Tuesday, November 20, 2001

It was a fogged-in morning at the country house we were using for our vacation. The valley below us, the mountains beyond us were nowhere to be seen. In fact, you couldn't see much beyond the front porch. But by about 10:00 A. M., the sun was obviously doing its thing. I could sit there and literally watch the mist being sucked upward and up and away by the heat of the sun. I called my wife's attention to the vanishing moisture, and she made an interesting observation. She said, "That's what happens to you when you dehydrate" - which I did a few months ago. But actually watching the moisture being sucked away - and thinking of that happening to me - well, it will make a fellow be sure he's got a bottle of water with him most of the time.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A WORD WITH YOU today about "Battling Dehydration."

When our Native American Outreach Team spent a month on reservations in the Southwest, you can be sure that bottles of water were standard issue for every team member every day. That desert heat can dehydrate you so fast. And take it from me, when you get the moisture sucked out of you, you really fall apart. Dehydration is serious business - physically - and even spiritually.

Spiritual dehydration is the shutdown that occurs in your walk with God when you let your source of spiritual strength start to dry up. And it can happen pretty quickly when you live in the kind of spiritual desert most of us live in - like where you work, where you live, where you go to school. We absorb what our culture pumps into our mind and it drains the spiritual life out of you. The way to battle dehydration of any kind is frequent replenishing of the source of your strength.

Which is why David said what he said in our word for today from the Word of God in Psalm 42:1-2. Remember, this is the man God called "the man after His own heart." "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirst for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?" That ought to be the driving passion of every one of us who belongs to Jesus Christ - "When's the next time I can meet with my God?" Without those regular meetings, we will dry up spiritually - and we'll dry up fast because we live in an environment that is so spiritually dry.

And in the rush and the stress of your overheated life, it could very well be that your personal time with your Lord has often gotten abbreviated, postponed, or cancelled. Each day you're getting hit with so much that isn't God's perspective, isn't God's way - and you know you're going to get the stuff that depletes you spiritually. You've got to commit yourself to drink at God's spring each new day, or you will find yourself beat up, compromised, discouraged, detoured, and overwhelmed. Not because the sun is so hot, but because you didn't replenish yourself with the living water that God gives you.

In times like these, you've got to make your time with Jesus in His Word the non-negotiable of your personal schedule, however early you have to get up, whatever you have to change to make sure it happens. It's your water bottle in the desert -- and you simply cannot afford to ever leave home without it.