Hydration is essential to survive a natural wilderness. It is also essential to survive a supernatural wilderness. Just as drinking clean water is urgent in hot, dry weather, we must drink in God’s presence during desert seasons. “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you. I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1). Survival experts even warn us not to wait till we feel thirsty, but to drink as much as possible to keep the hydration level of our bodies high. Likewise, it is critical that those in a spiritual wilderness constantly be filled with God’s Spirit. “Everyone who drinks this [natural] water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst” (John 4:13-14).
God’s provision for Israel in the wilderness applies to us today: “all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ” (1 Cor. 10:4). Our refreshment in the wilderness is God’s presence, and God’s presence is the Holy Spirit. Just as the Holy Spirit is our comfort, shelter, and fire, so also is He, like water, the essence of life for our whole being. Jesus said, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water’” (John 7:37-38).