by Bill Peters, CR Ministry Leader at North Boulevard Church of Christ
Principle 8 of Celebrate Recovery
Yield myself to God to be used to bring this Good News to others, both by my example and by my words.
“Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires.”
And David went up from there and lived in the strongholds of En Gedi.
1 Samuel 23:29 (NIV)
— but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
John 4:14 (NIV)
Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”
John 7:38 (NIV)
When I was five years old, I can recall watching the old cowboy westerns in black and white on the television. One of my favorites was Roy Rogers and his horse Trigger and dog Bullet. Now Roy liked to sing and he often sang with a group of cowboy singers called the Sons of the Pioneers. One of their songs was a favorite of many, “Cool, Clear Water” which accentuated the fact that out on the trail that cool clear water was a blessing from God.
In the Old Testament, David hid in the desert fleeing from Saul, eventually finding the “strongholds of En Gedi,” a place fed by a spring in the midst of the desert. Water was scarce in many parts of Israel and David needed refreshment for he and his 600 men. But David saw the water not only came from the ground but also came from heaven. In Psalm 63:1, David sees life as a desert and God like an oasis. “O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”
The waterfall at En Gedi is an example of “living water” — as opposed to water in a cistern, known as cistern water or dead water. Would you not rather have fresh water spring to drink from compared to stagnant water? Or a broken cistern? Life is like the desert. It can be dry and tiring. But God does provide living water where God himself can be tasted. When we taste God through Jesus Christ, His Son, in our lives, we can be revived and recover from life’s deserts. The broken cisterns of sinful addictions, poor habits, and clinging hurts will never satisfy but always leave us longing..
So how do you and I get living water? You must first decide that you are thirsty. For many of us because of past hurts, plaguing, addictive habits, and our personality and spiritual hangups, we find ourselves desperately thirsty for change. For me and others we have found what we have needed to begin to quench that thirst in Jesus in a ministry called Celebrate Recovery. We have found coming out of denial and surrendering to Him as the only way. We have experienced a spiritual transformation and now find daily prayer time as one way to satisfy our thirst. We have found Bible study as another way. We have found CR meetings, accountability partners and sponsors as a necessary part of life. Some of us have found a renewed fellowship at church which is satisfying. But for most of us we have found continual recovery through Christ in Celebrate Recovery as the only way to know Jesus and to know En Gedi. We who have found the cool clear water of Jesus and CR now share it with others who are thirsty for relief of their hurts, habits and hangups in life. It is a fact that out on the trail of life that cool, clear water is a blessing from God to be shared with others and with that water we and others can Celebrate Recovery. Jesus Christ is the only way anyone can quench his or thirst for hope and healing.
The Waterfall and Pool at En Gedi in the Judean desert