CONTACTING GOD WITH THE SPIRIT
The Samaritan woman turned the conversation to an impersonal subject, but the Lord Jesus brought to her a practical and spiritual matter. She asked concerning the place where God should be worshipped, but the Lord Jesus showed her that worshipping God does not depend on the place but on the human spirit. Her question concerned the place for worshipping God in religion, but the Lord Jesus brought her to the reality of worshipping God in spirit. The reality of worshipping God does not depend on a place but on the human spirit.
- impersonal /ɪmˈpɜːrsənl/ 非个人的
- concern/kənˈsɜːrn/ 与…有关；涉及
To worship God is to contact God. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him, contact Him, must worship in spirit. Because God is Spirit, He wants man to contact Him in spirit. Therefore, worshipping God does not depend on a place but on the human spirit. God is Spirit, and He is omnipresent. He is like radio waves. No matter where people are, as long as they worship Him in spirit, they will contact Him.
- omnipresent /ˌɑːmnɪˈpreznt/ 无所不在的
God is not physical, nor is He mental; He is Spirit. Hence, man cannot use his physical body or his mind to contact God. Man must use his spirit to contact God. The mind, man’s psychology, is not the deepest part of man. The human spirit is the deepest part of man. It is deeper than man’s mind. Man must use his spirit to worship and contact God. Man contacts God with his spirit, not with his body or mind. Man can use only his deepest part, his spirit, to contact God.
- psychology /saɪˈkɑːlədʒi/ 心理
Contacting God with the human spirit is not a matter of thinking with your mind but of praying to God according to the feeling in your heart. If you pray to God with the thoughts in your mind, you are not contacting God with your spirit. If you want to contact God with your spirit, you must ignore the thoughts of your mind and pray to God according to the feeling in your heart because your heart includes the conscience, which is a part of the human spirit. Tell God what your heart feels. You do not need to think of what to say. If you feel pain, tell God that you have pain. If you have problems and burdens, tell God that you have problems and burdens. If you feel that you are corrupt, evil, and sinful, tell God that you are corrupt, evil, and sinful. Tell God what you feel. Only such prayer is contacting God in spirit, and only such prayer can contact God.
- ignore /ɪɡˈnɔːr/ 忽视
- conscience /ˈkɑːnʃəns/ 良心
If you want to contact something, you must use the right organ and the right method. If you use the wrong organ or the wrong method, you will not be able to contact that thing. For example, you must use your ears to hear sounds and your nose to smell. Otherwise, you will say that sounds and scents do not exist. Similarly, you must use the right organ and right method to contact God. God is Spirit; hence, you cannot contact Him if you merely use your mind to think about Him. The more you think, the more you will say that there is no God. God is Spirit, and He wants man to contact Him; hence, man must use his spirit and pray to contact God. Even though God is invisible to human eyes and intangible to human hands, He is contactable and perceptible to the human spirit. If you pray to God according to the feeling in your heart, you will contact Him in your spirit.
- invisible /ɪnˈvɪzəbl/ 看不见的
- intangible /ɪnˈtændʒəbl/ 无形的
- perceptible /pərˈseptəbl/ 可察觉的；可感知的
The Lord’s step-by-step leading of the Samaritan woman shows that in order to obtain the Lord’s salvation and life, a person must ask the Lord. When someone asks the Lord for salvation, he must first let the Lord lead him to see his sins and to confess them to the Lord, and he must also pray to the Lord according to the feeling in his heart. If someone confesses his sins to the Lord and prays to Him from his heart, he will contact the Lord and obtain salvation and the Lord’s life.
More than ten years ago we preached the gospel for several days in Chefoo. A customs officer came to hear the message every day and was quite moved. After the last meeting he told me that he wanted to believe in the Lord because the messages spoke to his many problems. However, he did not know how to believe, and he did not know how to contact the Lord in order to receive the Lord’s life. I told him to pray, and he asked, “How do I pray?” I explained that to pray is not to compose an essay or an official document. Therefore, he did not need to think about what to say; he only needed to open his heart to the Lord and pray according to the feelings in his heart. He should tell the Lord what he felt in his heart. That night he told his family that he had something important to do. Instead of eating dinner, he shut the door to his room and prayed to the Lord. When he began to pray, the Lord led him to sense his sins so that he confessed all his sins one by one to the Lord. He received the Lord as his Savior. The next morning he discovered that he was a different person. He had been saved and had received the Lord’s life.
- Chefoo 烟台
- customs officer 海关官员
- moved 感动的
- compose /kəmˈpoʊz/ 写作
- essay /ˈeseɪ/ 散文
- official document 官方文件，公文
After the Lord’s practical and spiritual word to the Samaritan woman, she asked Him about Christ, and the Lord told her that He was Christ. Then her eyes were opened, and she realized that this One who asked her for water, the Lord who spoke to her, was Christ. She had brought her waterpot to draw water, but she did not know that she would meet Christ there. She could not think of Christ when her heart was consumed with the waterpot, but now both Christ and her waterpot were in front of her.
CHRIST VERSUS THE WATERPOT
The waterpot could hold water from the well, but Christ could give living water. When the Samaritan woman did not have Christ, she had to rely on the waterpot in order to draw water. But now that she had met Christ and knew that Christ could give her living water, she believed in Him, went into the city, and testified to the people, saying, “Is this not the Christ?” (v. 29).
