III. THE WAY TO RECEIVE THE LIVING WATER
"You would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water" (John 4:10). Who can have the living water? Only those who ask. As soon as you, who are sitting here today, ask, "Please give me this living water," you will surely receive it. I have seen many people in many places who were saved just by saying, "God, save me."
The Bible records the story of a man who was a filthy publican. He would not so much as lift up his eyes unto heaven. He smote his breast saying, "God, be propitiated to me, the sinner" (Luke 18:13). His prayer did not last five minutes. Even if he had uttered his words slowly, they could not have lasted for more than one minute. What did the Lord Jesus say? He said that this man went down to his house justified. In other words, this man was saved; he had eternal life.
The Gospel of Luke also tells us of a man who had murdered and committed arson all his life. He committed numerous crimes during his life. When he was caught, he was put on the cross. On the day of his execution, he saw the Lord Jesus also being crucified on the cross and joined the other robber, who was being crucified, in mocking Jesus. Later he heard the Lord’s prayer on the cross and was touched. When he saw such a One there, he pleaded, "Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom" (23:42). How long was this prayer? Five hours? If it were five hours, he would have already died. His prayer was just to ask the Lord to remember him when He came into His kingdom. What did the Lord say? He said, "Truly I say to you, Today you shall be with Me in Paradise" (v. 43). Oh, he was saved, justified, and had eternal life.
If there is a sinner among us here today who would lift up his eyes and believe in the Word of God, he would be saved. The Lord says, "You would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water." If you would have asked, He would have given you living water. This is not our doing, but God’s doing; it does not depend on our work, but on the redemptive work of the Lord; it is not what we are, but what the Lord is before God.
IV. THE PROBLEM OF THE WOMAN
What did the woman do? She said, "Sir, You have no bucket, and the well is deep; where then do You get this living water?" (v. 11). She had two concerns: (1) this man had nothing to draw with, and (2) the well was deep. She was asking, "Do You not know that the well is deep, and You have nothing to draw with? How can You get the living water?" Every unbeliever thinks, "Oh, I want to have the living water to quench my thirst, but I do not know how deep this well of living water is! How can I touch this with my hands? I want to be saved, have eternal life, and have the Holy Spirit to quench my thirst, but how far this salvation is from me! How far this eternal life is from me! How far the Holy Spirit is from me! Is there any way for me to obtain it? Oh, the well is deep, and there is no vessel! I do not know how far God is from me. I do not know how far Jesus is from me. The deeper the well is, the farther away the living water is from me. I do not know how far salvation is from me."
Some may think, "I have no way to be saved. I cannot go up to the heaven and say, `O Christ, please come down,’ nor can I go down to Hades and say, `O Christ, please resurrect. ‘ This is so difficult. How can I be saved? Oh, salvation is but a dream, and I cannot hope for it in this life."
However, I beg you to hear God’s Word: "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart...that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" (Rom. 10:8-9). What do these verses say? They say that the word is near you. Why do you say that some have to go up to heaven to bring Christ down? Why do you say that the well is deep? And why do you say that some have to go down to Hades to raise Christ from the dead? The word is near you; the well is not deep. The word is in two places: in your mouth and in your heart. Do you have a mouth? Yes. Do you have a heart? Yes. They are here, right here. The well is not deep. If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will have the living water. The water is here; it is in your mouth and in your heart. If you confess and believe, you will have it. If you said to God with your mouth, "I confess that Jesus is Lord," and if you believed in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, God would be unrighteous if you still went to hell. God cannot be unrighteous. His word says, "If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." Is not God’s Word dependable?
(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 18: Notes on Scriptural Messages (2), Chapter 15, by Watchman Nee)