To read prior parts:
This started as part of a conversation over at Evangelism Action, but will take much more than just a comment to tease out.
Spiritual Thirst propels a search
Spiritual thirst is a way of describing a person’s own search for God.
What motivates a person to seek after God?
In the parable of the merchant searching for the fine pearl — he is propelled to find it because he knows it’s out there. He looks, and looks, and looks.
There is a “thirst” to propel him to find it. When he doesn’t find it, he keeps looking. When he finds it, he has that “Eureka” moment.
Spiritual Thirst in Athens
While wandering around Athens (Acts 17), Paul gets a sense of the spiritual thirst of the Athenians. He even appreciates their thirst, in complementing them on the quest for God. He says “I see that you are very religious . . . I found an altar to an unknown God.”
He has picked up on their spiritual thirst – the desire to know God.
When Paul was in Athens, he must have said something that brought them to the point of asking “May we hear you more about this matter?” (v.19)
They were thirsty for more information, self-propelled to learn more. Paul saw they were thirsty (manifested in the all the statues, including an altar to an unknown God).
He started where they were.
The Spiritual Thirst of the Eunuch
The Ethiopian Eunuch was spiritually thirsty.
He had gone to Jerusalem for a worship event to connect with God, yet it wasn’t satisfying enough.
On the way home was reading Isaiah.
He’s spiritually thirsty, knowing that he hadn’t found it yet. By God’s sovereign grace (working both sides of the equation), Phillip was there to explain. The Ethiopian found it — wanted to be baptized. Phillips explanation slaked that spiritual thirst.
(Listen to an audio sermon download on Phillip and the Ethiopian)
Spiritual Thirst yearns for the Water of Life.
Spiritual thirst is the underlying motive that people have to seek after God, to start and continue their search for God.
It could be guilt over sin, it could be a longing for honest community, it could be guidance and direction, among some ideas.
It could be a stark realization that the person has made a giant mess of their life.
The gospel can speak to each one of these.
Let me ask you this?
What “spiritual thirst” have you encountered in the people that you talk with?
Well Water Image Source: Flickr, Department for International Development