I don’t have to, but I have to!

That was the challenging phrase that Amy brought to us last Sunday as she shared some inspiring, practical thoughts from one of the best known Jesus’ stories – His encounter with a Samaritan woman at a well (John 4).

She reminded us that in John 4:4 we read these words “Now Jesus had to go through Samaria.”

Now, in reality, Jesus did not have to go through Samaria. Samaritans were the enemy of the Jews and many avoided that area, and those people, at all costs.

Jesus didn’t go through Samaria because it was His only option. He went to Samaria because he really wanted to go. He knew an encounter was about to happen that would change, not just the life of this woman, but a whole village.

Jesus didn’t have to, but he had to! Are you with me? His passionate love for people – his relentless mission to rescue them – compelled him to go.

And as a result, the woman at the well has a life-changing encounter with Him, that results in her doing the six things that Amy mentioned…

  • Going – she had to get back to her village
  • Sharing – she couldn’t help but share how awesome Jesus was
  • Inviting – she invited the villagers to return with her to meet Jesus for themselves
  • Bringing – she’d didn’t leave them to it, but physically brought them to where He was
  • Staying – they all stayed together for 2 days to draw close to Him and learn from Him
  • Multiplying – many became believers as a result of what she did.

Now, this Samaritan woman did not have to go, share, invite, bring, stay and multiply – but she had to – because she was so excited about Jesus and His mission.

I need this shift in my heart – don’t you?

Right at the start of the year, I shared how 2022 was the year of shift – and the most important shift of all is the shift of the heart!

We need our hearts to shift, and I’m praying that we see a spiritual awakening, a Holy Spirit conviction, a full-fledged crazy Kingdom revival – starting in, and through, each one of us.

I’m praying for such a significant shift in our hearts that we’ll all be united in our convictions – I don’t have to pray each day, but I have to. I don’t have to gather with the Zeo family, but I have to. I don’t have to serve in the life of Zeo, but I have to. I don’t have to give, but I have to. I don’t have to share my faith, but I have to.

Holy Spirit, do this work in me – in all of us!
We need it.
The world needs it.
Forgive us God, and change our hearts.


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