In the Cavetime book, we teach men to get some stones. David had five stones ready in his epic battle with Goliath. I was able to identify five specific things that the rag-tag men who joined David at the cave of Adullam did consistently.
- They Showed Up to be with God and each other. Regularly, daily.
- They Worshiped.
- They Prayed
- They interacted with the Word
- They had Community with each other, a Band of Brothers.
In order to help men exercise these principles, we encourage them to join with another brother or two, meet regularly, and use these Five Stones. We call these small bands Fireteams, after the military’s smallest fighting units. We also produce additional materials for our “FireSchool,” which is where we have devotionals, worship music, Fireteam Guides and helps for Fireteams and Fireteam leaders. (More info at cavetime.org/product/fireschool/)
I talk about Quenching Lust in the upcoming Fireteam Guide for Month 13. Here is an adaptation from this Guide.
“For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters, To hew for themselves cisterns, Broken cisterns That can hold no water. – Jeremiah 2:13 NASB
The Broken Cisterns
When we look at words or principals in the Bible, usually its first occurrence in God’s word is very significant. In Jeremiah 2:13 above, the entire principle of Living Water is contained in a nutshell. Nothing else satisfies. No women, no material things (cars, man-toys, houses), food, alcohol, or other drugs will ever meet the deep needs of our hearts.
Our own, pitiful attempts to meet our own needs always end in bitter disappointment. We may feel better for a little while, but then our need is back. It never went away, it was just bought off for a short time. And then it takes more to meet the need. Whether we are talking about lust, sex, porn, or watching too much TV, it’s all the same. An addiction takes root and grows beyond our ability to control. Nothing satisfies except Living Water. Everything else is just a broken cistern.
The Needy Woman
There *came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus *said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Therefore the Samaritan woman *said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” – John 4:7-10NASB
Jesus didn’t need to speak to this Samaritan woman to know her condition. He knows everything. He saw her need. You know, the broken cistern she had been trying to fill with men. He knew all about her five husbands and the man she was with now.
Maybe the next man would be able to touch that deep need in her heart. In any case, she had no idea what else she could do. She had a big empty spot, and men could dull the pain of emptiness for a little while, all while destroying her life and reputation.
Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”– John 4:13-14NASB
The Living Water
Living Water. Since that is Jesus’ solution to the Samaritan woman’s lust problem, shouldn’t it be ours? We are full of so-called unmet needs. These feel like dark, empty, hurting places in our hearts that demand our attention. We all have them, but what are we supposed to do about them? How do we draw Living Water from God’s unlimited well? We have wounded areas as well. Many times they overlap.
When we are saved, our sins are forgiven. Jesus is living in our hearts. Hopefully, we have also given our lives to Him to do whatever He wants with them. That is Jesus reigning in our hearts and lives. There is a difference between these two conditions. God has given us free will and the ability to shut Him out. He only does the things in our lives that we have given Him permission to do. In the same way, although He died on the cross to give us all things, until we invite Him to take care of the things we try to keep control of, He doesn’t have free reign to do it.
Deep in our hearts are these places that are so dark and embarrassing and painful to us, that we don’t like to look there. We’d like to forget about them. They are like the places where bodies are buried. Scary! Until we invite the Holy Spirit to flow into all these places, He will not go there. He will not violate our free will. But when we do invite Him into our innermost secret places, miracles happen!
Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.– John 7:37-39NASB
We are told outright that the Living Water is the Holy Spirit here in John 7. Why do we need yet another metaphor or picture of the Holy Spirit? Water that meets your needs forever. Water that quenches thirst for all time, and even produces an overabundance of water once we are filled. Water, as a liquid, has certain properties. It soaks down into every crack, crevice and hole. It will fill every vessel that is open. It doesn’t go just halfway down.
So, the Living Water of the Holy Spirit will get to the bottom of every needy and hurting place in our hearts when we open ourselves up to Him. And what happens? Not only are our empty, hurting places filled forever, but now He takes full control of our hearts, and changes them to become a well, a spring, a fountain, and even rivers!
Logically, it may be obvious, but the Living Water can’t flow OUT of our “innermost being” unless the Living Water is already IN out innermost being. The Holy Spirit uses our innermost being, which He now occupies, to produce a limitless supply of Living Water that we can’t contain. It pours out of us and gets all over others. We will be used by God as never before!
Look again at the John 7 verses above:
If anyone is thirsty … Well, are you? Do you thirst for those places in your heart to be healed? For those needy places to be satisfied? Good. You qualify!
let him come to Me and drink … An open invitation for all thirsty hearts and souls. We “drink” by receiving the Holy Spirit into the deep “innermost being” that we will turn over to Him. We do this by faith, just as we received salvation and the Holy Spirit in the first place.
He who believes in Me … When we really believe that Jesus is who He says He is, then we don’t hesitate to invite Him into the dark depths of our hearts. Comforter, Healer, Redeemer, Friend, Savior, Ruler, King.
From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water. This is the result. Just like the fruit of the Spirit, it happens by and through the Holy Spirit, and not some “white-knuckle” straining effort of our own.
We are seeing this principle working right in our church! Ministry and miracles have happened through the outflowing of this river of living water.
Once we have invited Him into all of our heart, specifically into these dark and hurting and empty places, we will no longer feel driven to lust after other things. Lust comes in many forms, not just sexual lust:
Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.– 1John 2:15-17NASB
New shiny stuff, beautiful things, food, women, cars, alcohol, drugs, toys, houses, guns, just about any thing can be the object of our lust. Once we repent of lust, if we are drawn again and again to the same sins, that is a huge clue that we are trying to fill a void in our heart that only the Living Water of the Holy Spirit will ever fill.
Thankfully, we can turn all of these things, including our heart condition, over to Jesus with a purposeful prayer. One caution, though. This is not a “one-time deal” for most of us. Hurts and needy feelings may be triggered by circumstances, words, and even the old habits that we developed to deal with these empty spots. We will need to apply the Living Water each time one of these hurting and formerly empty places presents itself. Remember to do that!
Jesus, thank you for the promise of Living Water filling every space in my heart. I confess the sin of not really believing in You and trusting You enough to purposely open these dark places to you before today. Please forgive me for trying to meet my own needs. I can never meet them myself.
Please forgive me for all the things I have lusted after and made Idols of (put them in front of You). I confess that I have lusted after (fill in the blanks):
I repent for these and humbly ask for your help to change my thoughts and behavior.
With an act of my will I open each and every nook and cranny of my heart to You. Please pour the Living Water of your Holy Spirit into all of these dark, empty, hurting places. Thank you that You supply all my needs according to Your riches in glory (Philippians 419). Please take charge of my entire heart, especially the innermost private places. Thank you for Your living water flowing into every place right now!