Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty
Our lesson title today comes from a book by the same title by Harvey Mackay: Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty. The book extols the value of networking for success in life and business. It illustrates the importance of preparation to both survive and succeed.

Although we are exceedingly blessed today in America to have indoor plumbing and clean water readily available to drink almost anywhere, such is not the case everywhere in the world today and such was certainly not the case in the past anywhere. Even though many Americans cannot relate to the need to dig a well, the lesson title illustrates a simple yet important fact of life about preparation: the wise will get prepared to meet a need before it becomes an urgent matter. There are so many ways in which this truth can be applied in our everyday lives, but we want to make the application primarily to three fundamental aspects of our Christianity: temptation, tribulation, and judgment.

In our Christian lives, there are challenging times of need (i.e., "thirst"). If we have not prepared ahead of time (by "digging a well", so to speak), we may be too late. We need to be "digging a well" spiritually now, so we'll be ready when we're really "thirsty" and in need.

The Christian life is loaded with temptations. Why? Because of our adversary, the devil (cf. I Pet. 5:8), and because of our own fleshly desires (cf. James 1:14). Temptations should not be taken lightly. It is possible to become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (cf. Heb. 3:12,13). It is possible to fall away during the time of temptation (cf. Luke 8:13).

We must prepare for temptation by remembering what God has provided. God's providential care is real. He has promised not to allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able (cf. I Cor. 10:13). He is able to work all things together for our good in the ultimate sense (cf. Rom. 8:28). He has provided His Spirit to help us overcome that we might be strengthened in the inner man and develop the character necessary (cf. Eph. 3:16; Rom. 8:12-14; Gal. 5:22,23). He has created a spiritual family for support (He is our Father and we have brothers and sisters in the kingdom; cf. I John 3:1). His Son is our Advocate and propitiation; He stands ready to assist us when we have sinned (cf. I John 2:1,2).

We, of course, have responsibilities. We must pray to avoid temptation (cf. Matt. 6:13; 26:41). We must be filled with God's Spirit by imbibing the word of God, letting it dwell in us richly, and by singing praises and making melody in our hearts to the Lord (cf. Eph. 5:18,19). We must strengthen our relationships within our spiritual family and exhort one another (cf. Heb. 3:13; 10:24). We must communicate with God in prayer (cf. Heb. 4:14-16; I Thess. 5:17). We must repent and confess when we sin (cf. I John 1:7-9). Friends, are you digging a spiritual "well" that will enable you to quench the "thirst" of temptation when it arises (and not give in to it)? You will face temptation in life; are you properly prepared for it?

The Christian life is certainly not always easy. Jesus warned His apostles of this in John 16:33 - "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." Paul warned new Christians of this same fact in Acts 14:22 - "We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God." The trials or tribulations we may face can be quite diverse. Some of the trials we face are a direct result of the lives we live as Christians. It is still true that those "who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution" (II Tim. 3:12). Other tribulations that may afflict Christians are common to both Christians and unbelievers alike (e.g., sickness, pain, death of a loved one, unemployment, terrorism, war, natural calamities, etc.).

We must prepare for trials or tribulations by remembering what God has provided. God has blessed us with hope, which leads to inner peace, that we might be able to endure the struggles of life on Earth. Nothing can lift the burdens of the day like knowing that there is a better place--a place free of trials and full of rest and comfort--for God's faithful ones (cf. I Pet. 1:3-6). As Paul wrote in Romans 12:12 - "Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer." Also, Romans 15:13 - "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Additionally, Philippians 4:6,7 reads - "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." God has provided strength that is only found in Christ. He makes possible patience and longsuffering with joy (cf. Col. 1:11), by which we can do all things in a spirit of contentment (cf. Phil. 4:10-13). We have been blessed by God with brethren who can comfort us in our tribulations with words of encouragement and deeds of love (cf. I Thess. 4:18; 5:11,14).

We, of course, have responsibilities. We must focus our hope and set our minds on the grace that is to be revealed (cf. I Pet. 1:13). We must study diligently in order to benefit from the patience and comfort of the Scriptures (cf. Rom. 15:4). We must pray fervently and meditate on good things, following Paul's example (cf. Phil. 4:8,9). We must cultivate spiritual strength and maturity in Christ (cf. II Cor. 13:11). We must put on the whole armor of God for protection against the devil and the trials of life that we might "be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand" (Eph. 6:13). We must also show love toward our brethren, not becoming sluggish but ministering to them (cf. Heb. 6:10-12). Friends, are you digging a spiritual "well" that will enable to you to quench the "thirst" of tribulation when it arises (and not falter under it)? You will face tribulation in life; are you properly prepared for it?

The Day of Judgment is coming. The world will be judged. We will all stand before Christ. We must get ready ahead of time. Acts 17:30,31 declares - "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead." Romans 14:10-12 reads - "But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: 'As I live, says the LORD, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.' So then each of us shall give account of himself to God." And II Corinthians 5:10 teaches - "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad."

Final judgment will be a day of salvation for some, but condemnation for most (cf. Matt. 7:13,14). Some will hear good news but others will hear terrible words (cf. Matt. 25:34,41). It will be too late to begin "digging a well" if you are spiritually "thirsty" on that day!

We must prepare for judgment by remembering what God has provided. He has given His Son, Jesus the Christ, as atonement for sin (cf. I John 4:9,10). He has provided the good news of salvation to the whole world (cf. Mark 16:15; Titus 2:11ff). But, God will not save just anyone! He will only save those who respond to Him and His gospel of grace with faithful obedience (cf. Acts 2:37ff; Heb. 5:9; James 2:24,26; Rev. 2:10; etc.).

We must be faithfully obedient to the New Testament of Christ if we are to be saved in the end. Friends, are you digging a spiritual "well" that will enable you to quench the "thirst" of judgment when Christ returns (being ready to meet Him)? You will face Him in judgment; are you properly prepared for it?

If we can be of assistance to you spiritually, please contact us. Thank you for listening, and may the Lord bless you as you strive to do His will.