Day 11: Empty Cisterns

Opening Prayer: “Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Daily Scripture Reading:

  • Genesis 37:23-24
  • Jeremiah 2:13
  • Isaiah 44:3
  • John 4:14
  • John 7:37-38

Cistern: noun, a reservoir, tank, or container for storing or holding water.

Water is life. We cannot live without it. That hasn’t changed since Joseph’s brothers threw him into an empty cistern. What has changed for most of us is the ease of access to water today. In Biblical times, and still today in some countries, people had to travel, gather, and even fight for water.

That is why one of the names Jesus gave Himself was “Living Water.” We also see references to the Holy Spirit being a river, or being “poured out” like water throughout the Bible. Jesus knew that this would get the attention of the agrarian society He spoke to. He knew they knew water was life.

I guess Joseph was thankful the cistern he was thrown into was empty. But that cistern wasn’t being used like it had been designed to be used. It provided no life because it was empty, and an empty cistern is useless.

I know that the Samaritan woman at the well was thankful she met Jesus, as she trudged shamefully in the heat of the day to collect water. Her interaction with and sharing of the Living Water led to many from her town believing (John 4:39). She was so filled up, it just poured out to all those around her.

As believers in Jesus Christ, we are designed to be filled to overflowing with His life-giving Spirit too. We are to show the world what life with Living Water looks like. If our cisterns are empty, it is because we are digging them ourselves (Jer. 2:13). If we are parched, it is because we are thirsting for the temporal.

We are not guaranteed this life is going to go our way. We don’t know when a betrayal, a pit, a false accusation, a life-altering turn of events is right around the corner for us as well. No matter how hard I look, I can’t find the formula in Scripture that ensures all my dreams will come true. But what is a grantee is God’s presences in every circumstance. He longs to fill each of us in every situation with His Spirit. In fact, in John 3:34 it says, “for God gives the Spirit without limit.” That is a well that will never run dry.

Today’s Big Questions: Today do you feel filled up by the Holy Spirit’s presence or does the cistern of your heart feel dry. Are you thirsty for the Living Water or for the temporal things that will never satisfy?

Prayer Response: Pray Isaiah 44:3 to the Lord today. “Pour your water on my thirsty heart and your streams on my dry life. Pour out your Spirit on my family and your blessings to my descendants.”

Optional Action Step: Get alone in a quiet room or closet and play your favorite worship song. Lay on your back or kneel down and just soak in the Holy Spirit’s presence. Ask Him to fill you to overflowing during this time.

Closing Prayer: “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21

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