Waterless Springs

I need only log in to my Facebook account to see the myriad of ways the world is pulling at me… I feel its tugs, its pleas for my worship and allegiance.

This will satisfy, it whispers.

This will bring you thrills, insight, and freedom, it promises.

With my empty well, I scroll mindlessly, allowing my mind to drift, to imagine the opportunities before me. Could this be true? I wonder, unconsciously. A leaner physique could make me content, perhaps. Maybe an European vacation could scratch that nagging itch? Maybe indulging in a few worldly pleasures would be the pat on the back that no one else is going to give me. I work hard. I deserve this.

In the Garden

It began in the garden, the first notion of the lie that maybe, just maybe, all this goodness and contentment and fulfillment God is promising… maybe it isn’t for me. Sally Lloyd-Jones in the Jesus Storybook Bible calls it, “The terrible lie.” The terrible lie that God doesn’t love me.
Maybe I know better… maybe I can think of a better way to find joy?

So, Eve did what we all do, and she trusted her own limited instincts rather than trusting the limitless instincts of an infinitely wise Creator. She literally took matters into her own hands and took a bite of fruit, searching for knowledge. And to this day, we are paying for it. We, the posterity of Adam, carry his consequence in the form of original sin, always searching, never satisfied. Once again, we return to the lie that we are wiser than God. Once again, we return to the lie that worldly things can satisfy. That God must not love us. Not really.

Never Satisfied

2 Peter 2 isn’t a chapter many of us love to read. There aren’t a lot of coffee mugs on Instagram adorned with verses from this little chapter but its content is nevertheless invaluable. John Piper says of 2 Peter that, “if chapter 1 is the carrot, chapter 2 is the cracking whip.” 2 Peter 2 serves as a grave caution to false teachers, a description of their arrogance and a foretelling of judgments to come. These false teachers are described in verse 17 as, “waterless springs.”

My life is littered with waterless springs, false teachers encouraging me to pursue happiness, pursue entertainment, pursue self. Yet, in reality, all I pursue outside of Christ is empty and barren, much like an empty water bottle at the end of a long summer run. In verse 18, they are labeled, “mists driven by a storm,” promised rains in a drought that are simply blown away. I have a tendency to pursue the latest diet fad, newest homeschooling curriculum, or latest home décor trend, all hoping for happiness or fulfillment. And, to be honest, sometimes it works. For a minute… until the lie once again creeps in with promises of bigger and better things. And, once again, I’m left high and dry.


So, what do we do? We are up against Satan… he is crafty, deceptive, and adept at feeding us lies masqueraded as truth, covered in all things sparkly and shiny. He’s definitely better at this game than we are. Anyone who has read C.S. Lewis’ “Screwtape Letters” can find themselves nodding in near incredulity at Lewis’ seemingly accurate depiction of a demon’s plots to subtly steer us off the straight and narrow path. The devil is inconspicuous… a prowling “lion” (1 Peter), cleverly planning his attack without our notice. But the Lord does not leave us to our own limited, amateur devices to anticipate and rebuff the enemy’s attacks. This feels ethereal, this spiritual battle. How can one truly prepare for a war waged on spiritual ground?

1.       Recognize it is, in fact, a battle. Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:12, our battle is against wicked forces. And what is our weapon? The sword, the Word, the truth. Meditate on scripture. Even when it feels like you're reading sandpaper... put it in. Isaiah 55 says the Lord's word does not return void. Believe this promise.

2.       Be rooted in truth in order to recognize to deceit.  I’m not the first nor will I be the last to compare this to bank tellers and their ability to recognize counterfeit… due to their memorization of the real thing. Root yourself in doctrinal truth. Again, the Word.

3.       Don’t go it alone. The Christian life was meant to be done in community. Isolation can be dangerous to our Christian walk. Suddenly, a false teaching might start to sound appealing... permission to continue in sin might sound worth it. Stay in community. Let your people in. 

Waterless springs will never satisfy... not truly, not for any length of time. Pursue living water... Pursue Christ. Pursue truth. 

What are some waterless springs in your life?


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