“So Set Free”
In man’s journey thru this saga called life, the tentacles of death do not cease in their efforts to cause man to stray from the path ordained of GOD. Thus, man frequently finds himself in the unenviable predicament of knowing that only GOD’S righteousness will suffice, but being ignorant of, or unwilling to loose himself from death’s ways. Far too much of man’s brief time on earth is spent in pursuit of things which we later determine to be of little or no value. Society has erroneously taught us that driving a certain vehicle, or living in a certain home, or neighborhood means that, “we’ve made it”. So we work, and stress ourselves to the point of catastrophe, in order to acquire those things which cannot satisfy. As a matter of fact, our accumulation of material possessions leaves us mired in such incredible debt, that we’re usurped of the energy and drive which is necessary to follow after the pertinent things. Yes, our spiritual lives wax un-maintained, as we pour our very beings into the pursuit and retention of material things. We can’t come to Bible study, because we’re so up against our credit limits, that we’re compelled to take on second jobs; we regularly miss Church, as the 58 hour work week has left us dangerously devoid of energy. All the while, JESUS stands majestically available, saying in Matthew 11:28-30: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light”. We perpetually seek satisfaction in things which can only, at their best, disappoint, while the spirit of He, who died, or rather is risen from the dead, stands knocking at the doors of our hearts, magnificently willing to sit at the table of fellowship with the sons of men. Only fellowship with GOD liberates men from the lustful desires of more, bigger, and better; only fellowship with GOD destroys the yoke of bondage which has held men captive for far too long. Yes, for far too long have we allowed the cares of this present world to prohibit us from following after righteousness, thereby strengthening death’s hands around our spiritual necks. But let not your hearts be troubled today: JESUS came to set free all who are held captive! And whom the SON sets free, is free indeed. So set free, that we can live in obedience to GOD, without being entangled with the pitfalls of this worldly system; so set free that GOD is truly sitting on the throne in our lives, and all that we do is meant to give glory to HIM; so set free that all who name the name of CHRIST can proclaim, in the words that Dr. Martin Luther KING so prophetically spoke nearly a half century ago: “Free at last, free at last. Thank GOD almighty, we’re free at last!
(1): Your blessing might arrive in a way you don’t expect:
The Samaritan woman which encountered JESUS as she went to get water, was, as are many Christians, carnal minded. Her first words to JESUS, indicated that she expected her deliverance to be packaged in a certain way. Oftentimes, we do likewise in our interactions with others: “I’m a Baptist”; ”He/she can’t tell me anything, I was doing this before he was born”. “How can he help me, when he can’t help himself”? You never know how, or by what means, GOD is going to send your blessings. Hebrews 13:2 tells us: “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares”. That person with the big name, and reputation, may not be carrying the words that lead to your deliverance. We, who are Christians, should have graduated from looking on the outward appearance. If you’re Kingdom minded, you’re looking on the heart. We need to stop “dissin” people, based on the flesh. That person who you write off, as having a big bag of nothing, may be the one who has to bring you a glass of water someday. That child who you’ve concluded “will be like his no good daddy”, could be the one to break that generational curse of poverty from upon your family.
(2): Seeking fulfillment from the world leaves you ever thirsty: JESUS told the woman in question that, “Whoever drinks of the water at the well whence they sat, would be thirsty later on”. But if they received what he had to give, they’d thirst no more. Thus GOD is telling HIS people on this day, to seek to be filled with the spirit of GOD. The Bible tells us in Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled”. All that the world offers, is designed to keep one coming back for more; not for your benefit, but for the benefit of those who are in the position of feeding it to you. Things of the flesh, which makes you feel good, ultimately lead to destruction. Proverbs 14:12 tells us: ”There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death. Drugs, alcohol, sex, and all of the works of the flesh, causes the participants to feel good for a while. But those things, and this list is not all inclusive, can, and will so turn your world upside down, and inside out, that you’ll ultimately cuss the day you were born. Let me tell you pointedly, young people:
there is no fulfillment except from The LORD!
(3) GOD knows the true you:
The woman in our text was amazed that JESUS told her exactly what she was working with. That’s the amazing thing about JESUS, he deals with you on whatever level you’re on. JESUS knew what the woman needed, knew her lifestyle, and finally, that one, by chance encounter with JESUS, turned this woman, with a checkered background, into a preacher. And I want you to know this morning, that GOD knows the you, that you don’t want others to see. GOD knows what you do when you think no one is looking. Many times, people try to project a certain image, knowing all the time, they need to seek GOD for deliverance. You may be able to fool others sometime, but you can’t fool yourself, and you can not fool GOD. Only GOD can make something wonderful out of what we allow our lives to become. The Bible said that the woman in our text went and told the men in the city (It seems that she was pretty popular amongst the men) to “come and see a man that told me all that I ever did“. And, If you’ll be honest with yourself, and honest with GOD, GOD will turn your whole life around. When men can’t see past the façade that you go to great lengths to project, GOD sees the heart.
We find that a particular woman, with a checkered background, encountered JESUS as she went about her normal daily activities. And no matter what your daily activities consist of, you need to encounter JESUS along the way. GOD has placed within each of us, a void which can only be filled by the indwelling of the spirit of GOD. After a few payments, the new car’s smell, and excitement are long gone; the new house isn’t so special once the mortgage is due, accompanied by increased utilities; “Big Juicy” isn’t so beautiful, after a few hurtful arguments. But once the truth is revealed, all of the devil’s lies are done away with. JESUS said, I am the way, the truth and the life; No man cometh to the Father except by me. It’s not new things that your soul is crying out for; it’s a closer walk with The LORD. The old song said: “Just a closer walk with thee;
Grant it, JESUS, is my plea,
Daily walking close to thee,
Let it be, dear LORD, let it be.
I am weak, but thou art strong;
JESUS, keep me from all wrong;
I’ll be satisfied as long
As I walk, let me walk close to
Our flesh seeks new toys, while our souls seek a closer walk with GOD; Our flesh only wants the temporal, but our souls thirsts for the eternal. JESUS promises us, that if we’ll seek after eternal things, he’ll provide it, and also he’ll give us our earthly desires, thus making us free from the tentacles of death.