The struggle is real, weekly I meet women who are living in addiction, sexual abuse, mental abuse, self-destructive behavior based in their childhood experiences and more. From my childhood until I was 47 years of age, I was held captive by my past and struggled under many of the before mentioned circumstances. I had accepted Jesus as my Savior however nothing in my life changed, I knew God was real however I lacked the understanding that He wanted to be part of my life daily and that through Him I would become free. I am sharing this with you because Jesus had an encounter with a woman much like me and He not only brought salvation to her, but He changed her life forever. This is my story, it became God’s story, I am forgiven and not forgotten, loved, and valued by my Forever Father God. I wanted to share with you today through scripture how God wants to encounter each and every one of us in this very way…bringing us into His Kingdom giving us the authority to speak life in what seem like desperate circumstances and walk in the grace and mercy only Jesus can bring.
Walk with me and open your Bible to John 4, identify with this amazing woman and how God changed her life. (Please note that these are my teaching notes, be kind to the grammar.) Pray before you begin and ask God to reveal to you something new about Him and something new about yourself.
The Woman at the Well
Verse 4 we see that Jesus “had to pass” through Samaria. Everywhere and everyone that Jesus visited, spoke to, and healed was a divine appointment not only for that time, but for today and for tomorrow. You even read this is a divine appointment…What is God saying to you?
Verse 6 It was the 6th hour or noon in Jewish time – hot, dusty, a time when everyone was inside resting, seeking shade. The only time she would go, so that no one would see her…full of shame, guilt, based on her life and her reputation.
Verse 7 Jesus asked her to “Give Me a drink” an invitation to truth, God’s way of putting you to work…Jesus is asking us to give Him something daily, our faith, praise, worship.
Verse 8 no one else was there. The is a private, personal between meeting between Jesus and the woman…like He desires to have with each of us…one on one…intimate and personal. His calling to her was not for anyone else but her.
Verse 9 The woman is unsure, unworthy, she knows who she is and how she lives, the label the world has put on her, the lie that she has no choice. God sees beyond our circumstances, our physical form to our spirit…remember we are all His creation and we all belong to Him.
Verse 10 If YOU Knew…open the flood gates here it comes “truth” gift from God, Jesus is inviting her to ask, an invitation from God the Father. “Living Water” in the Greek means Life Rain…continually feeding us truth, nourishing, growing, steady…provided from heaven for you intimately and personally. Think about rain and the different ways we experience it…
Verse 11 She is not getting it…”Sir you have nothing to draw with” she is only seeing the physical, worldly way not the supernatural truth of this “Life Rain” how long did it take you? Have you really gotten it, are you experiencing a constant rain? Are there times of desert, dry, scorching dryness in your life? Are you held captive by the devils lies that you are not worthy of God’s love? Do you live on the outskirts of Christian Life?
Verse 12 She is asking Jesus. Who are you? This man is speaking to her, there is something different about Him. She is moving from the world truth into the spiritual truth.
Verse 13 Jesus shows her and us that we are all the same, loved and cherish by God who created us. The “Life Rain” he is offering is for everyone.
Verse 14 Now here is the invitation to drink…Whoever drinks…never thirst again…forever changed, transformed…ask Jesus, ask God, forgiven, washed clean by this life rain… it brings, forgiveness, hope, mercy, grace.
Verse 15 The woman is still thinking only in the physical instead of thinking “Yes God”…we must hunger for it, yes taste and drink…this water this rain will fill you up and continue filling you until it spills out on to all of those around you…shared truth…your story is now and forever His story living in you.
Verses 16-18 Jesus now brings the hammer…I know you! Truth of his power and knowledge. This truth is revealed to her by Jesus recounting her life…She thinks how? He doesn’t know me? You see God know every word that you have ever said, every thought, action, yes mistake, situation, sin…nothing is hidden from God.
