“And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke, we also believe and therefore speak. 2 Corinthians 4:13
Can there be a silent faith? Can there be a genuine faith that does not lift up its voice to be heard? Does not our silence betray the fact that we do not truly, at the core of our being, believe those things we profess to believe? I am convinced that nothing would ever be able to silence us if we became truly convinced of the glory, power and beauty of the Lord Jesus, of God’s great desire to show mercy and grant eternal life to the repentant, of the imminent approach of the day of judgment, and of the horror of the eternal punishment that awaits those who do not believe.
May God grant to all of us, His people, a greater revelation of these things so that with all our believing there would also be speaking.
“I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kindgom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” 2 Timothy 4:1-2
Sunday afternoon was my city’s annual Earth Day celebration. Mostly it’s just another excuse for a festival with live music, beer and carnival food. After church I went with a small group of people to share the gospel of Jesus. There were some memorable moments during the day when I felt like it was a God ordained moment for me to speak to certain people…..a man who was weighed down by the guilt of his alcohol addiction…..the 20-something pastor’s son who was dabbling in the world and trying unsuccessfully to justify it to himself….so many stories. So many people in need of the freedom that only Jesus can bring. After several hours, the outreach was over and it was time to make my way back to church for prayer meeting. Arriving at my car, I began to unload my backpack into the trunk when I noticed that a lady was opening the trunk of the car next to me. Just being polite, I turned towards her with a very generic, “How are you today?” When she turned towards me I could see the pain on her face as she answered, “I”m having a really bad day.” I offered to pray for her but she seemed hesitant to reveal any details of her trouble, yet my heart was moved with compassion for her and I knew I couldn’t just leave. I began to tell her of the One who loves with a faithful love, watching as her face softened. There were only a few moments that I had to speak to her before her companion joined her at the car, so I spoke all that was on my heart, threw my arms around her and prayed a brief prayer in her ear. Her name is Keisha. And as I drove away, I told her once again, “I will pray for you Keisha.”
I had thought the outreach was over. In reality, it never is.
For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns – broken cisterns that can hold no water. Jeremiah 2:13
Why is it that men will forsake the fountain in favor of the cistern?
With the fountain there is an endless supply, not just of water, but of living water. A never ending source and an unmatched quality. There is no effort to be expended in order to drink your fill, except that which is necessary to come to the fountain.
Yet we humans, always desiring to attain by the works of our own hands, reject that which is freely offered in favor of that which we can produce by the sweat of our brow……even when the quality is so terribly inferior and the end result imminently unsatisfying. At the fountain we are offered water of life. All the cistern can offer is something stale and stagnant.
So how are those cisterns working out for you? What cisterns, you ask?
How about the cistern of religious activity that we choose instead of the fountain of encountering God?
How about the cistern of saying prayers that replaces the fountain of real soul travail that touches heaven?
How about the cistern of singing worship songs instead of the fountain of true worship in spirit and truth that pours itself out at the feet of Jesus?
Dig with all your might the cistern of your choice. Meanwhile all of heaven is astonished at our foolishness. Will we never learn that only at the fountain of our precious Lord Jesus will we ever find satisfaction? Or will we go on ever building cisterns….and ever thirsting?