Are You Spiritually Dehydrated?
I have always hated going to the doctor. Ever since I can remember, I’ve avoided the doctor’s office as much as possible. As an adult, it just so happens that my doctor is a faithful member of the church I pastor; therefore, I can’t avoid him for more than seven days at a time!
Prioritizing my health hasn’t always been as high on my to-do as it has been since I turned 50 years old. I’ve traveled all over the country preaching for over 40 years which means fast food, convenience store snacks, sodas, and limited sleep were all a solid part of my daily routine for many years. I remember my doctor telling me during a check-up that if I didn’t make some changes to my lifestyle, I wouldn’t be around for many years to come. I needed to eat better, drink more water, and start exercising.
I’m proud to say I have faithfully implemented one of the three needed changes! I head to the gym at 4:30 every morning - seven days a week - to run six miles on the treadmill. If I’m traveling, the first thing I ask the hotel concierge for is directions and information about their gym. Even on Sunday mornings, I take my sermon to the gym to look over my notes while running. Some people say that if you stick with running long enough, you begin to enjoy it so much that it becomes a lifestyle. I have a Greek word for that: hogwash. I don’t enjoy running today any more than I did when I first started many years ago. Running is a necessary evil because I eat too much junk food and drink way too many Diet Mountain Dews.
My doctor and my wife try their hardest to get me to drink more water, but I absolutely hate it! My precious wife, Barbara, keeps bottled water stocked in our refrigerator at all times. Every morning, I reach right past them to grab a Diet Mountain Dew before heading to the gym. I have been encouraged to drink at least one water for every soda I drink daily, but I’m still working on that goal. When I’ve tried to cut back on drinking sodas during the day, I’ve found myself not drinking anything at all which can quickly lead to dehydration.
While I’m still a work in progress with making healthier choices, I do know how dangerous it can be to become dehydrated. I have learned through trial and error that staying properly hydrated is just as important as exercising daily.
Physical dehydration can be life-threatening, and if a person doesn’t make the right choices to rehydrate and heal their body, death could become a real possibility. A person who begins experiencing signs of physical dehydration should be quick to seek medical attention to avoid long-term damage to the body. However, what if a person isn’t dehydrated physically, but spiritually?
I know what you’re thinking: Is that even a real thing? Yes, it is! While physical dehydration means a person’s body experiences a loss of water either through illness or physical activity, Spiritual dehydration means that a person is not being filled with Living Water that can only be provided through a relationship with Jesus Christ. D.L. Moody was known for praying to God to fill him with the Holy Spirit. Once he was asked why he prayed to be filled so much, and he answered, “Because I leak.” If a person is not praying for a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit, he or she will become spiritually dehydrated.
Some people are spiritually dehydrated because they have never asked Jesus into their hearts; therefore, they have never been filled with the Holy Spirit. But don’t think for a second that the only people who are spiritually dehydrated are non-believers because there are Christians across the globe who are functioning in a constant state of dehydration and are attending churches that are bone-dry.
After all, Paul wrote to the saints of Ephesus instructing them, “don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18 NLT). Apparently, even the church in Ephesus needed to be reminded of the importance of being continually filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.
If you compare the two conditions, spiritual dehydration has many of the same symptoms as physical dehydration. Dry mouth and tongue occur because people don’t pray as they should nor do they share the gospel with others as they are called to do. They experience weakness and give in to temptations and thought patterns that are detrimental to their overall spiritual health. Loss of appetite occurs when people don’t seek truth and wisdom from God’s Word. Confusion eventually takes over, because they have become so much like the world that they cannot differentiate between truth and lies.
While both spiritual and physical dehydration can be extremely dangerous, spiritual dehydration is worse because the possibility of physical death would be a loss of what is only temporary, while spiritual death results in an eternal loss.
To read more from Benny Tate’s ‘Unlimited,’ visit MyCharismaShop.com