by Pam Clark (firstname.lastname@example.org
The woman at the well had faulty doctrine. Jesus revealed a lot of incredible truth to her. He told her that He was the Messiah, something others had really wondered about for centuries. He told her that God is a Spirit and they that worship Him must worship in Spirit and in Truth, implying it was more than just form and ritual.
This was incredible doctrine. He also told her worship was a matter of the heart, more than just a physical location. He demonstrated the power and doctrine of forgiveness - and He did it with the supernatural gift of the Spirit of the word of knowledge. That gift was not abused. When she left Jesus there at the well, it was not carrying an agenda in the form of another doctrine.
She was amazed. She too had wondered about these many things. Her response was heartfelt. This is great news! Others must know! She ran to her village and told everyone she knew. Some were skeptical but they believed too, when they heard for themselves.
There is so much in this one little short story. This lady was probably voted "least likely to succeed." After five husbands, she had probably been through the emotional wringer. Being a Samaritan, she certainly never would have made it big in the Jewish community. And a gifted women in those days had a tough life. If they had a gift, they usually had to sit on it.
Even with all her trials she had a heart to know God, and God met her. Even though circumstances were against her, she still could know and share Truth with other people. She did and they responded - and not so that she could start "a ministry," although she certainly had enough there to start a major movement!
She didn't gather people to herself, she said "Come and see a man." He was an amazing Man and He could share the revelations of God without destroying the people in the process. Even after these others believed, they were all part of the same crowd, in worship of the Messiah.
Today it seems way too many want to hustle the ministry of God for projects. After a while, every message says "Give to me in the Name of the Lord" and while no ministry runs without finances, a warping spirit takes over. Suddenly everything about the Lord means handing over some money and His true Character is denied. Joy leaves, ethics leave, a humble spirit of self sacrifice leaves, and those who have been robbed from reasonable service have become bitter because they have been stretched beyond their capacities and feel shamed. It's not right.
It is true that there is a discipline of the Spirit that is needed in giving but when there is an unbalanced approach, the spirit of mammon and Babylon takes over. Because of that, many ministers have had to resort to tent making ministries to survive to do their calling (and some of that is good) and many sheep have left church life activities over it. They saw they were really serving man instead of God and felt betrayed. Instead of community efforts that ministered to each other to raise funds for projects and come up with loving ideas, it became more like "cough it up and if you perform adequately, we will accept you." That's what happens when ministers don't really know God.
Now some have the gift of speaking and sharing and distributing the Word. And we should support that true ministry. There are many avenues for that, thank God!, and just because someone does that does not mean they are wrong. We give when we can, and business dealings are reasonable - or should be. We all have choices and there is a Holy Spirit who weighs it.
How can we hear without a preacher? If Jesus had not encountered this woman at the well in her daily life, she might still be seeking Him in her prayer closet. Peter was all set to build buildings for Jesus, Elijah and Moses. Three tabernacles or church building centers sounded like a good idea to him! But God corrected His doctrine too. "This is My Beloved Son, hear Him!"
Peter got the message - so much so that he really was willing to die for Jesus and later did. But back to this woman at the well again... in her was a desire to worship. She wanted to do it right. Her doctrine may have been all wrong, and life had been pretty hard on her, but her soul and spirit wanted what was right. And Jesus met her there.
There are many new believers coming into the Kingdom of God because it still is being presented. New believers don't always have all their doctrines worked out. But if there is Love there, they have a heart for others to know it (Him). Because God is a Spirit, there are some things that just don't have all the words there for them yet. But it does not mean that God is not there in it, waiting for His divine strategy for revelation.
This woman, who was obviously not just a kid, could have said, "Ah, thank you Jesus. Now I know!" She could have started a business and charged others to hear this new teaching. It was weighty! She could have had a new list of rules or charged a hefty price for others to pay. She could have spent time and written books that challenged others on their doctrines with this new found revelation since she knew it was strong.
Certainly Jesus could have done that with all He knew! But that is not how it happened. That is not what He did. Jesus offered freedom and then so did this woman. Now the religious leaders certainly got all in an uproar. They accused Jesus of not having THE right doctrines. So much so that they wanted to put Him to death, even though He did them no wrong and obviously was not wrong.
Bad things can happen to even good people. But He knew He was the Resurrection and the Life and so He suffered it. How do we know the right doctrines? The Bible says the Christians are known by their love for one another, not their clubs or doctrines.
Some people have very jumbled up doctrines. But who has it right or not is really up to God to decide. Our job He said is to look for the fruit manifestation. He gave us a brain and a heart and said look for the Love. A person really can get to know His Personality! And in doing that, along the way you can encounter the power to heal, save and deliver and set other captives free and make the world a better place, pleasing Him.
And there are wrong doctrines and wrong powers. These are things that each of us has to determine. Love is as Love does. It's not a faith of just intellect; it's the faith of human relationships too. It's why Jesus came to earth as a man - not just to redeem us but to restore and create fellowship. That was God's original intent for man! We may have great ideas but if we can't fit them into God's view of things, we have failed. We should know when our spirits are teachable. And most, when they see the right fruit of the Spirit are more than willing to do what they can.
Anyone can collect books and knowledge. Even King Solomon said there was no end to that - we can stay busy! There is an infinite God. And we can know Him, even though it is only in increments at a time. Some have a hard time with that because they want to believe it's all or nothing. But true submission is knowing who He is and allowing His revelations to come to you progressively. We are all at different places or dimensions on the path.
Some will make it into the Kingdom of Heaven and some won't but that decision and choice is theirs to make. Some have been very gifted with things or abilities, but their hearts will be tested. And it's not our business how it all turns out, although we can pray with good will. But would you want to be married to a cheater?
No, and God does not either. It can seem people get away with murder but God knows. People struggle, just like the woman at the well obviously did. But there is a Man who can tell you all you ever did and He can still love you, and reveal Himself to you. Some people are just evil but God will reach out to them because some will repent, but we have to know the difference.
God can and will forgive sin. But it is so a person can love again. Or maybe love for the very first time. God is a good God and His Heart is for His people. If we are not kind along the way, what we do can hurt others and ourselves. We may not like where a person is or even what their doctrine is. But if we give them the space to make their choices and hold on to what we know is right, ultimately God can come through and change everything.
For that woman at the well, He changed her whole city! And she didn't even realize it but He was also changing the world through her. Just believe and trust Him, He will see you through.