Leading A Horse To Water Won’t Make Him Drink

Each day during the Feast of Tabernacles, a priest would draw an urn of water from the pool of Siloam and carry it through the Water Gate into the Temple court while the people following him recited Isaiah 12:3: “Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.” Wells and water are used on many occasions in the Bible to describe salvation and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. Jesus used it often, talking about “living water” on different occasions. After the water had been drawn, the priest would then pour the water on the altar as an offering to God. However, on the last day of the feast, the day which came to be known as the “great day of the feast”, they marched seven times around the altar before pouring out the water. On “the last day, the great day of the feast”, John 7:37-38 says, “Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” We have to believe that in order to come to Him. If we have been called, we have to respond. We have to thirst—to desperately want this living water, and we can’t just want it—we have to drink it. So, it’s not enough to know about the “living water”, or even want it. You must drink for yourself, and nobody can do your drinking for you. Parents can’t do it for their children, wives can’t do it for their husbands, and preachers can’t do it for their people. If you could drink for someone else, I would be drinking for all that read my column, but I can’t. One of the oldest English proverbs still in use today is, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” A lot of people are like that—they can be led to the truth, taught the truth, but to get them to accept it is very difficult. I hope you’re not one of them. If you have a loved one like that, keep on praying for them, because you never know when something might happen in their lives to wake them up. I must warn you— if you refuse to accept the truth now, while you still can, the day will come when you will wish that you had done so, but by then it will be way too late to make another choice! A young salesman was disappointed about losing a big sale. As he talked with his sales manager he lamented, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” The manager replied, “Son, take my advice: your job is not to make him drink. Your job is to make him thirsty.” And so it should be with us. I hope that what I write in this column will make you thirsty for Jesus and for more of the Word of God! A preacher in West Texas used that old proverb in one of his sermons. Afterwards he was approached by an old Texan who told him he was wrong about what he said. He said, “You said you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. That ain’t true, ‘cause you can feed him salt.” Jesus said we were to be the “salt of the earth”. Has your salt lost its saltiness? We should pray that the Lord will help us to be the salt that will make people thirsty for Him! That’s my prayer for you who read this. That old proverb is often the motto of the rebel heart. A little boy had a friend staying over with him one night. They had bunk beds. The boy’s mother came to the bedroom door and said it was time to turn out the lights and go to sleep. When she was gone, the boy on the top bunk leaned down and said to his overnight friend, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” His friend was confused by what he said until he explained that his mom could turn out the lights, but she couldn’t make him sleep. The other little boy said that was the first time he could remember thinking, “Hey, I don’t have to do what mom said.” It’s a sad day when little boys, or little girls, for that matter, learn that lesson! When Moses led the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt, there were numerous references in scripture to them being a “stiff-necked people”. Things haven’t changed much. Rebel hearts don’t like being told what to do today any more than they did back then. Just mention the word “submission” and it raises the hair on the back of some folk’s neck. But if you want to be a Christian and go to heaven, you had better learn what it means to say to the Lord, “Not my will, but Thy will be done in my life. Not my way, but you way, Lord.” Your rebellious heart won’t even let you say that until you bow at the foot of the cross and allow the Lord to call the shots in your life. If I have made you thirsty at all for the Lord, I pray you will get on your knees soon, confess your sins, and accept Jesus as your Savior, and let Him be the Lord of your life. Only that will quench the thirst you have for something better in your life!


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