At a recent church meeting I shared about the encounter Jesus had with a Samaritan woman at a well (John 4).

John 4:4 says 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. He was driven by love, compelled to act and an overriding passion poured from in him as he knew he had to go, he had to talk to this woman and he had to stay.

And as a result, the woman at the well has a life-changing encounter with Jesus that results in her doing the following six things:
Going – she had to get back to her village
Sharing – she couldn’t help but share how amazing 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
Multiplyingmany 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.

Don’t you see? We don’t have to lead, we don’t have to be an influence, we don’t have to make a difference in God’s world but we choose to because we’re compelled to as a result of our passion for God and the places and spaces He has called us to invest in and lead where we don’t have to but we HAVE to.

I don’t have to pray each day, but I have to. I don’t have to gather with other disciples to do life and faith with, but I have to. I don’t have to lead, 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.

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

Making this shift means we can drop doing things out of duty and instead be compelled by the same passion Jesus had and the same passion the woman at the well had, and we can go for it.

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.