- versus /ˈvɜːrsəs/ 与……相对
When the Samaritan woman believed in Christ, she gained Christ and the living water. Therefore, she no longer wanted her waterpot, and she no longer wanted to draw water. Instead, she left her waterpot and went to testify concerning Christ. Her life had changed. Initially, she brought her waterpot to draw water, but she now left her waterpot to testify concerning Christ. She went away with Christ. Initially, she needed the waterpot to draw water, but she did not need the waterpot when she had Christ and the living water. Without Christ she had to rely on the waterpot. With Christ she did not need to rely on the waterpot. When Christ came, she left the waterpot.
When Christ comes, everything else leaves. Those who have Christ have no needs. Those who do not have Christ are spiritually thirsty, and their human life is empty; they seek amusement, entertainment, the pleasures of sin, material enjoyment, and worldly blessings to quench their spiritual thirst and to fill the void in their human life. When they have Christ, they are spiritually satisfied, their human life is fulfilled, and they no longer need entertainment or material enjoyment.
Mr. Moody once preached for several days in a place in the United States. Every day he saw a woman in the audience who was very moved. After the last meeting the woman said to Mr. Moody, “I want to believe in Christ, but I cannot live without the theater; I have been going to the theater with my father ever since I was young. Now my husband often takes me to the theater. Much of our time is spent in the theater.” Moody asked her, “I noticed that you have been listening to my messages these few days. Did I say anything about going to the theater?” She said, “No.” Moody then said, “Every day my messages were printed in the newspaper. Have you read in the newspaper that I said something about going to the theater?” She said, “I have not.” Moody then asked her, “Then how did you come up with this matter of going to the theater?” She said, “I thought that you would not want people to go to the theater.” Moody said, “Do not talk about going to the theater. I will speak to you about Christ.” He then quoted some verses and spoke to her about Christ. That evening her husband took her to the theater as usual. As soon as the curtains were drawn, she told her husband, “I am leaving. This is not my place.” Her husband said, “Perhaps you are insane from listening to Moody’s preaching.” She said, “I want to be ‘insane’ like this for the rest of my life!” A person who has Christ has no need and no appetite for the theater.
- audience /ˈɔːdiəns/ 观众；听众
- come up with想出
- quote /kwoʊt/ 引用
- as usual像往常一样
- curtain /ˈkɜːrtn/ 幕；窗帘
- insane /ɪnˈseɪn/ 疯狂的
In 1937 I gave some messages in Nanking. One day someone brought a fashionable and extravagant woman to see me. The woman told me that she was deeply moved by the messages and felt that she should believe in Christ, but she did not know whether she could continue to watch movies after believing in Christ. I realized from her question that she liked to watch movies. I could not tell her that she could continue watching movies after believing in Christ. However, I did not want to tell her that she could not watch movies after believing in Christ, because if I did, she might refuse. I asked her, “If your son were playing with a sharp knife, how would you take the knife out of his hand?” She said that the best method was to scatter some candy and fruit on the floor, because the child would drop the knife to pick up the candy and fruit. I said, “This method is very good. In the same way, when you believe in Christ, your hobbies will spontaneously fall away.”
- Nanking 南京
- extravagant /ɪkˈstrævəɡənt/ 奢侈的
- scatter /ˈskætər/ 撒播；散开
- candy /ˈkændi/ 糖果
- hobby /ˈhɑːbi/ 嗜好
This is the meaning of believing in Christ. This is Christ’s salvation. It is not a matter of whether you can keep your hobbies, forms of enjoyment, or love for the world after you believe in Christ. You will not need your hobbies, forms of enjoyment, or love for the world after you believe in Christ. When you have Christ, you do not need these things. When Christ comes, these things will leave. I know of a customs officer who loved to smoke cigarettes and make jokes at parties. However, after he prayed and accepted the Lord, he changed. He forgot about cigarettes and no longer took them to work. Furthermore, he no longer liked to make jokes at parties. Christ came, and these matters left.
The Samaritan woman was satisfied when she had Christ and the living water. Furthermore, the Lord Jesus was also satisfied. John 4 shows that two parties were satisfied; the Samaritan woman and the Lord were both satisfied. When the Samaritan woman received the Lord, she gained the Lord, and the Lord gained her. She was satisfied because she gained the Lord, and the Lord was also satisfied because He gained her. She was a thirsty sinner when she went to the well with her waterpot to draw water. Now that she was satisfied within, she left her waterpot because she no longer needed to draw water to drink. The Lord asked the disciples to buy food to eat and asked the Samaritan woman for water to drink because He was both hungry and thirsty. When He was satisfied within, He no longer needed to drink water or eat the food the disciples bought. The Lord satisfied the Samaritan woman, and she satisfied the Lord. The Lord was her satisfaction, and she was the Lord’s satisfaction. Before she had gained the Lord, the Lord did not have her. After she had gained the Lord, the Lord had gained her. When she was thirsty, the Lord was thirsty. When she was satisfied, the Lord was also satisfied.
When a sinner does not have the Savior, the Savior does not have that sinner. When a sinner is thirsty, the Savior is also thirsty. It is not until a sinner has the Savior and is satisfied that the Savior gains the sinner and is satisfied. The thirst of sinners speaks of the Savior’s thirst. The satisfaction of sinners speaks of the Savior’s satisfaction.
Are you not thirsty deep within? Are you satisfied with your human life? Without the Lord you have no satisfaction, and without you the Lord has no satisfaction. The Lord is waiting for you to receive Him so that you may be satisfied and so that He too may be satisfied. Do not disappoint Him and do not remain thirsty forever!