Christianity was supposed to be about becoming like Jesus. We went in the wrong direction.
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Broken Cisterns


For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. - Jeremiah 2:13

It can be difficult today with public water systems to appreciate life in a semi-dessert region where whatever rainfall occurs has to be captured in a cistern so that water can be avaliable in seasons of drought. The apostate nation of Israel can serve as an example for us of two fold self-inflicted damage.

By neglecting the connection we can have with God through Jesus, we shut off the “faucet” (quench) of the life giving water (work of his Spirit in us) that God would provide us. We often consider what we can provide for ourselves (wealth, education, or social prominence) as that in which we can reliably trust.

The suburban culture of the 1950s perhaps captures the “broken cistern” phenomena. Parents seemed to have little of value to impart to their children other than go to college and get a good job. Things of real value like how to discern truth, self-discipline, how to persevere, to show kindness and patience were not taught much as they were little known by the parents themselves.

In the movie “ET” the wise alien imparted the sage advice to the film’s protagonist to “Beee good”. Sadly this might be seen as representative of the depth of instruction available to successive generations that only have broken cisterns. The influence of the world and its systems is more geared to get what you can while you can. Even if successful, what is gained seldom has lasting value.

If one can recognize the impoverished state of a broken cistern, there is hope that one can return to he who waits to give “living water”. Water is that which sustains. We can think that the things of the world can be stored up in a “cistern” we construct that will sustain us. However, as they slip away, we can begin to see that it is far better to be sustained by the living water that God provides. This is a picture of living dependent upon God as opposed to thinking we can depend on ourselves.

Perhaps the best way to measure if we are living in dependence upon God or self is to gauge how much we serve self. Another measure is to see the relative importance we give to character qualities as opposed to material ones. For the unsaved, there is only the option of trying to fill a broken cistern. For those who have trusted in Jesus, there is the possibility of access to living water except if we, like apostate Israel, turn our back on God and follow after the self that is drawn to the flesh and the world.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. - 1 John 2:16



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