Monday School: Cistern or Living Water?

I was excited Sunday morning to find that our church is beginning a series studying Jeremiah – the “Weeping Prophet.” I have never actually read the book of Jeremiah on my own, so to be able to study through it on Sunday mornings will be amazing.

We were in chapter two. Verse 13 stood out to me the most.

Israel had stopped seeking God. Verses four through eight make clear that they had forgotten all that God had done for them. Those great, miraculous signs and wonders he performed for them as he led them out of Egypt meant nothing to them any more. They were content in their rituals, and even the teachers of the law had forgotten what they were for. They had forgotten the signs and wonders that each part of their religious life and faith represented. They had forgotten God.

Too often, people shake their fists and demand miraculous signs and wonders. They demand that God “prove himself” to exist. Sadly, even when God does do something mighty, these are the first people who wish to dismiss it, and refuse to believe. (John 12:37)

By the time we come to verse 13, we have seen God pleading his case before his people, longing for their return to faithfulness and fellowship.

“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.” ~Jeremiah 2:13 (NIV)

Immediately, a question applicable to my own life, today, became apparent.

What cisterns have I dug for myself, allowing what God gives me to go stagnant? Or worse, leak out through cracks created by poor construction?

God is our Living Spring. He is the Source of fresh, spiritual water, always pure, and always ready to fill me up now, this moment. As a Christian, I have constant access to this Living Spring, because the Holy Spirit lives in me. He teaches me, convicts me, moves my heart, and leads me daily to this Living Water.

Do I drink of it? Do I wash in it daily?

Or do I content myself with things I learned long ago, letting the memories of what he has done slowly fade? Or do I equip myself to be part of what he is doing now, today, keeping his face fresh before my eyes?

That is the choice I face.

When I remember what God has done in my life, does it drive me to keep walking, keep serving, and keep trusting him in the moment I am facing here in the Present? That is the purpose of looking back, if we do at all. Remembering God’s faithfulness in the past ought to drive us to persevere in our own faithfulness now, in gratitude for his.

If we seek that Living Water daily, and drink of it daily, then we can come to a place where we refuse to settle for anything less than God’s perfect will for us. (Romans 12:2) We can’t know his will unless we do this. Unless we remember what God has done for us in Christ Jesus, and pursue him daily.

Remembering is not enough – we must act on what we remember, and continue to grow, watered daily by the Word of God.

When we settle for cistern water, we settle for stagnant, impure water. And even that, we can’t keep. Our cistern is broken by sin. We keep ourselves from being ready for what the Holy Spirit might lead us to do today. We live forever unchanging in yesterday, and find ourselves unprepared for tomorrow when it becomes today.

I don’t want to live like that.

What cisterns have you built for yourself? What keeps you from drinking from the Living Water?

Grace & Peace,