have it no matter what” mentality. What about you? When you find yourself sexually “thirsty” and feeling like you’re going to shrivel up and die if your “need” isn’t met, what do you do? Where do you go to find satisfaction? And why?
Welcome to The Point of Purity Podcast. I’m your host, Steve Etner, Author, National Speaker, and Purity Coach for The Pure Man Ministry. This week we begin a brand-new series focused on the title of our podcast – the Point of Purity. Join us over the next few weeks and months as we dive into God’s Word to discover The Point of Purity and how to get there!
Learn more about the ministry of The Purity Coach at http://www.thepuritycoach.com
Listen to the promise God gives in Isaiah 55:1-3. “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; … Why spend … on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you.” (Isaiah 55:1-3)
I want you to notice God’s personal invitation in this text. He says, “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters!” I have a question for you: Have you ever been thirsty – I mean really, genuinely, “if I don’t get a drink of water soon, I’m gonna die” kind of thirsty? What does it mean to be “thirsty”? Why does a person get thirsty? What is a thirsty person willing to do to quench their thirst? How does this apply to our battle with sexual temptation?
The fact is: thirst can be a powerful motivator. When thirsty, a person might do just about anything to quench that thirst. That thirst begins to dominate your thinking. It leaves you with a “gotta have it no matter what” mentality. Eventually, all you can think about is quenching that thirst. You begin to dedicate all of your time, your energy, your resources, your will toward the goal of abating that nagging thirst.
We read in Exodus 17:3 that the Children of Israel, while in the wilderness, “were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses.” (Exodus 17:3 NIV’84) We see in Numbers 20:2-5 that “there was no water for the community, and the people gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron. They quarreled with Moses and said, ‘If only we had died when our brothers fell dead before the Lord! Why did you bring the Lord’s community into this desert, that we and our livestock should die here? Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to his terrible place? There is no water to drink!”
I find it interesting that the Israelites went to the wrong source to quench their thirst. Instead of going to God they went to Moses and Aaron. Instead of talking with God about their need they complained to men about their wants. Instead of trusting that the Creator of all would meet their real need they moaned and groaned to two men who had absolutely no power, no ability on their own to do anything to fulfill those basest of desires.
What about you? When you find yourself sexually “thirsty” and feeling like you’re going to shrivel up and die if your “need” isn’t met, what do you do? Where do you go to find satisfaction? And why? God said, “my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.” (Jeremiah 2:13)
In what ways does this verse describe you? How have you forsaken God? What “cisterns” have you dug for yourself, and why isn’t it meeting your “need?”
Do you recall how God responded when the Children of Israel griped and complained? Did He get angry with them and wipe them out? Did He respond in kind and grumble about them? Did He strike them with an unbearable curse? No, no and again no. He “gave them bread from heaven for their hunger and brought water for them out of the rock for their thirst.” (Nehemiah 9:15) “He split rocks in the wilderness and gave them drink abundantly as from the deep. He made streams come out of the rock and caused waters to flow down like rivers.” (Psalm 78:15-16) The result? “They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts; he made water flow for them from the rock; he split the rock and water gushed out.” (Isaiah 48:21)
Don’t miss this my friend. Don’t let this miraculous act of grace and mercy blow past you without you grabbing hold of the significance of this event. God provided. God met the need. He did so in an extraordinarily phenomenal way. The water came out of a rock. A rock! The water flowed from that which was incapable of producing that life-giving substance.
In Isaiah 41:17-18 God says, “When the poor and needy search for water and there is none, and their tongues are parched from thirst, then I, the Lord, will answer them. I, the God of Israel, will never abandon them. I will open up rivers for them on the high plateaus. I will give them fountains of water in the valleys. I will fill the desert with pools of water. Rivers fed by springs will flow across the parched ground.” (Isaiah 41:17-18 NLT)
“The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.” (Isaiah 58:11 NLT)
The fact is, my friend, Jesus–only Jesus–is “the bread of life; whoever comes to (Jesus) shall not hunger, and whoever believes in (Jesus) shall never thirst.” (John 6:35). Jesus declared “whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14) Here’s my point: Jesus IS the only source you will ever need! He meets all your needs all the time. He quenches your thirst every time!
