Bringing the Inner Life and Outer Life into Balance

Bringing the Inner Life and Outer Life into Balance

by Charles R. Swindoll

Scriptures: Psalm 42:1–2

The Bible is filled with references to water. From the creation account where we read that “the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters” (Genesis 1:2), all the way to the last chapter of Revelation where we’re told of “a river of the water of life, clear as crystal” that is flowing from God’s throne (Revelation 22:1), we find literally hundreds of occasions where water is mentioned in the Scriptures. Because water plays such a major role through so many scenes found in the Bible, it should not be surprising to us that water is vital to our health and well-being. It not only cleanses our bodies from impurities, it refreshes and satisfies us when we are thirsty.

But we must not overlook a spiritual dimension. We read in the ancient book of Psalms,

As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So my soul pants for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. (Psalm 42:1–2)

Do those words express your feelings? Do you find yourself thirsty for a deeper relationship with the living God? Has your world become parched and barren, leaving you like that deer, panting for the kind of water that can satisfy your soul?

Jesus once made a statement that is worth serious consideration: “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water'” (John 7:37–38). Be sure that you don’t overlook the importance of “living water” in your inner life as you become aware of the value of water in your physical body. Those who hope to be fit to serve God need to keep both in balance.

Before you move on with your day, pause and ponder this: am I giving sufficient time and attention to the cultivation of my inner life? If not, what changes are needed to bring my inner life and my outer life into balance?

Just as your body needs water to live, your soul needs Jesus’s “living water.”

— Charles R. Swindoll