Fountain

Thanks to the flu (which I have so far evaded) hitting my home, I’ve little time to engage on social media this week. So here’s an oldie from 2014 that I needed to re-read today! ❤

Be appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the LORD, for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.

Jeremiah 2:12-13

We do not like to hear difficult news. It isn’t much fun, I have to admit, especially when said news involves an uncomfortably close look at my own behavior. My pride doesn’t enjoy the buffeting that comes from a confrontation of my sin.

However, the longer I have walked with God, the more I see the absolute necessity of these moments. If I cannot humbly ask God to search my heart and know my thoughts, well… I am not drinking deep from the Fount of living water but trusting in the cracked and leaky vessel of my silly and rather vain human pride, either by trusting in my own effort or ability or by accepting a cultural standard that is man-made and fleeting. This brief passage in Jeremiah has given me pause for both personal reflection and for a close look at my expectations as a part of the Church at large.

Lately I have been wondering how much of our modern church services are driven by such cultural expectations and efforts. Have we allowed the show to upstage the Almighty?

I love some stirring music as much as the next gal, but I do sometimes fear that what passes for “worship” in many churches today is not actually the unadorned worship of the Father. I fear it isn’t fueled by a hunger for His Word and His presence and marked by repentance and obedience, but by something far inferior. I fear that it is nothing more and nothing less than emotional response.

The plain fact is, we do not need music or color-coordination or conducive environments to worship. Worship just happens, and it happens from a recognition of the majesty and worthiness of God. Worship cannot be manufactured: it is the natural response to our mighty King.

Just the other day as I read Jeremiah 2 to my kids, I pondered it in light of the current church trends. When we, the Church, allow human expectations to define our worship services, are we then trusting in the Fountain of Living Water? Or have we hewn out cisterns for ourselves, cisterns that we expend enormous energy trying vainly to fill only to watch our efforts drain away while we sit by, exhausted and helpless to stop the leak?

I do not claim to know the answers; it is just something I have been contemplating. I do know, however, that many people are out there searching, searching for just the right worship environment rather than simply seeking the limitless Fountain which will, without fail, well up to an overflow.

I have experienced that worship can happen in the midst of intense pain as well as in the midst of beautiful and stirring music. True worship is really a reflexive response to the work of the Holy Spirit and cannot be conjured by any amount of human effort or will. I hope to see a return to sincere worship in our churches in my lifetime. I pray to see it in my own heart, as well.

God has made me realize lately just how deeply I, too, have based my ideologies and standards upon these fractured and fragile, man-hewn cisterns. You see, I tend to view my life–my use of time and other resources, how busy I am, my assessment of my own spiritual condition–not by God’s standards but by measuring them against my peers.

This is an area in which God has been dealing with me lately, pointing to the leaks and flaws in the cisterns I am pouring my energy into and beckoning me to sit by His Fountain and be filled.

I spent years striving ceaselessly to keep my spiritual life “full,” but for years I neglected to begin with humility, repentance and surrender. I have tried to be “good,” but in the end my best efforts are no better than filthy rags. What I need is to abide–to be a part of the living Vine, to trust entirely in the Fountain of Living Water and allow His life, power, and love to suffuse every element of my being until I am utterly eclipsed by it. May He increase and I decrease.

My prayer today, Father, is that I will no longer commit these two evils. Teach me to forsake my flawed human understanding and surrender entirely to Your perfect will. May Your Living Water well up within me to an overflow, for the glory of Your Kingdom and of Your name.

Let it be Your power that others see in me–power over sin and over the cares of this world. I ask for Your forgiveness for my arrogance in carving out my own, leaky vessels. I pray, too, for Your forgiveness for our churches. I pray that we, as Your Bride, would humble ourselves completely and listen to Your will for us. Help us to let go of all expectations that we have created and heaped upon ourselves and open our hearts to pure and sincere worship of You, our King.

Thus says the LORD: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls…

Jeremiah 6:16

13 thoughts on “Fountain

  1. So thought-provoking, Heather. I find worship happens for me when working with/teaching my own kids and those at my church. I’m not thinking of myself at those times, but of my incredible Lord, and the kids seem to bring that out as we focus on him together.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Worship happens for me when I have time to write and study the Word uninterrupted, when I work with kiddos (especially littles – don’t know why!), when I have those wonderful spontaneous conversations with my teens, when I’m hiking… Anything that gets my focus off “me,” just as you said!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Amen! and Amen! Heather, this is such an important message! Thank you so much for reposting it. I am glad that I saw it and read it, too. You have a keen awareness and sensitivity to what is going on in the church in our present times, and you did a great job of addressing those issues and presenting the truth and sharing with us some practical steps we can take in our own lives to make certain we do not end up following after broken cisterns, too. So, thank you so much!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Say, “Glory to God! Amen!” He is the one who led you to re-read it and to repost it, and He is the one who had me find it, read it, and lead me to reblog it. So, all praise and glory to Him.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Run With It and commented:
    Heather has a keen awareness and sensitivity to what is going on in the church in our present times, and she did a great job here of addressing those issues, and of presenting the truth, and in sharing with us some practical steps we can take in our own lives to make certain we do not end up following after broken cisterns, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very true. I’ve been to churches where there was a mere little band who played old gospel and seemingly bluegrass music. But the songs were given from the Lord and it brought people to the altar. And I’ve been to places where people were dancing and people were kind of rocking out. I’m not sure but I know of the Lord is in it, He will certainly reveal Himself.

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He always reveals Himself when He is there. I have to remind myself constantly that an emotional response is not necessarily a movement of the Holy Spirit. There’s a very big difference – one is temporary and the other is eternal.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

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