Effective Christian witness springs from Spirit-filled wells, not from broken cisterns; from a divinely given revelation accepted by faith and acted on in obedience, not from accumulated human wisdom or erudite reasoning.
Israel had forsaken God and the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah saying that they, “went after worthlessness, and became worthless … 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” (Jer. 2:5, 13).
Let us beware today lest that which should be a stream of living water proceeding from a Spirit-filled life should in fact prove to be the parched ground surrounding a broken cistern!
In his infinite wisdom God has placed Christians in the world to witness to his saving power. Neither the Christian nor the Church is the agent of redemption, rather they are witnesses to God’s redemptive act in Christ.
Therefore, the Christian and the Church are the channels of the Gospel, the instruments of witness, the repositories of truth to be passed on to others—likened in the Scriptures to wells of living water and streams of blessing. What then can transform a cistern of spiritual life and witness into a broken repository of nothingness? Certainly three things—unbelief, neglect and disobedience.
Unbelief stretches back into the dim shadows of antiquity. “Yea, hath God said”? was the root of man’s downfall in the Garden and continues to blight class rooms and pulpits today.
“Thus says the Lord of hosts: … To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ears are closed, they cannot listen: behold, the word of the Lord is to them an object of scorn, they take no pleasure in it” (Jer. ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more