In Matthew 6:31-32 Jesus said, “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ (Or who’s going to meet my sexual desires the way I want and need them to be met?) For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.” (Matthew 6:31-32)
God is not a liar (see Numbers 23:19; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18). He not only knows your every need, even before you ask, but God has also promised to “supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) All He wants from you is to simply focus your energy, your attention, your will on pursuing Him and walking in obedience to Scripture. He gives you His word, His unbreakable promise that when you “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
I know that for some of you listening right now, you are finding that hard to believe. You’re hearing the enemy whispering in your ear something like this: “Well, that may be true for Steve, and probably for quite a few others, but my situation is different, my problem and my struggle is unusual, so this Bible stuff doesn’t really apply to me.” As a result, you find yourself pursuing those things that ultimately leave you dissatisfied, unfulfilled, and thirsting for more instead of basking in the satisfaction that God promises to give.
“Jesus stood up and cried out, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.” (John 7:37)
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6)
Consider this next point carefully. You are not thirsting for sexual fulfillment. You are not thirsting for physical satisfaction. You are not thirsting for a pop or rush that those sexual hormones are providing you. Oh, the enemy is working tirelessly to convince you that’s precisely what will quench your thirst. He is devoted to persuading you that is exactly what you’re thirsting for. He’s lying to you. He’s deceiving you. He’s pulling out all the stops to draw you away from the Truth. But that is not what you are truly thirsting for.
Your thirst is for something far different and much deeper. Your soul is searching for that which only God can give. This is why lust, porn, and masturbation are failing to satisfy. This is why sexual sin will never truly meet your deepest need. This is why you keep going back for more, never having that thirst quenched!
“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” (Psalm 63:1)
Let’s take a moment here to revisit Isaiah 55:1-3. God says, “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; … Why spend … on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you.”
Think about the question God is asking. Why “spend” (your time, your energy, your resources) on what does not satisfy? Consider with me for a moment the following questions:
1. What is the difference between spending and investing?
2. How is lust, looking at porn and masturbating “spending” as opposed to investing?
3. Why have you “spent” so much of your time, energy, and resources on those things that are not lasting, not fulfilling, leaves you empty, hungry and thirsting for more? (e.g., sexual impurity)
In this text (Isaiah 55:1-3) God is saying “Listen to Me. Invest your time with Me. Let Me feed you on that which is truly good for you! Let Me fill you. Let Me satisfy you and give you everything you so desperately need! And if you do, your soul (not your flesh–your soul) will delight in the richest of fare.” God has so much more to offer you. More than lust. More than porn. More than masturbation. More than any form of sexual impurity. Far more than anything you could possibly dream or imagine!
How is studying the Bible, meditating on Scripture, talking with God, and walking in obedience to God’s Word “investing” as opposed to spending?
You will know you’re at the point of being purely satisfied when you are daily choosing to invest your time, energy, and resources on living every aspect of your life in a way that honors and glorifies God. All your life for Him–none of it for yourself.
Over the next few weeks and months, I am dedicating the bulk of our podcast to helping you learn how giving up lust, porn, and masturbation while seeking after God wholeheartedly is “eating what is good.” As you discover how to be purely satisfied, you will find yourself “delighting in the richest of fare,” enjoying all that God has to offer in life. You will discover that your “thirst” is being quenched deep down in your soul, and because of that you no longer “need” the lust, porn, self-gratification, sexual fantasy, and all the other substitutes you’ve been trying to live off of.
As we work our way through this series, it is my deepest prayer that you will see that God is sufficient for ALL your needs and desires; and that He alone can fill you with joy and satisfaction. His love for you, and the grace He gives you is grander than anything you can possibly imagine!
Thank you so much for listening to today’s podcast. If this has ministered to you, if this has blessed you, challenged you, or encouraged you I ask you to do two things. First of all – would you please let your friends know about The Point of Purity Podcast. Help us help men and women across the globe win their war for sexual purity and live in freedom.
And if you have not yet subscribed to this podcast, let me encourage you to do so today so you won’t miss any of our upcoming episodes!
So, until next time this is Author, Speaker, and Purity Coach Steve Etner reminding you that if you are going to glorify God in your everyday living, He must first be glorified in your every moment thinking.