“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
Being dehydrated is one of the worst feelings. We need water to live (hopefully you know that, and if not, you’re welcome!), without it we suffer. The reason I thought about this is often in our walk with Christ we become dehydrated, we forget to fuel ourselves with the one thing we need in order to survive. My sister Beth was over at a family dinner and she made the comment about hydration saying, did you know that being thirsty is the last sign that you’re dehydrated? Not the first sign, the last sign. That made me think, the moment I start to need water, when I start growing thirsty, I haven’t even noticed my body suffering before that point. The same happens in our relationship with Christ. I want to let that sink in. We go through our lives seemingly getting by, without even realizing we are starving. We are in need of being hydrated in Christ and don’t even realize it.
Often, we find ourselves in this state of spiritual coasting. We get by but never experience the fullness of what God wants to do in us. We’ll have Jesus moments; a conference, summer camp, or worship night that gives us a boost for a short amount of time, but it can’t carry us through life. You can’t drink plenty of water one day and go a week without it, that’s really dumb (yeah, I said it, that’s dumb). We’ve all done this with our walk with Christ. Just last week I was telling Danielle how in the busyness of my life I was not having a sufficient quiet time. She was saying that the same was happening to her, that she was feeling spiritually dehydrated. In these moments, we shouldn’t have the mindset of, “when Sunday comes, that will refill my cup.” This is a dangerous place to be in, what we need to do, is have a daily filling of the spirit. To have that specific time that you set aside to hydrate yourself in Christ. I want to talk about how we can avoid this dehydration of the spirit by getting practical, we can take the steps to have an encounter with God every moment of our day.
Commit to a plan.
Early on in my walk, I knew I needed to spend daily time with God, but I had this mindset where I didn’t think it was good to be legalistic in my time spent. The thing was, I used that as an excuse when I didn’t have that time with God. Many of us have this idea that putting it on a checklist is terrible, and while doing a quiet time to say you did it isn’t great, there is value in committing to a schedule. When you add quiet time to your routine, it becomes second nature. You brush your teeth twice a day (and if not, ew yuck, stop that.), so why not add spending time with God when you wake up or before your go to sleep? You don’t have to commit two hours to reading the bible and then another four to praying, that’s kinda impossible. What you can do is spend an hour reading and praying over your day, so you can stay hydrated yourself in the spirit. Simple. Not a series of hoops to jump through, but quality time with your creator. For me, I read a chapter or two in whatever book I am focusing on, and I typically will have a study bible on hand to help me understand what I just read. Then after that, I journal, I’m a writer, it’s kinda what I do. I just simply write out my prayer. I have a plan that I choose to commit to, because it allows me to stay hydrated in Christ.
Daily dying of self.
The main thing to remember with your plan is that you aren’t doing this in order to earn or prove yourself to God, it is a daily laying down of your own life and desires in order to make Christ first in your life. The whole reason we spend time investing in our creator is because he is the only one that we need to rely on. Sure, we can survive on our own strength, for a time, but when we do this, you’ll find that you will die and it will be painful. “Wow, thanks Joshua!” While it may sound like I’m exaggerating, I am speaking from my own experience. We struggle when we do not abide in the spirit. That’s the whole reason I prefaced this post with John 15:5, without being connected to Christ, we do not bear any fruit. Not, you bear less fruit than normal, but you will have nothing. It is vital to be connected, each day, plugging into the spirit so that we can be hydrated in Christ. We must choose daily that God is supreme in our life, we have to put aside our own desires, and enter the fullness of what God wants to use you to do. You were made with purpose for a purpose, so be hydrated in Christ.
There’s a great sticker on Danielle’s water bottle that says, “hydrate or die-drate.” Cracks me up when I see it, but it’s true. Without water you will physically die, without Christ you will spiritually die. Don’t wait until you start feeling thirsty for the spirit, at that point you have already been disconnected for too long. Be filled by the spirit each day, and you will see God begin to radically change your life for the better. In struggle, he will speak. In your everyday, he will present opportunity for more. In your worship, he will give you a vision for the future. Commit to a plan and die to yourself each day, and you will bear much fruit.
Abide in the spirit and be hydrated in Christ.