Verses 19-20 The woman still cannot perceive who Jesus is and what He is truly offering, she thinks He is a prophet or religious man. She starts in speaking of religious ritual “worshipped in this mountain” conditions for worship…excuses, rules, ritual, specific place. She knows if she even dared to show herself in the temple she would be rejected even stoned because she is a Samaritan and a prostitute. Are you suffering under a religious spirit? You have told yourself I will never be accepted in church, never belong? Sadly, today there are churches still making religious law their guide and not God’s truth that He loves ALL people. Jesus gave is life for ALL. I want to say right here that the devil knows scripture as well or better than we do and he uses it to corrupt and distract, man uses rules and ritual, outward appearance and lifestyle to judge when scripture clearly tells us that only God knows the motives of the heart and only God can be the judge. Only God has the power to bring someone to Him, our responsibility is to share His truth, by Loving God and Loving People. Remember, a truth believer and follower of Jesus Christ seeks to have a personal relationship with Him…
Verses 21-22 Jesus rebukes this thought, your thinking is wrong, the truth of God has been corrupted by man’s limited knowledge, God is not a place, He is not found in a pastor, denomination or ritual ”neither in this mountain or in Jerusalem” …He is in His Word, He is Creator, Father, All Knowing and Seeing, Forever…Never Changing, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow…SUPERNATURAL Hebrew 4:12 says that truth is reveal through God’s Word living and active able to separate your flesh (sin, worldly thinking) from your spirit. Our worship for the One True God dwells within us coming through us in our attitude and actions.
Verse 23-24 Now is the time, praise and worship Him who lives in you and brings nourishment to your spirit daily. This truth is for everyone God calls to worship Him in Spirit and Truth
Verse 25-26 Truth revealed to all…”The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”
Verse 27 The disciples recognized the importance of this teaching and so they did not question her or disrupt what Jesus was sharing with her…if you are familiar with the disciples they often would attempt to protect or distance Jesus from people. I believe it is very significant that they said nothing as if they recognized the importance of “this encounter”.
Verses 28-29 At this moment God’s truth became hers and she could not hold back from sharing with anyone who would listen…determined. Her life was forever changed. Freedom from the shame and guilt, sin forgiven, a new life reborn in Jesus. Just for a moment close your eyes she her running back to the town and encountering people in the street, no longer afraid of what they would say or do. The freedom she received from Jesus gave her the authority to walk in God’s righteousness and truth. Verse 29 says “Come and see this man who knew everything about me and has given me a new life, declaring I am forgiven, come and experience this truth for yourself HE IS THE CHRIST! Our Savior! God in the flesh!” paraphrased
Verse 30 The people responded…God used her to share the truth, to bring people to Him so that they might receive the “Life Rain” He was offering. Later on, in verses 39-42 We see that many came to Him and they asked Him to stay with them. Because of the women bringing them to hear for themselves many were saved. Not on her word alone, we must believe from our own hearing and come to Jesus as He calls us. Through this broken woman, Jesus brought truth to an entire region and the people of that area declared that “Jesus is the Savior of the world”.
I have saved these verses for now because this truth is for many. In verses 31-38 Jesus disciples still had not grasped who Jesus was and their responsibility as believers and disciples. The woman heard and responded, shared truth, allowed the life rain to change her, she took that truth and sow for the harvest. Many hear the truth of Christ and even follow that message to church; however it gets hung up right there. The disciples witnessed Jesus in action and yet walked in ignorance of what He was calling them to do…it took the cross and resurrection for them to truly grasp all Jesus had been teaching them as they walked with Him side by side daily.
What can we learn from God’s writing here? This woman responded to God’s call in her life, first she had to allow the “life rain” Jesus was offering to wash away her past and see herself through God’s eyes. To claim her identity in God not the world. This claiming is where her strength came from, right now you must let Jesus direct your every thought and action. Feelings and attitudes often are attached to the past. The devil will use this to set you off course, distract and teardown the grace God has given you. Use God’s Holy Word as a guide in every thought and action, let Him show you areas in your life that the devil is using to keep you for your true freedom and purpose. If God has forgiven you and forgotten you MUST also…there is a tendency to continually analyze yourself, comparing yourself to others around you. To listen to the “well meaning” you must remember that the devil works through Christians as well as the world. Do not let this endless cycle of self-evaluation kill your confidence and distract you from your unique personality and the special purpose God has given you alone. Jesus is calling you to be His church, to represent and present His truth and love to a fallen world.
I speak these words over myself as well. Jesus let these Words of Truth sink in deeply and fill my spirit. I claim who God created me to be and I daily speak life into myself and those around me. Daily we must make sure God is going before us in every decision and that we are walking in His will.
Isaiah 54:17 says ““No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their vindication is from Me,” declares the Lord.” NASB
2 Corinthians 10:5 says “for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” NASB
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 NASB