I was browsing through my Facebook feed last week and I stumbled upon a post from a Sunday school leader in my home town. The statement caught my attention and left me with some things to chew on for a few days. It was a post packed with the power set people free. It went something like this...
"If you are being judged by others for your past
do not be afraid to make them apart of your past"
Can I get an AMEN!?!
When I read this my mind went directly to the encounter that Jesus had with the Samaritan woman at the well. Follow along with me in John 4:1-26;39-42(NLT), pay attention to the dialogue between Jesus and the dear Woman...
"... and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. 7 Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” 8 He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.
9 The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans.[b] She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman.
Why are you asking me for a drink?”
10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”
11 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”
13 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
15 “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”
16 “Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her.
17 “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied.
Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband— 18 for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!”
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. 20 So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim,[c] where our ancestors worshiped?”
21 Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. 23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
25 The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus told her, “I AM the Messiah!”
I would be willing to bet we have all found ourselves in her shoes. Broken. Hurt. Hungry. Weary. Used. Betrayed. Lost. She was a Harlot from Samaria, wondering in a dry land, and a slave to her flesh. And she thirst. But our Jesus had just the Water that she was in need of. Deep from the well of love she drew her first refreshing drink. A drink filled with forgiveness. What a moment of brokenness that must have been. While the world she lived in saw her as less than and below, Jesus lifted her up and called her His.
Maybe you, like the Samaritan Woman are wondering around in a dry, empty land surrounded by people who view you as beneath, dirty, and hopeless. Dear Woman, it is time to look UP! Look up to the one who views you as forgiven, lovely, cleansed, pure and HIS! Sister, this is not the time or the season to be trampled on, it is the time to rise up and call yourself what you are...you are the DAUGHTER of the MOST HIGH GOD and you belong to the King! In HIM is where you find your worth and in Him is where you find your value. Do not let others put you in the places of your past...you allow your SAVIOR to lift you up into the places of HIS presence!
39 Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!” 40 When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days, 41 long enough for many more to hear his message and believe. 42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves.
Now we know that he is indeed the
Savior of the world.”
Savior indeed! And NOW they knew...because of one dear Woman who had a past!
AMAZING GRACE! What an example of pure love. Our God of grace found the most unlikely woman in the village to shine light on the Savior of the World. If a woman of such emptiness can be lifted up, radically changed and used to save a village, dear friends His GRACE is sufficient for you and for me! And by the way, did you catch that part about TRUE WORSHIP? Our Messiah knew that He could touch the Woman at the well in such a radical way that she would become a TRUE WORSHIPER...one who would worship with her heart and not with her lips, one who would worship in truth and honesty, no longer to hide behind her sins. She had been set free. Forgiveness came easy to her. Forgiveness though grace comes easily still, and is given in abundance freely.
Isn't it good to know that we are not defined or judged by our yesterdays and that through Him we can press on and enter into our tomorrows forgiven, transformed and set free! Shouts of praise welling up here....GLORRRRY!!!
If you are in down in the pit, broken, hurt and tired start looking up, Sister! And there is no time to dottle about it, you have a life waiting on you. A life in Christ, full of His refreshing Spirit and He desires to make you His. Allow Him to love you like he loved the Samaritan Woman. She was unlovable to some but He found her not only lovable but available and able to enlarge His Kingdom. He can use YOU to transform a village for His name. Press on. Press in. Enter into His PRESENCE! He has great things just for YOU!
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.