Drinking from the Proverbial Cistern
Drinking from the Proverbial Cistern
Life has fallen in to quite some disarray these last weeks. I have been apathetic and seemingly nonchalant about the callousness of my heart, and again, that bitter weed has taken root. I am nearly perpetually tired and cranky, and that neediness is just creeping up on me. I am empty, running on little to nothing.
There somehow is a vicious cycle of thoughts that is vandalizing my thoughts and mind. Turning again to creation again and not Creator. In vain I have been seeking joy, love and approval from people and not my Lord. In turn my expectation and desire for love and approval are not met in people. I grow disappointed and frustrated others inability to fill me and am bitter that they’re not satisfying what I crave. In that I blame and judge their weakness, and in turn my internal slanderous voice feeds my self righteous loathing at other people’s faults, failing even to see my own. I grow contempt hearing the praises of others, and am resentful against all. I begin to resent the merciful and compassionate.
I like how Joel articulated this:
“Before, my friends were my life. This was no fault of theirs, but rather my own misunderstanding of friendship. Every decision I made was based on my social capital. I found that my hanging out with friends was actually feeding my own selfishness, my need and desire to be loved was feeding my need and desire to give them all of me. I wanted to be wanted. So I was the guy where, whatever anybody wanted, I gave them so that we could continue on our “wanted” economy. Giving it out, for me, is not the hard part: It’s learning to fill it up.
I got to the point where I could constantly see the bottom of my proverbial bucket. Even with something as simple as grace, my bucket was being emptied to the point where doing either my job or in Community Group just felt like I was leading and pouring out, I didn’t have any more to give. I thought my friends or co-workers were responsible for filling me up, or that one day a wife would fill me up and I that all I needed to do was find a wife (who I was thinking of like a functional savior) if I wanted to be full. So I started to protect my bucket from other people, withholding my self from them. I started to feel like all I did was pour out and nothing poured into me.” (see here for the full article.)
Unfortunately, it always seems that when God does something massive in my life, like clearing a huge debt, in the height of all my contentment I negligently let my guard down and allow myself to be less diligent in my walk. I give way to things and slowly standards slip in to rebellion. I am so deeply convicted that I have placed many of my friends in the place of God. Instead of drawing and being filled by God, I have desired a status amongst friends and my community over God’s glory. I have been trying to fill myself through people instead of God. When I am not getting the satisfaction from people I get bitter that they’re not satisfying my needs. I have become needy, bitter that they’re not filling me, and have been running on empty, busy people pleasing and perpetually conscious of my image.
It’s easy now for me to see where my whole problem of understanding where and why I got to where I am, tired, disorganized, with my time. I simply have not been resting or allowing myself to be filled up. Again all my answers point back to Jesus. I have been running on empty, and instead of meeting people ready to pour myself, I go wanting to only receive and take all I think I deserve. I have been drinking from the proverbial cistern, and have not been turning to my Lord God for the strength and satisfaction that can only come from him! Again, being heavily convicted that I am guilty of this, I'm doing my best to remain under the spiritual ICU by resting in Him, and fasting from my idols.
God doesn’t need us!
Everyday I fail to give or rob God the glory he deserves. Simple things like food, a movie, good company, biking, skiing, was made that we may find enjoyment in it that it might stir in us a gratitude and worship for the person who created it. We were never meant to take created things and elevate them to the status where we celebrate, indulge and invest in it like a god, and our identity is not meant to be rooted in created things, whether it is, friends, music, material items, activities; our identity is meant to be rooted in God. All created things are all dependent on something, and all created things needs to be served or maintained by something else in order to survive or be. God, and only God, doesn’t need to be served or maintained. He doesn’t need us! He doesn’t need our love, worship or money. He owns it all anyway! Instead he chose us, and allowed us to be in the privilege of eternal relationship with him. Night and day he stretches his arms welcoming and inviting all to be in relationship with him, it is his desire that all might be saved, but his will that only the ones he chooses be saved.