You have probably heard it said, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.”
But as Gary Smalley says, you can if you put enough salt in the oats.
Jesus is the living water. Many of us lead people to Him and then throw up our hands in frustration when they refuse to drink. But did we ever salt the oats?
Each person has the responsibility to choose to drink of Jesus, the living water. But we as believers have the responsibility to do everything in our power to make them thirsty. So the question remains…did we salt the oats?
Jesus calls His disciples the salt of the earth. Our lives are supposed to be so inexplicable, so undeniably different from the world, that those around us long for what we have.
As Ian Thomas said, “The Christian life can be explained only in terms of Jesus Christ, and if your life as a Christian can still be explained in terms of you—your personality, your willpower, your gift, your talent, your money, your courage, your scholarship, your dedication, your sacrifice, or your anything—then although you may have the Christian life, you are not yet living it.”
If we as believers are living the same kind of life as those around us, why would they want what we have? If our lives are no different from theirs, what do we have to offer them?
In Matthew 5:13 Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.” (ESV)
If our lives as believers are not inexplicable to the world, if they don’t cause people to stop and wonder what we have, if they don’t make people long for the living water that is Jesus, what good are they? They are of no good.
Throughout the ages there have been men and women who have lived this kind of inexplicable life. Among them were the Ten Boom family, George and Mary Muller, Rachel Saint, Brother Andrew, and many more.
The lives of these men and women make people stop and wonder.
The Ten Boom family rescued Jews from the Nazis during World War II. They risked their lives to shelter men and women they did not know, and they forgave the Nazis who caused them great pain.
George and Mary Muller cared for 10,000 orphans throughout their lifetime without ever asking anyone for money. They trusted their needs to God and He supernaturally provided.
Rachel Saint went to live among the Auca Indians just two years after they violently killed her brother. She spent her life loving and serving and sharing Jesus with them.
Brother Andrew smuggled hundreds of Bibles into closed countries. He saw God work miracle after miracle as he went into dangerous places and met with persecuted believers.
The lives of these men and women can only be explained in terms of Jesus. What they did was impossible in human terms. Their lives force people to stop and ask, “what do they have?”
Is your life inexplicable to those around you? Maybe you aren’t smuggling Bibles or hiding Jews, but are you forgiving and loving those who hurt you? Do you rejoice in the midst of your suffering and praise God through your pain? Do you serve others at the expense of your own pleasure and desires? Does your life cause others to thirst for the living water—Jesus or have you forgotten to salt the oats?