When you start seeking God’s promises without seeking God himself, you will never find that which you seek. You will only find its counterfeit, which will never be enough. You will find pride or lust when searching for love, worldly pleasure when searching for joy, sloth when searching for peace, control when searching for hope, luke-warmness when searching for righteousness. It will send you into a pit of destruction.
You will begin to question God’s presence and promises. You will begin to lose trust in God. You will begin to strive, perform, and work harder to gain these counterfeit promises apart from God. You will rely on self more than God. You will choose the world’s temporary comfort over obedience to God. The enemy will continue to give you these counterfeit promises that quench your thirst just enough to you keep going down this dark path. You become like Eve, grasping for the fruit.
At times you believe you are doing something good and righteous because your circumstances tell you so. Thus, your faith resigns to circumstance rather than truth in Christ. But when the waves of trouble come crashing, and your circumstances inevitably change, you will be met with hopelessness, fear, shame, sloth, distrust, powerlessness, anger, contempt, pride, control, or any other vice that temporarily helps you cope with the outcome of choosing the world’s pleasures over God’s promises.
Here lies the sin of the fall – that you must earn what has already been won for you in Christ’s victory. When you believe the lie you empower the liar. You do not have to earn any of God’s promises. His promises are always present no matter your circumstances. However, the devil uses your circumstances to make you forget your inheritance and identity as adopted sons and daughters of God. So, you strive to earn that which you already have.
The sin of the fall is the sin of today. You draw water from a polluted well with a tiny spoon. Yes, it quenches your thirst just enough to keep you there, yet you remain thirsty. Child, Christ’s living water is already available. You need not earn it. Just put the spoon down, walk away from the well, embrace the temporary thirst, embrace the pain of detoxing the poisons from the polluted well, and keep placing one foot in front of the other as you walk in faith toward Christ’s life-giving water.
It’s there, it’s free, and it will permanently quench your thirst. Yet, you must remember that the enemy will not make this walk easy. Therefore, if you seek God’s promises without embracing the pain of refinement on your walk, you will idolize comfort and resist the refinement process that is necessary for your healing. If you walk by sight rather than faith, you will search for worldly confirmation that you are “doing is right.” You begin to perform, yet again, for that which you already have.
If you put your faith in circumstance rather than God himself, when the devil attacks your circumstance, he will convince you that drawing polluted water from a well with a spoon was much better than surrendering to God’s will in obedience. When you base faith solely on “feeling” rather than God's unchanging truth, when God leads you to the desert and you experience dryness in prayer, when you base progress on circumstance rather than heart change, you will abandon that path which God set before you as you start seeking your own path.
You find yourself as one of the seeds which was ate by the birds, or sprung up quickly but withered by the sun, or the seeds that grew among thorns. And so, in all these circumstances, you walk back to that worldly well. If you refuse to deny yourself and take up your cross, you will cling to the worldly comforts that make this journey oppressive rather than liberating.
It is not your job to control the circumstances of your journey or perform for God’s blessings. You only need to keep persevering in faith and leave the rest to God. In doing so, your thirst will be permanently quenched, you will find a peace that makes no sense, and you will bear fruits that yield a hundred times what is sown. Do not watch the raging seas around you, lest you drown. Keep your eyes on heaven, and soon you will be walking on water.
"If your faith rests in your idea of how God is supposed to answer your prayers, then that kind of faith is very shaky and is bound to be demolished when the storms of life hit it. But if your faith rests in the character of Him who is the eternal I Am, then that kind of faith is rugged and will endure.” -Elisabeth Elliot