Digging Cracked Cisterns

CISTERN 3For my people have done two evil things: They have abandoned me-the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!”  –Jeremiah 2:13

If we look at the first four chapters of Jeremiah, you will notice that Spiritual Adultery and Idolatry are used interchangeably.  In the eyes of God, these two issues are the same issue.  To commit spiritual adultery is to be unfaithful to God and to commit idolatry is to worship another god.  Both require no loyalty, commitment, faithfulness, or courage to stand for what’s right.

Looking at the above verse from Jeremiah, the people of Israel were digging cracked cisterns for themselves.  Cisterns hold water, but in this particular passage, the cracked cisterns were the false religious systems and their continual idolatry of false gods the pagan nations served.  Whenever the Israelites turned away from God to serve the gods of pagan nations, they were building cracked cisterns that could not hold the amount of spiritual adultery, the pagan rituals they adopted along with the adoration of foreign gods.  The cracked cisterns represented everything temporal which would eventually fade away or erode.

However, the Fountain of the Living Water holds Truth and Life, and the Fountain of Living Water is eternal, unbreakable, the Source of Our Hope, and the Source of Life.  The people of God traded in their God, The Creator of Heavens and Earth, for gods made out of the hands of man.  Note:  Not even the pagan nations traded in their national gods as we can see in verses 11-12 which states, “Has any nation ever traded its gods for new ones even though they are not gods at all?  Yet my people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols!  The heavens are shocked at such a thing and shrink back in horror and dismay, says the Lord.”

Nowadays, we’re no different from the Israelites.  We could call them foolish people, but today, we’re just as foolish as they were.  We trade in the Fountain of the Living Water for cracked cisterns of our own making called money, power, wealth, prestige, religious systems, or whatever it is taking first place in our lives.  First place in our lives belongs to God and Him alone.  Why would we trade our glorious God for what is going to fade away?  Why would we trade our glorious God for what is broken and cracked when He offers what is whole and eternal?  Why should we cling to cracked cisterns when God is faithful to His promises of restoration and renewal, promises of hope?

God has shown us He does not change.  He is our Constant and Assurance.  He knows the motivations and intentions of the heart.  God does not look at the appearance of any man or woman.  He sees us digging cracked cisterns or if we are drinking from the Fountain of the Living Water.

If we have dug cracked cisterns for ourselves, then we must know we are being called back to a place of repentance.  God promises restoration for those who truly have a broken spirit and contrite heart before Him and does not turn away those who are humble and broken, truly repentant before Him.

What cracked cisterns do you have?  Are you truly willing to lay them down at the feet of God?  No one can answer those questions for you.  You must answer for yourself.

God must be First place in our life, our First Resource, not our last resort.  Let us come before God to be renewed, to be restored and purified.  Let us come bow our hearts before Him, seeing ourselves in light of who He is.

“You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one.  You do not want a burnt offering.  The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.  You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.” -Psalm 51:16-17

 

Much Love To You All,

L.A. Knowles

 

 

 

“Make Me Like Wax”

MAKE ME LIKE WAX

Written By Linda A. Knowles

October 2003

CANDLE 1

Make me like wax before the fire,

Softened and easy to shape.

Though my flesh roars out

for acts and crusades of rebellion,

May my spirit always yield

and submit to your ways.

Though purification

from selfishness and pride,

wrongful ways and sinful attitudes

may inflict temporal pain,

cleansed me as You did Isaiah

when the coal touched his lips

so I may be with You

from everlasting to everlasting.

May I continually strive

along your paths of righteousness

and seek out Your ways

that I might not become calloused

and lose First Love.

Thankful Heart

Praise The Lord

You, O LORD, are glorious, from everlasting to everlasting.  You are the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.  You are the only Rock, the only Way;  You are Life and Truth. You are Holy, and You are King of kings and Lord of lords.  YOU, O God, are my Shield and my Buckler.  No one compares to You.  I put my hope and trust in You alone, and there is no other foundation except the foundation You have laid.  Thank You for being my Salvation, my Portion forever.  To You, Abba, I offer the sacrifice of praise, giving You thanks because You are worthy of all glory, of all honor, and all praise.

THANKSGIVING 1

 


PSALM 138 – A Psalm of David


I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.
On the day I called, you answered me;
my strength of soul you increased.

All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord,
for they have heard the words of your mouth,
and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
for great is the glory of the Lord.
For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly,
but the haughty he knows from afar.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
and your right hand delivers me.
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.

 

About That Worship…


HEART 1As children of GOD, our lives are to be a living and pleasing sacrifice. Worship to GOD is not just singing a song to HIM because anyone can sing, but a life lived out to HIM that flows out of wholehearted devotion and obedience to GOD from an inward transformation is worship.


“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”

-Romans 12:1


“Do not present the parts of your body to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and present the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness.”

-Romans 6:13

How you live will show whom you serve.

 

Much Love To You All,

L.A. Knowles

This Pretty Much Says It All…

 

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“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  For by it the people of old received their commendation.” -Hebrews 11:1-2

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.  For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;   he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”  –James 1:2-8 (ESV)

 

 

Helpless Dependence

 


“God wants you to have something

far better than riches and gold,

and that is helpless dependence upon Him.”

-James Hudson Taylor-


ABANDON 1

There is no other kind of dependence on God other than helpless dependence, a blind unwavering faith.  We cannot even breathe on our own without God.  What would ever make us think we can live without Him?

SURRENDER 1

And when you completely abandon yourself to God,

it’s a decision you will never regret.

*

For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand;

it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.'”

Isaiah 41:13

*

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

and do not lean on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge him,

and he will make straight your paths.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

*

“He will not let your foot be moved;

he who keeps you will not slumber.”

Psalm 121:3

Discipleship Is Very Costly

“Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: ‘Ye were bought at a price,’ and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.” -Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship


LET GO 1

Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace?  Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?  Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.”  -Romans 6:1-4


When you seek counsel from God about any situation and when you decide you want to go deeper with the Lord in your walk with Him, BE CAREFUL.  Discipleship is costly.  Be careful what you ask God for.  Be careful when you ask Him to act on your behalf.  He may tell you what you have to give up, what you need to let go of, and He may tell you there is an influence over you that has got to go.

Are you willing to do whatever it takes for you to draw closer to God?  Are you willing to give up whatever God wants you to?  What are you willing to give up?  Do you want God to answer your prayers?  Are you in right relationship with Him?  Are you applying His Word to your life?  Are you spending time in His Word and in His Presence?  Is there sin in your life you haven’t repented of?  Don’t be surprised when you have to take a step of obedience or a giant leap of faith to do what God tells you to do? No one said living for God would be easy, but He gave us the greatest example:  Jesus Christ.  Look to Christ.  He was obedient unto death (Philippians 2:8), and He is our Teacher (Matthew 11:28-30).  Those who do the will of the Father are His family.  <> “Pointing to His disciples, He said, ‘Here are My mother and My brothers.  For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.'” -Matthew 12:49-50  <>  “Then Jesus told His disciples, ‘If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.  What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?'”  -Matthew 16:24-26  <>  “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and for the gospel will save it.” -Mark 8:36

When you abandon it all for Him, you won’t regret it.  He will give you the strength as you step out in faith and obey Him.  Answer His call, and do what He has called you to do.  Be deliberate in your walk with the Lord.  Be determined to do His will, and don’t let anyone or anything stop you from obeying God.  If God before You, who can be against you?

Much love to you all,

L.A. Knowles


Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced.  Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will.  And I know that I will not be put to shame.” -Isaiah 50:7