It is Not a Good Combination!
The Scriptures consistently expose people as both thirsty and foolish. We long for the satisfaction we were built to enjoy, but we all move away from God to find it. (Larry Crabb)
Maybe the one passage that exposes this most painfully is Jeremiah 2:13:
My people have commiited two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.
The language of longing, yeaning and desire is one of the most powerful themes I use in my own spiritual formation journey and in my work of spiritual direction with leaders. Larry Crabb was one of the first people who clued me in to the importance of these "creation embedded longings" that are the essence of our humanity (see his book, Inside Out).
But not only do we long for what we lost in the fall, we mistakenly pursue endless wrong roads to find what we are missing. James Wilhoit calls this, foolish, self-defeating strategies. "Our soul-thirst is powerful and it makes us all idolaters" (Spiritual Formation as if the Church Mattered).
Of course the wise pastor/theologian/social reformer/prolific author - John Calvin said it simply and perhaps best: "Man's nature is a perpetual factory of idols."
I think one of the most helpful short AND excellent books on this is Tim Keller's - Counterfeit Gods. Well, it is outstanding for naming and exposing these idols. It is not written as the spiritual formation way of resisting idols by means of drawing near to God (Jeremiah 30:31). It is not a prescription for how to drink the refreshing water of Christ (John 6:37-39).
If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.
This is not simply an evangelistic text that is a once and done.
This is a sanctification, way of discipleship text. For every day we thirst and every day we must drink at the fountain of Spirit generated waters.
Taste the bread of life and see that Jesus is the goodness of God.
Drink the living waters and be find life that satisfied.
Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International