Science has shown that the effects of drinking excessive amounts of salt water can be very serious. In order for the body to rid itself of all the excess salt taken in by drinking salt water, one would have to dispose of more water than consumed, eventually causing dehydration as the body becomes thirstier with every swallow.
When Peter stepped out of his boat and walked on water in Matthew 14:29, he sank only when he was distracted by the wind and waves around him.
Every day brings with it a whole new set of distractions; some old that continually bombard us and some new that take us by surprise, and sometimes they even take on the appearance of life-giving water.
These are what I like to call the ‘satisfiers’ of this world.
Satisfiers have many different characteristics, but they all have one thing in common:
They promise fulfillment but only dehydrate our bodies as we thirst for more.
Relationships, success, that ‘dream job,’ wealth, even experiences – these are all satisfiers that vie for our attention, sucking the life out of us as we immerse ourselves in the gratification of their empty promises.
Anything that draws our attention away from Christ will cause us to sink; it will bring death.
It was only when Peter took his eyes off Christ that he started sinking and it was only when he cried out to the Lord again that he was rescued.
The thing about these satisfiers though is that they look good, don’t they? All we see are the benefits we might reap if we only submit ourselves to their pleasure.
The salt in salt water is absent to the naked eye.
We don’t see it.
All we see is something that resembles the fulfilling, life-giving water of Christ that will refresh us and nourish our souls.
The salt is an invisible killer just as satisfiers are invisible, silent killers.
They promise fulfillment and even take on an outer resemblance to the One who can truly satisfy, offering us the hollow promises of love, fulfillment, purpose, peace, and happiness.
Diluted into the satisfaction we might gain from these worldly pursuits is the salt; the drawbacks and the consequences of our narrowly, presently preoccupied focus.
Satisfiers can be good things though. These ‘holy pursuits’ such as healthy relationships, success, achievements, positive experiences, etc. – these are good things; they are good priorities, but are easily mismanaged.
One ‘holy pursuit’ in particular that I have found to be severely dehydrating to the soul is loving others and putting others before oneself.
Now, don’t freak out and please don’t unsubscribe!
Allow me to explain.
Putting others before yourself and loving others more than yourself is good! It is, after all the second greatest commandment.
And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ (Matt. 22:39).
However, in order for there to be a second, there must first be a first.
‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment’ (Matt. 22:37).
Anything, and I mean anything that replaces the first and greatest commandment, even the second greatest commandment, will dehydrate you.
So yes, I stand by my original statement. Loving others more than ourselves is a ‘satisfier’ because done without first loving Christ is done solely for our glory instead of His.
There’s a reason loving the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind is the first and greatest commandment –
In order to do all else we must first find life in Him.
John 10:10 explains that Jesus came that we might have life and have it in full. Through Him who fills everything in every way (Eph. 1:23), we have life.
It is when we go about this backwards that we find ourselves dehydrated, gasping for a sip of life-giving water but only sucking in more salt water in hopes of quenching our thirst.
It’s funny how drinking the wrong thing only makes you thirstier. -Jennie Allen
These things in and of themselves might not be bad, but when mismanaged and placed at higher value than knowing and loving Jesus Christ is when we start to sink.
When we drink the salt water this world entices us with, we will without a doubt always remain thirsty. But this does not mean we have to live a life forever in thirst. We have this hope in John 4:13-14 –
Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I [Jesus] give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
Not only is the water that Jesus offers to us life-giving, but it wells up to eternal life!
Our God is such a BIG God.
He promises to sustain us, provide for us, and give us abundant life.
Drink in; better yet, inhale the life-giving water God is offering you. He is so much more than anything we can obtain here on earth.
Don’t let the water around you fool you; don’t pursue in vain these satisfiers that vie for your attention.
Remain fixated on Christ and walk on water.