Dehydration: Running Dry
Part One of Part One
By Devon Blackwood
"But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They
shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be
weary, They shall walk and not faint" Isaiah 40:31
Great athletes prepare themselves before a race, a game, or a
competition so they can win. They know that preparation is
essential to every victory. They prepare their bodies,
conditioning them to endure a long and rigorous trial. They
prepare their minds, honing them to give a winning edge. Athletes
who are dead serious about the challenge ahead of them will do
everything that is necessary to run the race.
And they will do everything that is necessary to finish it well,
because no one runs a race expecting to stop halfway through. For
those who are forced to stop before the end, whether from
exhaustion or injury or a simple lack of preparation, the
disappointment is profound.
Most of us have an innate drive to win. When we were children we
always wanted to win. The human spirit strives to attain the
winning edge. Winning says you're just as good as the next
person, and most of all it elevates self-esteem. Overcoming
competition shapes our sense of achievement and success and it
builds character and worth.
In the same way runners prepare themselves for a race, we must
prepare for other areas of our lives. As much as we can, we
prepare our minds and our bodies for college exams, newfound
relationships, children, new careers, moving from one place to
the next, and even the possibility of ill health. In addition,
most of us have dreams and goals that we may pursue our whole
lives. Pursuing life-long dreams helps us put vital things in
place for our future. People who prepare beforehand are more
likely to minimize loss. But when people do not prepare for
things like retirement or the possibility of sickness or
unemployment, they may suffer grave consequences.
Thousands of people who have retired with little or no savings or
worthwhile investments end up struggling to make ends meet. They
have not planned for the future of their children or for their
own necessities. These inconveniences lead to destructive,
unproductive, and unhappy lives.
Preparation is a priceless principle; man's very survival depends
on it. Scripture gives specific examples of those who prepare and
those who don't. Noah, for example, got right on board after God
instructed him to make an ark of gopher wood because He would
bring a flood upon the earth. Noah and his household got ready
for what was to come while so many others continued in their
stubborn ways. The depiction of the ten virgins described in the
gospel of Matthew presents a somber test of true and imminent
preparedness. The five wise virgins had sufficient oil in their
lamps and when the master of the house came, they were led in.
The five foolish, however, were shut out because they trusted in
One can only imagine just how those on the outside must have felt
as the floods swept over the earth. While they felt that they
were secure and ready, they found they were not. The opportunity
they needed was past.
But one might ask, how does this concept relate to this chapter
First, we must understand what dehydration is and isn't.
In order for our natural bodies to function properly and to
maintain good conditioning, one of the essentials is having
enough fluids. Our bodies would surely collapse if we neglected
to keep them systematically hydrated. Dehydration simply means
that the body does not have enough fluids to function at an
optimal level. If we take in less fluid than we need, or lose
abnormal amounts of the fluids we take in, the end result is
dehydration. Sometimes dehydration occurs because we do not drink
enough fluids; sometimes it occurs because we lose too much fluid
through excessive urination, vomiting, or diarrhea.
In severe cases, dehydration becomes a life-threatening
emergency. The human body is not geared to survive without
adequate hydration. As plants wither and die when they do not get
sufficient water to survive, so does the human body.
Physicians and health advertisers stress the necessity to drink
six to eight glasses of water a day (no they do not so much
today, it is 6 to 8 glasses of liquid a day - my Dad is 90 and
has never drunk 6 to 8 glasses of water a day, and I do not -
Keith Hunt) which helps our bodies to stay hydrated. So what are
the benefits of staying hydrated?
1. It reduces some types of digestive sickness.
2. It keeps us from lethargy, tiredness, and certain immune
3. It helps our blood and oxygen flow.
4. It gives us good gait and balance.
5. It boosts physical and psychological endurance.
6. It flushes waste and bacteria frorn our bodies, reducing
urinary tract and other infections.
7. It helps oxygenated blood flow to our lungs and the rest of
our body so we can breathe efficiently.
8. It keeps our skin and eyes moist and healthy.
9. It reduces muscle cramps, stiffness in joints, and migraine
headaches and helps regulate our body temperature.
Having adequate fluids in our bodies keeps us in the game, helps
us work harder and allows us to function at our very best.
In the same way athletes need fluids to ward off dehydration, we
need spiritual hydration, and we should not wait until we're on
the last lap of our Christian walk to suddenly find out we need
water! We must stay well nourished and well watered. Once you're
in the race of life, a spiritual race, you cannot stop on the way
to ponder. As you maneuver through the race, you must find
something real to hold onto. Something must always be in reserve
but it first must be stored up. You cannot pull from resources
you do not have. When dehydration 'sets in, that's when the enemy
strikes. As water gives our natural body the nutrients it needs
to stay active and ward off infections and diseases, so does
living water nourish our spirits.
Throughout His life on earth, Jesus illustrated the vital role of
prayer, fasting, and meditation on the Word. Spiritual hydration
preserves us and keeps us alert to compete and win in the
challenges of life. Study and meditation is the key to successful
The importance of meditation can be seen in Scriptures, a
principle strongly emphasized. Jesus himself spoke of it. We see
it in the Psalms, Proverbs, and all over the Old and New
Testaments. A very familiar text, Psalm 1, depicts a peaceful
scenario with a priceless reward for those who meditate on God.
Perhaps the greatest Psalm written, it brings man to a place
where he is close to God, a planted seed that God nourishes.
Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the
scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His
law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted
by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its
season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does
shall prosper. The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff
which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand
in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the
righteous. For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the
way of the ungodly shall perish.
