Okay, I said it! It’s not really a popular thing to point out among many Christian circles, but someone has to drop the bombshell eventually. We can’t stay in the dark forever, after all.
Before you get yourself all worked up, let me be clear. I’m not trying to contribute to the ridiculous rift within the Body of Christ on whether or not Christ drank grape juice or wine. I’m not interested in arguing whether or not Christians should consume alcohol. I’m here to point out something really important that we all need to take note of:
Jesus drank up time with his Father in Heaven.
Regularly, consistently, deliberately, and without fail, that Boy made a point to know his roots and we aren’t talking ancestral.
Starting at a young age, we find Jesus soaking up as much as he can of God the Father. We see him as a young boy gleaning every morsel possible from the Rabbi’s (Luke 2:41-52); we find him spending forty days and nights in prayer only to withstand temptation (Matthew 4:1-11); we find him weeping in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane just before his crucifixion (Luke 22:39-46), and so many other times stepping aside from the limelight to “drink in” what the Father has for him.
Prayer, fasting, and seeking the will of God were not sporadic occurrences in Christ’s life, but pivotal points upon which his entire ministry was built. In fact, it wasn’t just a pivotal point, he even went so far to attribute his every move to what God called of him:
“I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing alone. The Son does only what he sees the Father doing, because the Son does whatever the Father does. The Father loves the Son and shows the Son all the things he himself does. But the Father will show the Son even greater things than this so that you can all be amazed.” (John 5:19-20)
Talk about a Spirit-led ministry and a Spirit-led life? There was nothing accomplished in Christ that first did not receive the power and go-ahead of the Father. Looking at his impact, it’s a good thing he was receptive and intentional about spending that time in God’s presence.
The will of God in our lives is a mysterious thing if we aren’t following Christ’s example of being intentional about drinking up what he has for us. If we’ve never experienced the Divine hand of God directly guiding our steps, it can be easy to downplay the necessity of spending time in prayer, humbling our will to that of the Father. Jesus didn’t fast because he enjoyed starving himself. He didn’t pray for the pleasure of quiet time. Christ intentionally did these things to starve his flesh of power and dominion. He intentionally went out of his way, inconveniencing himself, so that he might know God’s will and have the strength to complete the task.
If Christ – 100% God and 100% man – needed to drink in regular times with God the Father, then how much more do we need to be humbling our flesh to the will of our maker? How much more do we need to be inconveniencing ourselves to know him more? How much more do we need to be saying, “No,” and simplifying our lives so that our God might reign supreme? How much more do we need to be sacrificing our dreams and desires, recognizing that this life is for his glory and not our success?
God’s will is laid out for our lives, but how many times do we miss the best he has for us because we fail to drink in his presence and guidance? His plan for us is good (Jeremiah 29:11), but any time we are too busy to bask in all he is, we are too busy. The world tells us to fill our schedules, diversify our children, and grow our friend good. It praises us for this juggling act of our time, but God desires something more. He desires us to prioritize him, his will, and his plan. He calls us to lay aside the world’s idea of “success” in life, schedules and the workplace for regularly drinking in all that he wants to share with us. The world teaches us to fear setting down activities, commitments, dreams, goals, and responsibilities, but Christ calls us to sacrifice everything so that we might do him will and bring glory his name every single day.
When it gets down to it, though, you can continue to drink in the busyness of your life and the things you desire to achieve, but you will only find yourself continually thirsty for more.
Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give will never be thirsty. The water I give will become a spring of water gushing up inside that person, giving eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)
As long as you seek things, activities, and people to fill your need for something more, you will find yourself continually thirsty. The Father is ready and waiting to take your burdens, calm your fears, extend you peace, direct you and bring you further under his will, but he won’t force it on you. You have to decide that you want to prioritize him and, only then, will you fully experience the fulfillment and satisfaction of drawing near.
Don’t want to wait ’til the sun’s sinking
We could be feeling alright
I know you know what I’m thinking
Why don’t we do a little day drinking
(Day Drinking, Little Big Town)