The people of Israel stood accused before the Lord. They were guilty of two offenses. First, they had forsaken the Lord. He who promised them refreshed spirits throughout their lives had been forgotten. God was the fountain of living water that continually flowed for his people, but they had abandoned him. Their second sin consisted of making and seeking other sources of satisfaction for their spiritual thirst. They had gone after other gods, the gods of their neighbors. The worthless idol of Baal had become their thirst quencher. Unfortunately Baal’s water did not quench thirst.
It is a simple but profound truth: Jesus is the oasis, the spring of living water. Yet we can spend our lives drinking from and repairing leaky cisterns which hold no water. We seek to satisfy our spiritual thirst with other gods. Many of these cisterns are well intentioned and even respectable in the sight of others. Some are subtle and lie in the depths of our hearts unseen or perceived until the Lord brings them to the light.
A family has had a busy week. On Friday night, they want to relax and decide to watch a video. Clean entertainment is hard to find, so they compromise and feast their minds on scenes and words that will harm their souls. Their relief from the stress lasts as long as the video, but when it ends, their souls still thirst.
A teacher loves to teach; it is a joy for him to expound God’s word to his students. Yet after a time, he seeks soul satisfaction from the thrill of teaching rather than from the Lord Jesus, about whom he is teaching. After a time, he realizes that the cistern of teaching leaks and does not continually renew him.
A mother seeks to nourish her soul from the lives of her children. Her children are her life. She lives for them and would die for them. She is the ultimate mother, the envy of other mothers. Yet as commendable as her devotion to her children is, she still finds that there is something missing. At the core of her being she is thirsty. It’s a thirst for the eternal that only the spring of living water can supply. Her diligently maintained cistern of family continually springs leaks, and the satisfying waters drain away.
Have you forsaken the Lord for cisterns that hold no water? Have you let noble endeavors turn into worthless idols? Does your soul thirst despite a life of outward success? Return to the fountain of living waters and take a big drink. Surrender your leaky cisterns for a drink at the ever-fresh fountain of Christ.
“My people have committed two sins; they have forsaken me, the spring of living water,
and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”
Prayer Starter: Lord, stir my heart to believe that you are the fountain of living water. I surrender the leaky cisterns back to you.
About the Author: Lyndon Wall served as a pastor in Alberta, Canada for fourteen years. He has also served the Jos, Nigeria mission community by providing pastoral care. Lyndon is the founder of Refresh Ministries, which is dedicated to helping people in ministry enjoy “healthy souls.” Lyndon earned a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
This excerpt is from Lyndon’s devotional book “Refresh“. Lyndon wrote “Refresh“ specifically for pastors, missionaries, and ministry workers whose souls have been parched by the stresses and tests of life. Stress is a reality of life. It can harm and drain us of vital energy. It must be responded to wisely. This devotional book was written to help you encounter Jesus Christ, the great refresher of the soul and give insights that will help you live with a renewed and joyful heart.