Psalm 1:1-6 NKJV
In Psalm 119, we see the same encouragement to meditate on His
Word. Indeed, of the 176 verses in this longest chapter in the
entire Bible, only four do not specifically mention His law,
testimonies, ways, precepts, statutes, commandments, judgments,
ordinances, or word. Justice (149) justice/righteousness (121),
faithfulness (90), surety (122), name (132), I will meditate on
Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways.
Psalm 119:15 NKJV
And Timothy tells us:
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who
does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15 NKJV
There is no question that study and meditation of God's word are
the very foundations of Christian principles. Just as food and
water sus tain us and keep our body disciplined, the word of
truth is absolutely necessary for our physical, spiritual, and
psychological well-being. God's Word takes us to a place of high
faith when we are fearful, heals us when we are bruised or
offended, calms our spirit when we are angry, helps us to love
when our enemies tempt us, teaches us forgiveness even when we
think it's hard to do, strengthens us when we are weak, comforts
us when we cry. When we ignore study and meditation, we become
weak and open to the enemy's attack, impeding our ability to
resist his devices.
As necessary as it clearly is, however, we live in the midst of
adversity, chaos and conflicts, and the hustles and bustles of
everyday life. Taking time to focus on God's goodness through
meditation takes Christian discipline, just as anything else
worthwhile takes discipline. College students study hard, making
a commitment to themselves so they can excel and attain good
grades. But good grades just don't fall into their laps. They
must work hard to attain them. If we want the blessings of God to
flow down like a mighty fountain and to birth miracles in our
lives, we must commit ourselves to meditate on His word.
When God's word is hidden deeply within our soul, this is what
we'll use as our weaponry for a counterattack on Satan. We will
be one step ahead and ready to fight. Our Sword will be drawn and
we won't have to fret or worry about the enemy's plans. When we
are in touch with God and His words penetrate deeply within us,
we have nothing to fear. We won't have to tremble or work
ourselves up when Satan throws his weapon. We shouldn't be
afraid, regardless of the insurmountable circumstances we might
face; for nothing--not sicknesses, personal struggles, hardship,
trials, tests, or temptations, can stop the power of God's word.
Imagine engaging in a battle without being prepared! Imagine
standing before a battle-hardened soldier in a weakened state
without a weap on or knowledge of how to use it. Now imagine
sneering at your enemy and saying, "Bring it on!" Foolhardy? You
bet. And it's just as foolhardy to let yourself get spiritually
dehydrated. It weakens your immunity and your defenses. God has
supplied us with strong defenses to safeguard our souls and our
lives but we must use them to stay hydrated when the battle is
on. Meditation and study is one way. Other methods like prayer
and fasting are just as important.
The Wonder Working Power of Prayer
When architects construct buildings, the plan includes everything
necessary to produce a completed structure. Automotive workers on
the assembly line are careful to put every intricate part on the
designed vehicle so it will operate to its optimal level. When
this kind of care is taken in the construction process, consumers
can rest, knowing that they have purchased a valuable product.
Prayer is the process that ensures our lives will be properly
constructed. Without it, the Christian lags behind, suffers
drought, and won't produce. Jesus spoke plainly about how
important a role prayer plays in Christian maturity. He took the
time to teach his disciples how to pray. Followers of Jesus
Christ must draw on the fact that trying to survive without
prayer is like a drowning man clutching to a straw. He ends up
sinking to the bottom of the ocean without first having a
realistic chance to survive. The prayerless Christian suffers the
Prayer is pivotal in effective communication, bonding, and
intimate relationship with God. Communication is a key element in
building any relationship. If we avoid talking to friends or
family members, our relationships wither, and the same will
happen to our relationship with our Creator if we stop talking to
However, prayer goes much deeper than just talking to God.
Spiritual communication travels both ways, and includes every
sort of content imaginable. Prayer begins as a means of glorify-
ing God for His love and expressing our deepest gratitude. It
also serves as a place of refuge where individuals seek provision
and relief from emotional and physical pain. But prayer must-if
we are to know the deeper things of God-also be a means by which
faith, reliance, and patience are perfected as mankind awaits and
receives God's response.
Scripture abounds with examples of the effectiveness of prayer.
The prophet Daniel prayed three times a day, and noticed that he
prepared that way before trouble struck. He stayed "prayed up" to
ward off future problems, and his prayerful living paid off. When
he was thrown into the lions' den, he had no fear. His confidence
in the God he served was unwavering. He knew God would preserve
him, keeping him from harm. But he only achieved this victory
through relationship. When one has relationship, his friend comes
to the rescue, and that's exactly how God works. He comes to
those who continually seek him.
We all know Daniel's example, but it is still all too easy to
skip praying or drag ourselves into it like a chore. But remember
that it is prayer that fuels us when we are faced with trouble
and it is prayer that disrupts the enemy's plans. When Daniel was
tested in other ways, he exercised the same faith as with the den
of lions experience. He was a prayed-up man, and because his soul
was saturated with the mercies of the Almighty, he knew that God
would come to his rescue.
The same God who answered Daniel's prayers will answer ours. When
He says, "Don't worry, I won't forsake you," He means it. When we
face situations designed to test our faith, God remembers His
promises. He is right around the corner to deliver us, to take us
up in His strong arms where no harm can befall us. The very words
He reassures us with are the words He puts into action.
God came through for Paul on his way to Italy during the
shipwreck, reminding him to reject fear but to be cheerful. But
if Paul did not have relationship, this communication wouldn't
make sense to him! He knew God's voice and God knew his.
To be continued with part two of Part One
April 2010 "ACTS" magazine - a publication of the General Council
of the Churches of God, Meridian, ID. USA.