Fountain or Cistern, Jesus or self, which is it?
Living Water, or Broken Cistern? Jesus or self?
If ever there was a no brainer choice presented, It seems like this is it – right?
I mean, hands down we’ll take living water every time, broken cistern just sounds bad. We don’t want water in anything broken whether we know what a cistern is or not. OR would we!?! What if what we think is living water, isn’t? What if it’s actually, a broken cistern?
What if what we think is pure and satisfying thirst quenching goodness is really – nothing more than muck and mire leaving us thirsty and searching for more?
Join me in this episode as we explore just that, asking ourselves, “Am I running to the fountain of living water OR am I running to a broken cistern?
Fountain of living water or a broken cistern?
If ever there was a no brainer choice presented – It seems like this is it – right? I mean, hands down we’ll take living water every time….broken cistern just sounds bad – we don’t want water in anything broken whether we know what a cistern is or not. OR would we!?!
What if what we think is living water, isn’t? What if it’s actually, a broken cistern? What if what we think is pure and satisfying thirst quenching goodness is really – nothing more than muck and mire leaving us thirsty and searching for more?
In today’s episode, we are going to explore just that, asking the question – am I running to the fountain of living water OR am I running to a broken cistern?
We were made to worship.
Jesus said to the Samaritan Woman. “Let him that is athirst come, and drink of the water of life freely.”
Did you hear that? Our God said, drink of the water of life FREELY. His offering is MORE than we need, abundance a source that we can go to confidently knowing it doesn’t have to be rationed out, we don’t have to wonder if there will be enough because HE said to drink freely.
In this portion of scripture we see a powerful interaction between Jesus and a woman who has done her share of running to broken cisterns. His encounter with her takes place in Samaria. She’s a Samaritan woman belonging to a group of people the Jews despised. But just as Jesus shows us time and time again, he’s not a respecter of persons and his love reaches for all people. This encounter destroys every thought for those of us who feel unworthy of the living water thinking our only option is a broken cistern.
This woman is going to the well. She’s got her water pot and there she is looking for water in the heat of the day. He’s talking to her about wells and water. He says to her, “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 water of water springing up into everlasting life. He says to her and she responds, “Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.”
It’s at this point after he’s already offered her this living water that Jesus reveals He knows she’s been drinking from some broken cisterns. She’s got a past, she was looking for satisfaction in relationship that have failed, and she’s living in the midst of another one that is down right inappropriate. He told that to her after he offered the water.
Friend, the living water is available whether you’re cleaned up or not. The offer is on the table before you fix anything. He reveals to her that He is the Messiah and He’s offering her something that is going to be more fulfilling and quench that thirst more than that well she’d come to draw water from, and more than those relationships she’s been running after. In that moment we see her excitement. She’s overwhelmed by what she has just heard. So overwhelmed that the thirst that initially brought her to that well is forgotten. We know this because she leaves behind that water pot. She has no need any longer because she has just exchanged it for the living water He offered her.
I want to drink from that fountain. Don’t you?
A fountain that causes us to forget the hamster wheel of this world. The culture that leaves me thirsty in all the hustle, strife, and never ending climb trying to get to the mountain of satisfaction. I don’t want to drink from cisterns that leave me thirsty. I want the fountain of living water that sustains me and causes me to turn from that broken cistern and run to the fountain.
Jesus tells us plainly in Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.
He didn’t say blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after; status, social acceptance, control, wealth, prestige, romantic love, ambition will be filled. He said those who hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled.
God is righteous. Our righeousness comes only through our faith in Jesus. It’s not man made, it’s God given and happens only through our relationship with Him.
A question to process and pray over, What am I hungry and thirsty for?
Have I without realizing it turned to these things rather than Jesus?
Guys – I tell you the truth, I’m not coming to you as someone who has everything figured out. Professing perfection by any means. I’m coming to you as someone who has done my share of turning to broken cisterns – in fact this study led me to see a couple that have gone undetected until now. I’m so thankful for those moments of correction from Jesus. I don’t always like them, but I am indeed thankful for those times when it’s like He’s saying, “wait a second daughter, come closer let me show you something. There’s a better way.”
