Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God. Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow. [Isaiah 50:10-11]
For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. [Jeremiah 2:13]
When we read scripture, we discover that the elements of fire and water are used often to symbolize God and the spiritual works he does in people’s lives. As fire gives us light, God gives us spiritual light to help us see what is true versus what is false and what is right versus what is wrong regarding morals, ethics, and spirituality. In the same way that fire provides us with warmth and comfort, God provides us with the comfort of knowing that he has wiped our slate clean of all our wrongdoings, that he will remain faithful to us through our ups and downs, and that his truth and righteousness will prevail in the end no matter what things look like in the present. Fire is used to burn off impurities in foods and metals to make them more useful for our purposes and God’s word is like a fire, when applied correctly, to burn off our spiritual impurities to make us more useful for the Father’s purposes.
Water is an excellent tool in nature that is used to clean just about anything we own from dishes to cars, but most importantly it cleans our bodies. God’s word is like water to cleanse our souls of sinfulness and can cleanse the intents, or motives, of our hearts which will affect the purposes and outcomes of everything we do. When we drink clean water, our bodies are provided with strength and refreshment in the same way that God and his principles give us spiritual refreshment when we accept them into our spirits. God can also provide our physical bodies with refreshment and strength when he heals us of diseases.
Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin? [Proverbs 20:9]
This is why I praise God, who is my fire and my fountain of living water! And I wish that all people could experience all of the benefits of his fire and water, but alas, the majority of people walking the Earth have one thing standing in their way–their own desires. Most of us, unfortunately, are like ancient Israel. God has greatly blessed us with intelligence, physical abilities, talents and skills, material possessions, etc., but we have turned away from him to kindle our own spiritual fires and have dug our own spiritual cisterns in anticipation of acquiring our own spiritual water. But when a person makes their own fire and tries to obtain their own water without God, all it does is promote evil and brings them sorrow in the end, just as God said through his prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah.
He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered. [Proverbs 28:26]
We chase after temporary sparks that give us only momentary happiness, short-term hope, and short-lived satisfaction. Whether it’s embracing man-made theology, chasing after worldly possessions, ungodly philosophies, or lustful pleasures, these things are just as shallow as a broken cistern. They also leave people as spiritually thirsty as one who has a broken cistern.
This shallowness is going on in Christendom as well as among unbelievers. Yes, there are lots of people who are supposedly coming to Christianity through charismatic churches, but at what expense? I, like Paul, am glad when the gospel is preached despite the preacher’s motives, but when you have people rushing altars to be “slain in the spirit” and breaking out into loud, spontaneous laughter or roaring like lions or crying out “more, Lord, more!” and “fire, God, fire!” and other strange practices, you create a congregation that places the emphasis on physical experiences over the truth in God’s word. As a matter of fact, these charismatic practices are rooted in the Eastern mysticism of Kundalini yoga, a Hindu occultist body of doctrines. When people are looking only for God to work in a physical experience, if a physical experience doesn’t happen like they want, they either manufacture an experience or become disillusioned into thinking God has forsaken them and they fall away. It is my opinion that these so-called revivals being broadcast on Christian television are actually MANufactured, and since they are sparked by man, man becomes the focus and not God.
Such practices have a tendency to spark more false doctrine. For instance, I recently watched Sid Roth’s “It’s Supernatural!” where he featured an author who claims that Jesus Christ appeared to him and has written a book based on what Christ told him. And in order to find out what the author learned and to “unlock” the secrets to a spiritual blessing, viewers were encouraged to send in a “love gift” to get the book. This is nothing more than a modern day Joseph Smith styled gimmick. If we don’t accept Joseph Smith’s Mormonism, why should this author be any different?
But we will continue to have the self-kindled fires and broken cisterns until Christ returns because man will continue to deceive himself into thinking he can cleanse himself and that he can trust in his own heart to be his own lord. As for me, since “I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing,” my determination is to stay devoted to the only one who can deliver me from this body of death.
There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness. [Proverbs 30:12]
…wherefore say my people, We are lords; we will come no more unto thee? [Jeremiah 2:31]
–posted by Harry A. Gaylord–