Tuesday, April 15, 2008

thirst and pain

Who’s Gonna “Do” Your Thirst and Pain? God or you?
(repentance at a deeper level - the way to discover your DREAM)

God said, “My people have committed two sins; They have forsaken me, the Spring of Living Water, and have dug their own cisterns*, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” Jer. 2:13. (* a cistern is a man-made well. It has no underground source. You are it’s supplier).

Pride says - “I don’t want to drink at God’s Spring - for I would then have to be dependent on that Spring, and I’d have to live on His terms - serving Him, bowing to Him; I’d rather forsake that Spring and do my own wells - even if they can’t hold water - at least they’re my wells.” God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. We can sum up all sin in one word: ‘pride’, and in every decision of our lives, we make either a choice to trust, or a choice to reject Him and be proud.
The two areas in which I will either ‘trust’ God, or choose ‘pride’ are:
1) Needs - basic needs, food and shelter (God promises to meet those needs - Matt. 6:11; 24-34)
2) Desires - emotional, sexual, social, or good health. Can you trust God w/these? (Ps. 34:7).
3) Purpose/DREAM - to have relational fullness w/God & others (Col. 2:2; Eph. 3:10); and have awesome impact (Jer.29:9-11), caring, discipling.

1) Past pain - memories. He is the God who heals (Ps. 147:3)
2) Present pain - relational, emotional, physical; pains within and without - He's a present help in time of trouble - comforting us (Ps. 46:1; 2 Cor. 1:3-10);
3) Future pain - (i.e. `fear' - anticipated pain); fear of the future; of what `could' happen (Ps 41:10; 56:3,4)

The question is, have you dug out your own wells in order to do your thirst and pain, or have you been trusting Him to do your thirst and pain? Repentance is a recognition of doing my own thirst and/or pain and a decision to leave those wells and head back to the Spring of Living Water — and stay there! At this Spring, you may feel like you’re losing your life, but actually you’re finding it. Read John 12:25-26 and you’ll discover 3 awesome spiritual realities happening honoring us and; 3) we get to really find our life (i.e. discover and do our DREAM)!. Think about how you’re doing your thirst/pain. Are you living at His Spring or at your broken cisterns?

One can trace all sins back to pride - (or a combination of ignorance and pride) - and pride is nothing more or less than forsaking the Spring of Living Water and digging for ourselves wells that can’t hold water. We are responsible for both our ignorant and our deliberate sins. If we have ignorantly or deliberately made for ourselves these wells, repentance is necessary in the healing process.
To know what areas we are to repent of, we can trace our sin of pride to the areas of our thirst and/or pain - are we ‘doing’ our thirst/pain, or are we trusting Him with our thirst and/or pain?

Trusting God to do your thirst and pain is a lifelong journey and it’s the main way He is working pride out and building trust into our souls He knows those who live by the Stream and supports their DREAM (2 Chron 16:9).
One last note on the pain: God is always there for us in past, present and future pain, and God has given us His PEOPLE, His PRESENCE and His PROMISES to walk us through past pains, to help us overcome present pains and help us face our fears (future pains).
These areas of sin/pride - doing our own thirst and pain - are usually hidden areas of our soul - strongholds of darkness. That’s why we must honestly and radically deal with the darkness if we are to see His DREAM released in us.

Here are some good questions to discover who’s doing the thirst/pain in your life:

· Do I trust God to to provide for my needs/desires in His timing and in His way, or am I angry at Him at the way He’s doing it?

· Do I trust God to heal my pain in His timing and in His way or do I believe He’s not doing it quick enough so I must act now?

· Do I trust God to provide the opportunities for me to do my dream in His timing and in His way or have I buried my dream (which is a way I am doing my pain) - or perhaps I’m doing it at the neglect of other responsibilities He’s given me to do?

· If I’ve dug my own wells - to do my own thirst and pain, am I willing to leave them and go back to the Spring?

Pride is the link to a woman digging her own wells. The Bible says that those wells don’t hold water and they don’t satisfy. Jesus told the woman at the well in John 4 that if she drank from this Living Water, she would never be thirsty. He told her that the water that He gave would become a fountain of water springing up into eternal life for those who would drink from the water Jesus gives (John 4:9-29).

Until we stop doing our thirsts and pain OUR OWN WAY, we will never be able to do our DREAM HIS WAY! As I trust God to quench my thirst and to comfort me in my pain, He will, in His time do a much better job than I can do. And I must keep coming. All He expects is that when we drink, we give Him thanks and praise and worship Him - the Source of Living Water.

If I choose to ‘do’ my own thirst and/or pain from my own well that I dug myself, though there may be a temporary quenching of the thirst and/or a temporary relief of the pain, I will end up more thirsty and in more pain than when I started. It’s like the person shipwrecked at sea in a lifeboat - thirsty and without water. He knows he mustn’t drink the salt water (which would dehydrate him, though it would temporarily quench his thirst), but instead he must wait for help. Those who drink the salt water die, those who wait have a hope to be saved.

One more problem occurs if I drink from my own well; not only will I end up more unsatisfied, but I will also end up with a whole new set of pains - of guilt and shame, regret, time lost and broken relationships - because I did not trust but insisted on my own way.
The wonderful thing about God’s great grace is that even if I go my own way, God is always there - ready to take me back, to clean me up, to forgive me - to heal me - to restore me; He is my Father and He loves me; Jesus is my Good Shepherd and He knows how to get this sometimes confused and stubborn sheep back into His pasture. (I just don’t understand why I keep thinking I can do my thirst and pain better than my Maker, my Designer, my Master... I’m ready to leave my wells and go back to the Spring. How about you?).

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Jodie said...

This is SO-OOOOO true, Lylah! Thanks for your wisdom. How many of our struggles can be linked back to unbelief... Praise God for His grace!!!

Many blessings to you...

6HappyHearts said...

Sister?!? God is using you in a mighty way!! Love, love, LOVE the "realness"! (is that even a word?!)
Oh anyhoo...
Keep sowing : )
I've bragged about you on my blog.
I pray God blesses your ministry!!

Lylah said...

well...thank you so much! it's 23 years of ministry leadership to women...and another 13 of being a pastors wife...bless God!

Dawn said...

My friend,6HappyHearts, sent me over from her blog. She is right. You are a blessing to women. You speak from the heart.

Lylah said...

thanks dear dawn....how kind.