I was a born again child of God shooting heroin. ~ Jonathan Dale
Sweet friends of mine, there’s no messing around today. There’s a choice to be made. Today’s the day. We can no longer sip from the broken cisterns of this world that have lured us away from the truth. And beloved, if you are here today and you don’t know the living water, it’s no mistake our hearts have met. You are chosen and you are loved. Lean into it and just say yes.
I have a brother who has etched his way into the deepest part of my heart as a reminder of the simple gospel and you need to know him too. I have a friend who smells like Jesus but once, reeked of drugs. My friend Jonathan, just as the Israelites and just as me, chose to quench his thirst from a cistern of lies instead of drinking from the spring of living water.
My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. Jeremiah 2:13
I am in love with an honest reminder of our need for a Savior and the unending grace that saves lives. You see, entrapped by the pain of a broken road and a high that took it all away, Jonathan knows the reality of a parched soul. A desperate heart longing to be refreshed and the power of temptation that could melt it all away would drown out the whispers of the very fountain within. Nourishment came from an enticing escape instead of God breathed words. Relying on the promise of a quick fix was easier than returning to the river of life. The born again heroin addict believed slavery to these sinful ways was easier than coming to the well.
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. John 4:13
On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom this who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. John 7:37-38
Beloved, let us not be haughty and lie that we aren’t seeking relief from something other than God. Please don’t be quick to categorize heroin on a pretend chart of sin levels. Please listen to the conviction found in the love of the indwelling of Christ in you and respond. It is time we come to the well and find satisfaction for our thirsty souls.
It may not be heroin. You may not be like our sweet Samaritan sister who chose a broken cistern of men but there may be something? Is there someone who you are relying on to do what only God can do?
Maybe it is drugs or maybe it’s our drug of choice. Food. Money. Sex. Lies. Sleep. Pride. Relationships. Obsessions. Legalism. TV. Alcohol. Performance. People pleasing. Laziness. Pornography. Bitterness. Shall I go on? Or can we just fall off our fake Christian high horses already and meet Jesus at the well. Can we admit that even as professed believers, we have chosen to replenish our needs with the immediate gratification of sin found in this world instead of the blood of Christ? Can we repent today and receive the mercy Jesus bled and died to give and continue to seek Him and know Him? It’s the only way. It’s the truth.
Friends, I’ve never put a needle to my arm or found comfort in a long neck bottle, but I have chosen absence over presence. I have chosen food over Jesus. I have allowed the darkness of a room and the comfort of sleeping it all away to be my cistern of choice. What about you? Believers and those who are searching for more, the living well of Jesus Christ will never dry up.
Choosing to partake of the Spirit of grace will remind us of the truth when the lies of the enemy are threatening.
Understanding the comfort that is found in the gospel will always reassure our doubtful hearts.
Worshipping in the midst of hardship and pain will quench our thirst for relief.
Communion with the Father instead of social media or anything else is the only satisfaction our souls will receive.
Offering thanksgiving, even when it hurts, reminds us that there really is living water to drink when we’re thirsty.
The choice to call out to God instead of panic, the choice to listen and obey instead of rebel, the choice to let go and surrender instead of trying to control will all lead to the wellspring of life.
I will never forget the gift of witnessing a born again heroin addict choose to come to the well. His choice has reminded me, even this very day, that there’s no chain, no bondage, and no yoke of slavery that I should be experiencing. That when blood ran red and I chose to believe in a Risen Savior, I received living water. To see the gospel unfold before my very eyes when Jonathan opens his mouth and shares the love of Christ that feeds his soul is what my broken heart needs to remember that I too know that same Jesus. You know that same Jesus. And if you don’t, you can.
We have a good Father in Heaven who loved us so desperately that he was willing to sacrifice his only son, Jesus Christ, to rescue us from the dark, the evil one. He chose to come to this earth and put on skin as man, share the truth in love, and die a bloody death on a cross to pay for what we owe so we wouldn’t have to. It was enough. It was more than enough when he rose from the dead and returned to sit beside his Father until it’s our time to meet face to face. I know it’s hard to understand such love, but it’s truth. Just believe.
You see, if you’ll come to the well, admit that you are in need of a Savior, that you are thirsty and everything you have tried isn’t working, he’ll respond. My goodness, he waits for us. How loving is that? He freely gives unconditional love like I’ve never known before, he offers unending grace and mercy when repentance is needed, and the promise of the Spirit of God himself living on the inside until we meet again for eternity is gifted. Can you believe this? We have too. It’s the only way. Will you receive the gift of eternal life today? The gift of never having to be thirsty again? I beg you.
I need you to know, and Jonathan would say the same, the pull of sin is intense and it continues. It’s the nature of this fallen world and of our broken selves. The euphoria of a high still haunts and the numbness of easier choices still entices. It’s a daily decision for where we will receive nourishment. Most days, minute by minute. It’s time to turn from the false comfort of this world and come to the well.
Meet my forever friend Jonathan. But more importantly, meet my Jesus.
Jonathan is a Jesus loving freak who is unbelievably gifted with a voice to sing the gospel. He’s a worship leader, a graphic designer, a photographer, a videographer, and I could go on but it’s too tiring, just go check him out at the Haus of Jaydale Productions. You can also purchase his new album “Jonathan Dale” that will be released on February 24! Follow Jonathan here on Facebook for new information and updates!
Listen, you also need to know his God-given wife Courtney. Believe me, she fits right into this God story and she smells like Jesus too. Check her out at Courtney Cooke Photography and you can follow her here as well. She is responsible for the stunning photo of her man featured today.