Eliminating the Clutter

Gwen SmithBlog, Uncategorized 12 Comments

Oh, you and I are such a thirsty gaggle of girlfriends, aren’t we? Even as believers, we deal with emptiness and bow to idols other than God. We place our faith in the economy, in our finances, health, employment status, politics, marital status, and relationships. When they fail or fumble, we fall apart … and no wonder! They’re all broken cisterns and were never meant to be our source of hope or satisfaction.

Jeremiah knew a little something about broken cisterns. He was just a youngster when he came to know God and began to work for Him as a prophet. He endured year after year of hard times, frustrating people, and complicated disappointments. His message was one that called the people of Jerusalem to turn away from the idols they had been worshiping and back toward the one, true God.

Basically, God was miffed at the nation of Israel and He sent Jeremiah to let them know. He had every reason to be angry! He’d given the children of Abraham a sacred covenant, a promised future, delivery from oppression, and His tabernacled presence, yet they turned their backs on Him.


They doubted His exclusivity and they set their attentions and affections on things other than God. They worshiped idols made of wood and stone. Powerless and worthless. In Jeremiah 2:13, God said of his people: “They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”

I read this and wonder. Why would anyone place her trust in the unstable, un-powerful, unfulfilling things of earth when she can place her trust in a stable, powerful, satisfying God? Seems like such a no-brainer – yet don’t you and I do that all the time?

I sure do.

I drink from the broken cisterns of materialism, opportunity, wealth, popularity, relationships and social media.

I have faulty expectations that my kids, husband, dress size and friends are meant to satisfy my heart-needs.

The ultimate broken cistern, however, is my pursuit of purpose in life via things of this earth.

We were created, purposed, to pursue God.

We were created to know God – to be satisfied in Him and Him alone.

To worship Him and Him alone.

Turning away from broken cisterns and turning toward the springs of living water is the key to the contentment we long for. From stagnant waters to the Living Water. The Bible tells us that confession is the path to the spring of living water.

When we eliminate the things that clutter our faith – the broken things we trust in – and place our faith in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ, God’s heart swells with mercy, compassion and grace toward us. He forgives and strengthens us.

Who or what are you trusting in today?

When Jeremiah was preparing to take God’s message of repentance to Jerusalem, God spoke confidence and promise to his shaking heart. God’s promise to Jeremiah is valid to you and me when we turn away from the broken cisterns of this world and place our trust in Him. “I am with you and will rescue you, declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 1:19b).

Jesus is the Living Water our souls are parched for (John 4:13-14). “Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them” (John 7:37-38).

This was such an important invitation Jesus said it in a LOUD VOICE. Did you catch that? Do you hear it in your heart right now?

Let’s say with the psalmist, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” (Psalm 42:1-2a).

Go to Jesus today. Confess. Believe. Drink. Be satisfied.

Dear Lord,
I’m sorry for the times that I’ve drunk from broken cisterns instead of from Your springs of Living Water! Please help me identify and eliminate all that clutters my faith. Thank You for loving me and extending grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.



How have broken cisterns affected you in the past? How do they affect you in the present? Spend time in prayer about this. Ask God to reveal the broken cisterns you’ve been trying to drink from, then commit to a deeper trust-level today.

Thanks for doing life with me! And a huge thanks to all of you who have posted prayers and notes of encouragement for my mom (MaryLou Eisaman) as she battles pancreatic cancer!! We’ve been blown away by your hearts and kindnesses. Here’s a pic of her reading your messages during a treatment this past week…

Your continued prayers for mom are greatly appreciated.

Love you guys!


Got some dreams that you’re ready to prioritize and make happen? Do you desire to be mentored professionally and challenged as you progress toward your goals? Gain focus, bolster your courage and sharpen your competencies through 1-on-1 personal, ministry or business coaching with Gwen Smith. Spots are limited. Learn more at GwenSmith.net/Coaching.

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Comments 12

  1. I have been praying for you, your family and your Mom. Praying for God’s purpose in all of this. You have encouraged me so much these last few years and I would like to encourage you during this time. My Mom lived with us the last few years of her life and it was such a privilege to care for her. We want to keep them here with us so much. Praying for great encouragement and courage as your family walks through this. I want to say THANK YOU to you for letting God use you to speak to so many through your words. A special Blessing on you during this time.

  2. Yes your mom looks fantastic. Hopefully these messages will give her joy as she sees all who are praying for her. God continues to work miracles. Will continue to lift her up in prayer.

  3. Wow! Your mom looks great! I pictured her as old and frail, but she is young and vibrant, like you. Thank you for having the heart to share her with us. My own dear mom is gone, so I will just have to adopt yours. She is already in my family of God anyway, right? God bless your faithfulness, Gwen. I have been, and continue to be, blessed by it. <3

  4. Thank you for sharing the message of hope and forgiveness. This spoke volumes to me.
    So many hurting people in this world and I just lift everyone that’s facing a trial and carrying a heavy burden to go to our Father in prayer. He will never leave you, when I feel so alone and lonely or have fear I call out to Jesus. Jesus is my strong hold in whom I will trust and so can you!
    Gwen, you have a precious Momma, God is so good he is our healer. I will join you and many others praying for your Mom. My precious Mom was a prayer warrior, spirit filled Christian wonderful momma. I miss her deeply. Cherish your time, trust only in the mighty name of Jesus. Our God is a miracle working God. I pray that your Momma can feel the mighty hands of Jesus wrapped around her. Pray for peace and comfort for your Mom and you and your family.

  5. Gwen thank you so much for taking the time to write these posts each week to encourage all of us. I know sometimes you are probably too busy with all you have going on in your life but you always make time and I want you to know how grateful we are for you! God bless you and your beautiful mother today ❤️

  6. This really hit home for me Gwen! I often place my faith in the leaky cisterns. AS always, thank you so much for your timely messages. I am praying continually for your mom’s peace and comfort.

  7. Prayers form Calhoun, Georgia for your Mom. 🙏❤️
    I have enjoyed your devotionals and writings for many years. I feel as if you are a close friend.
    I believe in the power of specific prayers!!! . Your Mom is blessed to have a daughter who has a following of prayer warriors. I have added MaryLou to my prayer list and will pray specifically for her treatments, comfort and strength each day. May God bless and keep you, MaryLou!
    Your sister in Christ, Diane

  8. Thanks for sharing what God puts on your heart. This was such a great reminder to intentionally ask God to forgive me for allowing clutter to seep in & move me back to His River this morning! God’s timing is always perfect!
    I’m continuing to pray for your sweet mother & can relate as I was in your shoes with my mama a few years ago. After 2 years of chemo, radiation & immunotherapy battling breast cancer, she is in remission. Your mom looks really good in the picture & I appreciate the updates! SO thankful for our precious mother’s💞🙏❤️

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