One of the marvels of this world that intrigued me as a high-school student was machines which appeared to operate by perpetual motion. The concept is that a machine, once started, would work continuously without the need for any further input of energy.
The physics experts have usually said that it cannot be done. In the first place, such a machine would break the first law of thermodynamics — the law of conservation of energy. And secondly, the law of entropy would be violated, and they would consume more energy than they can convert to useful work. (Sorry, you’ll have to look those up in your dictionary.) The major problem seems to be that energy is lost by the friction generated as the machine works, thus upsetting the energy balance.
I can still remember seeing some of the attempts at perpetual motion in a science musuem in Kensington, London, and recall going home afterwards all set to experiment and solve this problem. Obviously physics was not my thing but in the decades since the world’s smartest brains have not produced a perpetual motion machine. It is highly like that the world will get closer to producing such a machine, although perhaps never one based on pure perpetual motion.
It is only when we get to the spiritual world that perpetual motion becomes feasible, for there is no friction or wear and tear in that realm. Actually Jesus made some statements that are suggestive of perpetual motion or infinite supply. One of these statements is recorded in John 4:13-14. Jesus is talking to the woman at the well and uses the illustration at hand to press home the point. “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” The Living Bible translates the well as a “perpetual spring”; another translation speaks of it “flowing continually”. And in the earlier part of the verse, the Amplified Bible says “shall never, no never, be thirsty any more”. That verse speaks not only of perpetual motion but also infinite supply.
Jesus is teaching His disciples the totality of His gift of eternal life to all who believe. The church at large today seems to be teaching their disciples that God’s gift is limited. Now, it does not take a theological course to see that Jesus meant what He said. He did not say “shall never thirst, if…” The only condition to be fulfilled was to “drink of the water that I shall give him” — and drinking is receiving the gift.
The need to drink water or liquid fairly constantly is well known in the physical world. The spiritual world is totally different. There is no need for a daily “topping up”, for without any help from me, and whether I kick the cat or not, there is “a spring of water welling up (flowing, bubbling) continually within” (Amplified Bible). The everlasting life that God has given to me is therefore self-perpetuating; it can never run out. Now that is exciting!
In case you think the above is an isolated verse, let’s examine John 6:35, “Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” In the previous verses Jesus has revealed Himself to be “the true bread from heaven”, and again it is obviously self-perpetuating. “He that cometh to me shall never hunger”; that is infinite supply. Once you become a believer you cannot experience spiritual hunger — that is as impossible as perpetual motion in the physical world. You can desire a greater awareness of what God has made available for you, but spiritual hunger is a contradiction in terms.
In conclusion, let me quote John 7:37-39: “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living waters. (But this spake he of the Spirit…).” “From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water” (Amplified).