Eight years ago God gave me a word about what it means to reach a city for Jesus. He said, “You’ll know a city is reached when it saturated with Me.” It was one of the most profound things God had ever spoken to me, but ironically I didn’t really understand what God meant. The word saturate was powerful and painted an amazing word picture of what happens when a person is filled to overflowing, but how does an entire city get saturated with Jesus so that it overflows?
John 4 tells the story of the Samaritan woman’s encounter with Jesus. In this story, Jesus asks the woman for a drink of water and then begins to tell her that whoever drinks of the water He provides would never thirst. She requested a drink of this water and then met the Holy Spirit as Jesus gave her a word of knowledge that she had been married 5 times and the man she was currently living with wasn’t her husband. After that, Jesus had a short conversation with her about worship and then she declared Him as the Christ!
After this encounter with Jesus, the Samaritan woman went into the town of Sychar and told all the men that she knew about what happened to her. She then invited them to come meet Jesus! Look at what happened next in John 4:
39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of His own word.
One person’s radical encounter with Jesus led to many in a city being reached with the gospel. In a sense, this city became saturated with Jesus. This brings up an important key about discipleship we all need to learn if we are going to see the city we live in be saturated with Jesus:
It’s important for disciples to learn information about Jesus, but we must take what we know and go tell it to somebody else if we are going to fulfill the Great Commission. Disciples are not just leaners with head knowledge about God. Disciples know things about God, but also are connected on a heart level so they go into all the world and make disciples of others.
The statements in bold above create tension for many churches. Some churches believe discipleship is based around getting people more information. They focus on comprehensive teaching of scripture, have lots of conferences, Bible studies, and small groups, etc. They define discipleship as knowledge of scripture. These churches rarely do outreaches or focus on evangelism because they never think their people are quite ready. The story in John 4 is the opposite of that approach. This woman didn’t know the deep things of scripture yet, but she had a deep heart encounter with Jesus that caused her to go share her faith! This is what it means to be saturated with God.
Saturation with God has to do more with a positioning of the heart than deep knowledge of the scriptures. To be clear, I’m not saying we don’t need a deep knowledge of the scriptures, but the first thing we need is a positioning of the heart where we will follow Jesus in any circumstance. Once a persons’s heart is positioned to follow because Jesus is Lord, knowledge of scriptures will come.
I do want to reiterate, I’m certainly all for learning the Bible as I’m currently teaching verse by verse through the New Testament at church. My goal in this article is to make the point that if we don’t take what we know about Jesus and share it with others, there is a lot lacking in our discipleship. In the gospels and the books of Acts, disciples constantly shared their faith with others.
You may be saying, “but Brian, I’m not an evangelist. I’m not one called to share my faith.” While it’s true you may not be an evangelist like Billy Graham or Todd White, you are called to share your faith. Evangelists are called to equip others to share their faith. Disciples are called to share their faith. We are all disciples.
What you may need in order to share your faith is a radical encounter with Jesus like the Samaritan woman experienced. This experience changed the positioning of her heart and changed all of her priorities. She was so touched her priority shifted from getting water to telling others about what happened when she met Jesus. If you read the story, Jesus didn’t tell her to do this. This is what she wanted to do. This illustrates the priority shift where Jesus isn’t just savior, but He is Lord. This sparked the revival in Sychar that led to God saturating that city!
If this article is speaking to you and you need Jesus to not only be your savior, but to be your Lord, cry out to God today to touch your heart and do for you what He did for the Samaritan woman. She was transformed and this led her to transform the world around her. When God touches you, you’ll tell everyone you come in contact with and not have to be told. You’ll be transformed and your world around you will be transformed! That is how cities get saturated with Jesus!