“Everyone Who Thirsts, Come to the Waters”
Have you ever wondered about what your life’s purpose is? What is the key to contentment? How can you live a fulfilling and meaningful life?
A recent Lifeway survey showed that U.S. adults are now—as opposed to a decade ago—more likely to wonder about the meaning and purpose of life, but less likely to believe that finding that purpose has any real value to them.
This is likely due to the wide-ranging events that have taken place since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Apparently, sheltering in place for days at a time and seeing media reports about rising cases of infections, hospitalizations and deaths have a way of bringing the important questions of life to one’s mind. Questions like “What’s going on?” and “Why am I here?”
Have you ever asked yourself those questions? Have you ever contemplated the purpose for your drawing breath?
King David certainly did. David was perhaps outside one night, gazing up at the magnificent heavens, when he asked God:
“What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?” (Psalm 8:4).
This is not a new question, by any means. For millennia, philosophers, gurus, scholars and other experts have been lining up to throw answers at the “Why am I here?” dartboard. The results have been diverse and largely unsatisfying. No one has hit the center or, frankly, even come close.
As it turns out, even the world’s brightest minds have been stumped by the perennial question of the purpose of human existence.
The absence of this knowledge has dealt a devastating blow to generation after generation, confirming the words of Proverbs 29:18: “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (King James Version).
If ever there was a time to have the vision—to know the reason why you exist and the knowledge of what you should be doing—that time is now. With our world becoming more and more precarious, this knowledge is more important now than it has ever been.
Dear readers, if any of this has drawn out your curiosity, and if you want to discover the true source of your God-given purpose, keep reading.
The dilemma of life apart from God
Speaking through Isaiah the prophet, God makes this declaration: “Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come buy and eat” (Isaiah 55:1).
When God says, “Everyone who thirsts,” He is not talking about people who need a glass of water. He is talking about people who are thirsty for answers—answers to the big questions of life. These are the people whose spiritual throats are parched. They are looking for answers that are truly refreshing, not just a quick fix.
The same idea is repeated in the New Testament, when Jesus, God in the flesh, told the Samaritan woman, “Whoever drinks of this water [physical water from a physical well] will thirst again” (John 4:13).
When we drink from a glass of water or take a swig from a bottle to quench our thirst, we invariably become thirsty again. In one way, this is an exercise designed to show us our constant need for satisfaction. What this should ultimately teach us is that anything physical will only ever satisfy us temporarily. We will always be left wanting more.
Jesus continued, saying, “But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst [never lack real satisfaction]” (verse 14, emphasis added throughout). Notice He referred to “the water that I shall give him.” These straightforward words tell us that the only source of real satisfaction comes from Christ!
In this context, consider what Peter said about Jesus in Acts 4:12: “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
None of the false gods of the world’s pagan religions can substitute for the true God of the Bible. Any attempt to find true satisfaction outside of Christ will ultimately fail.
Continuing in Isaiah, we read, “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy?” (Isaiah 55:2). In other words, why do you fill yourself up on junk?
People who are spiritually hungry—desperate for meaning and purpose—can fill themselves with “what does not satisfy,” just as people who are physically hungry can fill themselves up with junk food and spend money on all kinds of stuff, searching for satisfaction, which, of course, never comes.
Think about it. People who crave more money, status, influence or material possessions mistakenly believe that they will find fulfillment in these worldly pursuits. It slips their minds that there is 6,000 years’ worth of anecdotal evidence that tells the same story again and again: nothing physical ever satisfies!
Finding the right source for meaning and purpose
How about you? Have you ever experienced that? Do you seek real fulfillment? Do you want to know what your life’s true purpose and meaning are?
The remainder of Isaiah 55:2 holds the key.
“Listen carefully to Me,” God says. The knowledge of our purpose, or what the Bible refers to as “the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations” (Colossians 1:26), cannot be found in what we tell ourselves, what our friends say or what the world’s great philosophers have devised.
By feeding on God’s words, we gain understanding of our purpose, our destiny and what we need to do with our time on this earth.This knowledge only comes from “listening” to God.
And how do we listen to the Supreme Ruler of the universe today? Through His Word, the Holy Bible!
But that is not all He tells us to do. Notice the rest of the instruction: “And eat what is good.”
God desires that we consume—that we take in and internalize—His Word. Because His Word is the only source of true satisfaction and fulfillment in life, it must become ingrained in our very being.
This lesson was reinforced during Jesus’ encounter with Satan the devil. When Satan confronted Jesus to tempt Him after a 40-day fast, he appealed to His physical needs and desires, saying, “Command that these stones become bread” (Matthew 4:3).
Jesus’ response was: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (verse 4). Jesus was leading by example and teaching us that there is far more to life than satisfying one’s hunger or catering to one’s whims.
Jesus Christ, who was both human and God, confessed that what He really needed above all else was God’s words—and not just “New Testament” words, as many would like to believe today, but every word of God.
We can’t just read the New Testament and ignore the Old Testament. We need both.
By feeding on God’s words, we gain understanding of our purpose, our destiny and what we need to do with our time on this earth.
The Word of God is the key to lasting contentment.
Turn to the Bible for answers
Solomon, the wisest king of Israel, conducted an experiment in an attempt to discover his own path to true fulfillment in life.
After his bout with the proverbial “wine, women and song”—and other marvelous feats of accomplishment—he lamented, “I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind” (Ecclesiastes 1:14).
Solomon saw that the disobedient, purposeless life would always end up in frustration and emptiness.
Ultimately, his experiment yielded the following advice to every human being: “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
I hope this blog post inspires you—everyone who thirsts—to crack open your Bible and discover who you are, why you are, and where you are going.
The Bible is the only book on planet earth that can give you that kind of knowledge, because it comes from God.
To take a deeper dive into what the Bible reveals about the purpose of your life, read our article “Why Were You Born?”
Topics Covered: Christian Living, Bible Study