Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Satisfying Our Thirst, Part 6

Leslie Basham: It's Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss for Monday, July 15.

We're all looking for something to satisfy our souls. Today we'll continue in a series Nancy started last week about the woman at the well. She was looking for satisfaction in the wrong places but then she met Jesus. Let's join Nancy as she continues in a series called Satisfying Our Thirst.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Everyone has a thirsty heart. It's not only true that the song says that, but it is true in life. We all have a thirsty heart. The thirst is not wrong, the thirst is God-created. God made us thirsty so we would be thirsty for Him. The problem is that when we try to satisfy our thirst in people or things or places apart from God! God has so designed the universe that anytime we try to satisfy our thirst anywhere other than Him we will be disappointed. That's what we're going to look at this week.

Now in the Book of Jeremiah chapter 2 verse 13 God says that His people Israel have committed two evils. These two evils, these two great sins, really summarize not only the sins of the Israelites in their day; but I believe they summarize our sins today.

God said to His people, "You've committed two great evils. First of all, my people have forsaken Me. I am the fountain of living waters, and they have forsaken me. God has said, "I made my people and I wanted to satisfy them with myself. I wanted to meet their needs. I am the source of their supply; of everything they need but they've turned their back on me."

They said, "God isn't enough. God can't satisfy. What He gives us isn't enough. We need something more."

God says, "This is a great evil, to forsake God, to forget that He is the fountain of living waters." But God says, "My people have committed another great evil. Not only have they forsaken me, but they have settled for substitutes. They have hewn for themselves cisterns, but they're broken cisterns. They're cracked pots and they cannot hold water."

 

What is God saying? "Not only have my people refused to let me meet their needs, but they've turned to other places and things and people to meet their needs."

You know what the Bible calls that? Idolatry. Idolatry! You say, "We're not idol worshippers. We don't make creatures and bow down to them."

But God says, "This is the essence of idolatry, looking to something or someone other than God Himself to meet the deepest needs of our heart." God says, "This isn't just a little problem. This isn't just a weakness you have." God says, "This is a great evil."

It's been a very important thing in my own life for me to come to identify. When I look at people or things or experiences other than God to satisfy the deepest longings and thirsts of my heart, I actually become an idolater. And this is a great evil and needs to be repented of in my own life.

Now we saw that the woman at the well had a thirst at three levels. She had a physical thirst, she had an emotional thirst and she had a spiritual thirst. And we said that we have thirsts at the same three levels. Let us look briefly at how the woman at Samaria, the woman at the well, tried to meet her thirsts in each of these three levels. How did she seek fulfillment in each of these levels of thirsts? We want to also look today at how we seek to find fulfillment in each of these levels.

Now first the physical thirst is obvious. The woman came to the well looking for water because there was a physical need, a physical thirst. And you and I have physical needs and longings and we try to get those needs met through physical things.

Now we saw that the woman had secondly an emotional thirst. How had this woman tried to satisfy her emotional thirst? What did she do? What did she look to, to satisfy her emotional thirst? She looked to men and marriage and relationships, one after the other. When one didn't satisfy, can't you imagine that she was just hoping and longing that maybe the next one would be the right one? What do we do as women? We are particularly prone to try and satisfy our emotional thirsts through relationships. How many of you before you were married thought that when you were married your emotional longings would be satisfied? Can I see some hands? Many hands in here.

Now how long were you married before you discovered that that man as wonderful as he was could not satisfy your deep emotional longings? I mean, we women can't understand ourselves. I don't know how we can think men can understand us. So the day came when you were feeling a little disappointed with how marriage had not completely satisfied you and you thought, I know what we'll do, let's have a baby. That baby will satisfy my emotional longings and thirsts.

And you held that precious little baby in your arms and you said, "Now I will get my thirsts satisfied"--till that baby began to wail and you realized that that baby had no intent of satisfying your thirsts. That baby was thirsty. That baby came into the world thinking that you were there to satisfy its thirst.

So that baby didn't satisfy. And you said, "I know what we'll do, we'll have another baby. This one will be different." Well you discovered sooner or later that children as precious as they are, as much as they are a gift from God, are selfish and that they cannot satisfy the deepest longing of your heart.

So you said, "Lets have grandchildren." They, I am told, are really wonderful. Some of you would be happy to show us some pictures of those precious grandchildren. But there comes that time that you would like to send them back to where they came from. And you realize that even those precious grandchildren cannot satisfy the deepest emotional needs and longings of your heart.