As you pray over this question with purity in your heart, God will reveal what you’re truly hungry and thirsty for, and when He does – don’t feel shameful or condemned, that feeling doesn’t come from Jesus. Feel grateful that Jesus, God of all creation is turning you to a source of fulfillment rather than a cheap unsatisfying standing. Thank Him for opening your eyes, and take time to repent for placing your hope and trust in something other then Him. Repentance these days isn’t a popular thing to talk about, and it’s lack of popularity is hurting us as a people. We can’t make it into heaven without it. Maybe you’re listening to this today and you’ve got no idea, and you’re wondering, “what repentance is?”
Repentance, is a change in our mind that results in a change in our actions.
We’re called to be hearers and doers. True repentance involves turning from evil, to turn to good. We must repent, when we apply it here we see we have to change our minds about these broken cisterns we’ve been drinking from, looking to for fulfillment, our rejection of Jesus as the fountain of living water, and with our actions turn to Him. There has to be an action here. Repentance is a recognition that says, wait, I’ve been looking to the wrong thing, and embraces a new way of thinking that has Jesus at the center.
This can be a hard thing. It’s a habit changer, acquired taste of sorts. Reminds me of water for some being an acquired taste. It can take time to reshape our thinking just as changing a habit takes time, and persistence. But it’s worth every moment spent in prayer, and allowing the Lord to rewire our mind, and our processes. My husband and I were talking about this podcast before I recorded it, and he mentioned for him drinking water is easier at the office, than it is at home. That statement hit me as so profound – isn’t that the truth when it comes to turning to Jesus as our center, and source? It can be easier in some atmospheres, than others.
Difficulty doesn’t give us license to give up, it’s eye opening proof letting us know sometimes we’ve got to be more intentional about this turning, and it requires more thought and effort than other. But we aren’t left to go it alone. God’s desire is to help us change and be invited in every step of the way. How beautiful to say to the Lord, just what this Samaritan Woman said – give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. Lord, I don’t want to go to those broken cisterns trying to draw water only to come up dry and thirsty again. I want to turn to you, that Salvation found in you would quench that thirst and turn me to you. I don’t thirst any longer.
Psalm 46, "God is our refuge and strength."
Cold Hard Truth – Hewn out broken cisterns still had a use, and that use was a tomb for the dead.
Really when we start looking to these things to satisfy our thirst rather than Jesus – don’t they do the same? They hold no promise of hope and future, their results are temporary. That’s not some where we want to put our hope – we want our hope in life eternal, by putting our Trust in the only ONE who saves, the One with an eternal result which is Jesus.
This week I watched my son and my husband. They were playing around in our kitchen. I watched as my son climbed up on a chair and without any forewarning he jumped into my husbands arms. My heart nearly stopped, and my husband and I looked at each other with one of those, “Oh my goodness looks.” Thinking on it later, I was awestruck as I thought. There was no consideration. He didn’t wonder, “am I too much? Is Dad strong enough? He believed and didn’t doubt knowing with certainty that his dad would catch Him. In that moment, I felt the Lord speak to me saying, this is what I want from you, childlike faith trusting and believing I’ve got you.
Proverbs 3:5, tells us, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding."
Our own understanding quickly draws us to look to those broken cisterns, but God’s word promises in
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
These cisterns – those are carved out by the hand of man.
We are not the answer to our emptiness – God is.
Friends, as we wrap this episode up, let’s take these verses with us. Let’s trust Jesus to be our center, our life giving source. Ezekiel 47:9, “and it shall come to pass that everything that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and everything shall live whither the river cometh.”
Guys – Everything lives where the river runs. Jesus is that river – HE is that fountain -the continual flow the life giving thirst quenching provider we need.
Let’s Choose Him.