“For 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!
The priests, the prophets and the people have all made a really foolish choice. They have exchanged their relationship with The Living God for lifeless idols of wood and stone. They have stopped drinking deeply from the inexhaustible resource of The Living Water and have become exhausted in digging their own source of sustenance. There’s just something in human nature that pushes against the against the provision of God. God’s provision comes with the proviso that we follow His laws and yield our wills. An idol we hold in our hands or a cistern we dig for ourselves can be run by our own rules. Instead of being held we choose to hold. Instead of being led we choose to lead. Instead of being provided for we choose to provide for ourselves so we can do what we want when we want and how we want to do it! When we don’t want to submit to the one who has done the work for us we will find ourselves working without rest until our broken cisterns become our permanent graves. The people of Israel were telling God they didn’t need Him anymore because they could dig their own wells, they could find their own way.
That independent streak really gets us into trouble. We simply don’t like to be told what to do. Independence is the pathway to idolatry. It’s our justification for our little g gods. Our innate desire to call our own shots and make our own way instead of following God’s way is what gets in the way of His will fulfilled will in our lives. Every parent knows this to be true. This summer when we would head out on many adventures I would give my boys some instructions before leaving. I told my boys to wear slippers on the way out of the house. They said, “no need Dad” and then burned their feet on the hot asphalt as we walked. Yet, even though they were in pain as they suddenly started speed walking to our destination they still chose to do the same thing again the next time around. I told my boys to make sure they took a hydro flask of water out because they would get thirsty. They said, “no need Dad” and then end up dehydrated later on in the hot sun because they didn’t want to follow my simple instructions. I said, “Make sure you put some sunscreen on your haole skin because we are going to be out all day.” Can you guess what happened next? The older my boys get the more costly their choice for independence becomes. Sometimes, I just have to look them in the eyes and remind them that when I give instruction, when I bring direction, it’s to set them up for success. Just like my boys I sometimes tell my Father God “no need Dad” and go to try to do my own thing my own way. I always end up tired, thirsty, and frustrated because my plans simply don’t hold water.
Instead of “No Need Dad” I’m shouting I need You Dad. You are the well that won’t run dry. You are the peace that passes understanding. You are the only One who can satisfy. Forgive for trying to control the outcomes. Forgive me for ignoring Your voice as I head out in to my day without the preparations of spirit that You are guiding me to. This is not my life, it’s Yours. This is not my family, it’s Yours. This is not my Church, it’s Yours. This is not my well, it’s Yours and I will drink deeply from You today and follow Your ways. Open my eyes as you opened the eyes of the woman at the well, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water” (John 4:10). So, I’m asking Lord. I need You desperately.