You Are a Bucket
In John 4 we learn that Jesus and the disciples had been in Judea and were going to Galilee. Most Jews in order to not come in contact with Samaritans would have gone out of their way to not walk through Samaria. But Jesus wanted to go to Samaria because He had an appointed time with a woman at a well. Because Jews believed that they would be ceremonially unclean if they used a vessel handled by a Samaritan, the woman expressed surprise that Jesus asked her for a drink. She must have wondered what Jesus intended for her to use to draw the water, because He didn’t even have a bucket or a ladle.
Jesus immediately used the situation to a share spiritual principle with the woman, telling her, “’If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water'” John 4:10 (ESV). Although she did not grasp what He was saying, she took His words literally. Jesus further explained His statement. “’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 4:14.
The woman wanted to keep the conversation at a surface level but Jesus was going to put everything in context at a deep level. You want water – I’ll give you “living water.” After the comment about all of her husbands she perceives He is a prophet. Context brings clarity. When the disciples returned they basically ignored the woman so she left to go back into town to tell everyone “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” They went out of the town and were coming to him.”
Jesus not only had a plan for the woman at the well but he had a plan for all the people in Samaria. He wanted them to have the living water He was offering. The woman at the well became the bucket that carried this “living water” to her town. Are you willing to be a bucket for your family? When God calls us to go somewhere we would rather not go, and speak to someone we would not ordinarily associate with, and we willingly obey, only heaven will reveal the full results of our obedience.
The Word of God is full of truths, principles and concepts, but we must understand the context in which they are written. Romans 8:37 says, “Nay, in all of these things, you are more than a conqueror through Him who loved us.” Being a conqueror indicates that we have overcome something or someone. There is a battle to be fought in order to be what God says we are. You must be willing to fight that battle. We must understand the context.
Joshua was told to shout at the walls of Jericho and they would come tumbling down. However, he had to march around the city for six days. They could not stop on the sixth day, they had to march around the city seven times on the seventh day. They had to wait for the ram’s horn trumpet to sound and then they were to shout at the walls. When the walls came down the two spies were to retrieve Rahab the harlot and her family, destroy all of the inhabitants, and burn everything up except for all the gold and silver, brass and iron which was to be put into the treasury of the Lord. So the context of the walls tumbling down was that there was work to be accomplished before the walls fell.
Harvest – do you know the meaning? Are you thinking that harvest means to sit back and enjoy the reward or the fruits of your labors? Your marriage gets restored so stay home and enjoy your family. To quote an old farmer, “Corn won’t pick itself.” More work is accomplished during harvest than at any other time. Maybe we have watered down the meaning of harvest. Jesus had to go to Samaria in order to have a harvest. Jesus walked straight into a place of conflict in order to have a harvest.
Jesus was blocking the woman’s way to the water. But that blockage was her greatest opportunity, because He was The Living Water. She wanted to keep the conversation at a shallow level – I need water. He wanted a deeper level – I am the Living Water.
In order to get out of your shallow conversation with the Lord you must realize it is not about your job, marriage, children, financial problems or income level. It isn’t even about what your spouse is doing. These are all surface problems. You must allow the conversation to get to the heart level. Jesus wants you to know that He is The Living Water for you first and then for your family. He brings clarity through the context of our problems. You will become the bucket to carry Living Water to your spouse. Some people come to CKI to get water for themselves, and this is the first step. Our leaders and intercessors come in order to become a bucket to carry water for other people. Our problems and our stuff make a good bucket.
In verses 31-35 of John 4 we see that the disciples are meal minded. They are trying to get Jesus to eat something, but Jesus is mission-minded. He has a plan not only for the woman but for the whole town. That is the reason why your Christians friends and family and sometimes even your pastor don’t understand what you are doing. They are meal minded. They want you to quit hurting – that is their meal solution. But you have become mission-minded. Your mission is bigger than your hurting situation. You want your family restored; you want your extended family to know that you serve a big God. You are mission minded; therefore you go to CKI meetings, you go to church to build up your spiritual life, you read the Word and pray, you are determined to not give up, you fast, and you don’t hang out with your old friends but rather with people who will help build your faith for marriage restoration.
It is harvest time and I don’t have enough hours in the day for foolishness. It is harvest time; the crop of my restored marriage will not pick itself. Now is the time to pray more, read the Word more, meditate on the Word more, and repent more. It’s harvest time and my family needs me. I don’t want the crop to rot in the field. Some of you are waiting for your miracle, doing very little and your crop is rotting in the field.
My daddy had a big garden. Most of my life he didn’t have a roto-tiller but an old-fashioned walk-behind plough. Planting was fairly easy. But come harvest time things got rather hectic and there was a lot of work to do. Most of the plants were ready for harvest at the same time. Tomatoes, peppers, squash and okra mostly ripened about the end of July. When harvest time came the real work began. Daddy would say, “The tomatoes aren’t going to pick themselves, we need to get busy and bring in the harvest.” If no one planted the plants or seeds there was no harvest. You must sow in order to reap. Harvest brought all sorts of problems. You had to have a place to store the food while making preparations for preserving the harvest. You had to have all the right equipment for the harvest.
Harvest comes disguised as problems. You become weary in your well doing. You actually want to give up because you are so tired. Don’t waste your life on just a meal and allow your harvest to rot in the field. Get busy now with God’s work. You be the bucket. Don’t allow your need for convenience to keep you from your calling. Don’t allow your need for comfort to keep you from what you are supposed to be doing. Don’t allow your preference to keep you from your purpose.
If you ask CKI for help we will do so to the best of our ability. We will try to spiritually feed you. We will make sure your meal is flavorful and easy to eat. You do not have to leave here hungry. But how long are you going to come here just to eat a meal instead of leaving here with a bucket so that you can feed others? Aren’t you ready to see what God can do through you? Everyone gets to choose – a meal or a mission with a bucket. You get to choose – keep going to the well for a meal, or go the Well That Won’t Run Dry.
What you call a problem, heaven calls a harvest. All those problems you are having may be the beginning of your harvest. Things that you hate like:
- I lost my job and don’t know how I will pay child support.
- My mortgage is past due and will soon go into foreclosure.
- My spouse talks badly about me in front of our children and other people.
- I don’t have any support from my church.
- The court date has been set
- The final divorce papers have been signed
- My spouse married another person
- My spouse is expecting a child with the other person
John 4: 35 says, “Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.” Open your eyes – the fields are ripe for harvest. Don’t look for the food, but look at the fields that are ripe for the harvest. The woman at the well brought 500 people back with her. Don’t you think that the disciples saw this as a problem? She recognized that she was being used as a bucket. If you don’t recognize the purpose in your problems you will suffer through years of hostility.
The seeds for your future are in the faithfulness of today. Don’t eat your seeds. Sow your seeds into the field where you intend to harvest.
Reap from every bad report. When that report comes, ask the question, “Where’s the harvest?” Learn how to be blessed and be a blessing to others when the problems are coming fast. Learn to be thankful in the hardships. Do you need to repent for not being willing to be a bucket, for not seeing problems as a potential harvest, for not being willing to spend adequate time with the Lord? He wants you to praise Him during the problems.