Have you ever put a stalk of celery in colored water? What happens is that the celery starts to change color as the water is soaked up through the stem. It takes a couple of days to see the change, but soon the celery stalk will take on the color of the water it’s in. Celery also very quickly absorbs any poisons and pesticides in the air or in the soil.
Our spirits work in this way, too. The source of our nourishment or input, and whatever we expose ourselves to, will influence us, for better or worse. We’re constantly flooded with input—through the Internet, movies, music, books, and of course, through people we interact with. However, how those things influence us isn’t always as obvious as the effect of water on celery.
Some things seem harmless, or even good, but they can end up having a negative effect. Other things may be perfectly enjoyable and be harmless—they may even feed our mind and increase our skill and knowledge. But they may still not feed our spirit the sustenance that it needs in order to thrive.
King Solomon was one of the richest men in the world at his time in history. He had access to pretty much anything he wanted—and it seems he tried just about everything his wealth could provide—but in the end, he concluded that “Everything is meaningless!”1
That’s why Jesus tells us to abide in Him, to make Him our source.[[See John 15:5.]] He offers us the water of life—the only water that will never leave our spirit thirsty. The first Psalm says that those who delight in God’s way and His Word “are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.”2
Let’s plant our roots firmly by the rivers of living water.