But isn't it like us to keep trying to find satisfaction in relationships. This is one of the major areas of idolatry in my own life. God has shown me in recent years that I have looked to people, friendships, companionships to meet emotional needs in my life. Emotional needs that people cannot meet, that only God can meet.

When I begin to look to a man, a woman, an adult, a parent, a child, a friend...to meet the deepest needs of my heart, to meet my emotional thirst, I become an idolater. I have forsaken God, the Fountain of Living Waters, who wants to be to me my great need meeter. I've instead made for myself this cracked pot, to try and hold water, to try and satisfy my thirst. But it doesn't satisfy. Everything in this world leaks. It's all broken and none of it can deeply satisfy.

Now we seek satisfaction for our emotional thirsts, not just through relationships but in some other ways. One way I have often tried to get my own thirsts satisfied is through acceptance. We look for our emotional needs to be met through social status, through activities, through busyness, through noise.

Some of us walk into the house; we turn on the television, we jump in the car; we turn on the radio. We're trying to fill the empty places of our hearts. Some of us do it through--well in fact, I hardly know a woman who doesn't use these twin idols at times, shopping and food. Anyone ever found yourself using shopping or food to satisfy thirsts that are emotional?

Women have shared with me how romance novels have become for them a well that they run to, to try and get their emotional thirsts satisfied. Why is that? It's because there is no man in real life who is this great strong velvet-covered rock of Gibraltar. So where do we look to find that kind of man? So many women escape from the real world of real people, real marriage, real children and they run to this escape world, trying to mask the pain and the longing that we all feel. Some of us are doing that even with medication, some psychotropic drugs, trying to escape the emptiness and the pain.

So women have written notes to me like this one, "I'm thirsty; I've been filling my loneliness with friends, TV and shopping." Another says, "I've looked for satisfaction in my career rather than fulfillment in Jesus." And this woman said, "I've been looking to the wrong wells for love and approval. God showed me," she said, "that I often looked to my mom for approval of my parenting. As a result when she is around, I am much harder on my 6-year-old son." Trying to get our emotional thirsts satisfied.

Now in terms of our spiritual thirsts, we perhaps may find ourselves doing what the woman at the well did. How did she try to find fulfillment? Through religion!...Through religious experiences, through religious rituals, through spiritual leaders. Don't we often turn to conferences and books and seminars and tapes and radio programs, counselors, trying to fill the empty places of our hearts?

The fact is, everything and everyone that we turn to, other than God Himself, is inadequate to meet the deepest needs and longings of our hearts because God has put eternity in our hearts. Jesus said, "Whoever drinks this water, this water out of these broken cisterns, will thirst again." You have to keep coming back for more because it never fully satisfies.

Tomorrow we want to look at God's provision, the Fountain of Living Waters and where we can find the water that truly and lastingly satisfies. I think it is important that we start by acknowledging where we have looked to things and people other than God to satisfy the deepest needs and longings of our hearts.

Leslie Basham: Where are you turning to get your needs met? We hope today's program has helped you identify any idols in your life. Nancy will be right back with the final thought on that.

Before she comes, let me challenge you to share the type of message you've heard today with other women who need to hear it. Would you consider hosting a women's Bible study this Fall? And using Nancy's workbook Walking in the Truth? It's a companion guide to Nancy's book Lies Women Believe, and it would be perfect for a small group at your church. We have the workbook for a suggested donation of $15 and you can call us for more information at 1-800-569-5959.

And when you contact us would you remember that we are a listener-supported ministry and can only provide the kind of program you've heard today as long as listeners like you contribute financially? You can donate on-line at ReviveOurHearts.com or you can write to us at Revive Our Hearts.

Tomorrow we'll start to look at exactly how God does satisfy our souls. We hope you can be here. Now, here's Nancy.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Do you have an idol? Is there a well that you've been looking to other than God to fill the deepest needs and longings of your heart? What do you run to? Where do you try to find refuge? Where do you try to find comfort? Where do you try to find fullness? God says that it is is a great evil that we would run to anything or anyone other them Him. So how do you get free? The starting place is repentance, agreeing with God. I have looked for things and people other than God to satisfy the thirsts of my heart and now I repent. I return to Him, the Fountain of Living Waters.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss is a ministry partnership of Life Action Ministries.

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