Finally, friends, we must, if we want to be BETTER—molded into the image of Jesus—we must turn from sinful means of coping toward total dependence on God.
These sinful and unhealthy coping mechanisms are best referred to as idols—anything we turn to rather than turning to God—and they are best described in Jeremiah:
My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken me,
the spring of living water,
and have dug their own cisterns,
broken cisterns that cannot hold water. (Jeremiah 2:13)
These broken cisterns, or empty wells as they are sometimes referred to, can range from the obvious and addictive to the innocent and every day. Here are but a few things we fallible humans tend to turn to rather than turning to God:
- Drugs, both illicit and prescription
- Video games
The list is endless. If we turn to it instead of God—as a means of numbing, coping, avoiding, or staying busy—it is an empty well that can hold no water.
How do we deal with them? We have to see these things as sin—as the use of idols (things we go to instead of God)—and confess our manipulation of them, renounce their hold on our lives, and repent (turn away from) of their use.
To where to we turn? To God. We turn from the empty well to the Spring of Living Water in our times of need—no matter the source, no matter the feeling, no matter the difficulty.
It is, to be sure, an act of trust. We turn to these things, not only because they are easy, but because they work. For a little while. We can trust alcohol to make us numb. Food to make us happy. Dating to make us excited. Service to make us satisfied.
But it doesn’t last.
It is much, much harder to trust in something or someone we often can’t see, hear, or feel to provide what we really need as opposed to what we want in the moment.
But it is this trust—and this delaying of gratification—that transforms us.
And that is, when all is stripped away, what our hearts most deeply and honestly desire.
From glory into glory.
It’s all about taking the right turn.