20“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. 21Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.
13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the (living) water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.[b] The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
The passage of Scripture from Revelation above is often used out of context as a scripture encouraging non-believers to “open the door” and receive Jesus as Savior. However, it was actually a revelation John received for the church body of Laodicea as a whole. This verse also follows the often misrepresented text of “you are neither hot nor cold, so because you are lukewarm I am about to spit you out.” that is often used to challenge or condemn people for not having enough faith or spiritual vigor.
To see the truth of this passage, we have to go back to the geographical context of Laodicea, the church that is being addressed. To the north of Laodicea, Hierapolis had healthy hot springs, and to the south, Colossae had cold springs that were clean and refreshing to drink from. But Laodicea had perpetual problems with its water supply, which was brought by aqueduct six miles from the south. By the time the water reached Laodicea, it had become lukewarm. It was tepid, unclean, and undrinkable, the kind of water that makes you sick, that you might spit or vomit out of your mouth–Hence the reference.
Laodicea was a very wealthy town who had adopted the status quo ways of the Roman Empire. There relative wealth had given way to complacency as they became self-reliant on what they could provide for themselves through their own means and knowledge. They had chosen the Tree of knowledge vs. the Tree of life.
It reminds me of a good missionary friend’s experience with an elder of a Tanzania village. The missionary was walking with the man down a remote road and had asked the elder if he had ever been to America. The elder said, “Yes, I have been to New York. Great place to visit but I would never want to live there.” Knowing the hectic life of New York City, the missionary imagined it was just to busy for the man, yet he asked, “Why?” The elder replied, “To much stuff, Too easy to forget I need God.”
As we prepare our hearts to enter into our 3 day corporate fast at the end of the week, it is with a great invitation the Lord calls us. He stands at the door and knocks, inviting us to open the door, invite Him in, and drink deeply from His living water. As we do, he will bring heaven to earth and accomplish things in the Body of DLC, that we could never accomplish without him.
Father God, we need you. Thank you for entrusting us to bring heaven to earth in Gwinnett–to the lost and broken world, to the schools, the governments, the businesses, the elderly homes, the sports arenas… Awaken us with your living water. Let your grace unify us to move in your power and truth.