Sorcha Rooney – Hope City Sheffield
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you have worked up such a thirst that you will drink just about anything?! For me it’s usually when I’m at a gym class and have forgotten my water bottle (absolute disaster!) and I look around to see everyone else drinking out of theirs. I’m not one for sharing bottles, especially not with strangers, but being thirsty is no joke – if I’m thirsty enough I will happily drink out of anything.
Thirst is a pretty powerful motivator. But it isn’t just a physical thing; there is a thirst within every human heart that often sends us on a quest to find something that will satisfy it.
One of my favourite stories in the Bible is in John 4, where we are told of the encounter between Jesus and a Samaritan woman who came to the well to draw water, instead finding refreshing and satisfaction for her soul. Jesus looked beyond her physical needs and spoke to the thirst within her heart. He said to the woman, ‘whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst’ (John 4:14). One encounter with Jesus changes everything.
Just like this woman, this generation is searching for a well that will satisfy the longing in their hearts. For some, they go to the well of approval from people, for others it may be the well of success in school or careers, or maybe even the well of relationships. And although these wells may satisfy temporarily, the truth is that they will eventually run dry and leave you thirsty again. But we have the answer to this thirst – his name is Jesus. The one source that never runs dry. When we encounter him we can call off the search for satisfaction, as everything we could ever need is found in him.
But what I love most about this story is that it doesn’t stop there.
When the woman encountered Jesus and experienced this living water, she couldn’t keep it to herself. She told her town. And as a result, the Bible says that ‘many from that town believed in Jesus’. How amazing! You see, out of the overflow of your personal encounter with Jesus comes the opportunity to see many people come to believe. If you have ever had an encounter with Jesus you also have a testimony, and it’s far more powerful than you realise.
So often we fall in to the trap of thinking that our stories need to be full of jaw-dropping, show-stopping miracles to actually make a difference. We shy away from sharing our testimony, thinking that it’s not impressive enough. But what I love about this woman’s testimony is exactly that – it wasn’t impressive. It was actually pretty basic – it was simply ‘come and see’.
All our invitation needs to be when we speak to our friends and family or when we go in to schools is simply, ‘come and see Jesus’. It doesn’t need to be fancy, impressive or rehearsed, but real and out of the overflow of our personal encounter with Jesus.
This is why The Higher Tour excites me. We get to go in to 100s of schools across Yorkshire in March this year and simply say to a generation, ‘come and see everything that Jesus has done in our lives, and everything he wants to do in your lives!’. Not only that but we are creating opportunities to invite a generation to the only well that will satisfy the longing in their hearts.
My prayer is that as the young people come to the events that we hold they will experience Jesus for themselves, and that many would come to believe. That as soon as they come through the doors they will meet Jesus in our welcome, our words, our love, our fun, our joy, our peace, our generosity, our kindness, our care and our actions; that they will have a personal revelation of who he is and who they are in him!
Let me encourage you, there is power in your personal encounter with Jesus. Our words come from our well encounters – as we keep filling ourselves up at the well of living water, we can be confident that what we share from that overflow will lead people to Jesus. And one by one we will see cities change and a generation of hearts that belong to him.
The Higher Yorkshire team are hosting five prayer events in the next two weeks and we’d love it if you came to the event nearest you. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
16 January – Leeds & Bradford Higher Launch – Pudsey Parish Church, LS28 8BE – 7:30pm – 9:15pm
17 January – Wakefield Higher Prayer Night – New Life Church, WF1 1DL – 7:30pm – 9pm