Sunday, September 2, 2012


Part 1 of a series on “Understanding People as Fallen Image Bearers”


We are thirsty. People of every nation, culture, and people group were born with deep inner longings for something that will satisfy their intimate yearnings. God also has things that He hungers and thirsts for. Consider Jesus' prayer for His disciples in John 17 as an expression of one of the things our God longs for. We are made in the image of God in that we were born with a thirst for something more.

Jesus spoke to the woman at the well about her thirst saying:

“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” John 4:13 ESV.

The New Testament talks about each person having a hollow core or koilia (Greek) that we seek to fill. One definition of koilia is “the innermost part of a man or woman, the soul, heart as the seat of thought, feeling, choice”  (NAS NT Lexicon) Three NT passages with the word koilia are John 7:38 (innermost being), Romans 16:18 (appetites), and Philippians 3:19 (appetite).

What does our hollow core thirst for? Many have sought to answer this. I like to boil it down to three core longings:
·    Security - The sense of truly belonging and being deeply loved.
·    Significance – A sense of personal meaning, purpose and contribution in life.
·    Self-worth – A sense of being deeply valued as a person for who I am.

This three-legged stool represents our deepest longings. Most of us struggle with deep deficits in at least one of these making it extremely difficult of us to live freely and abundantly. We instead often experience deep insecurities, insignificance, and a lack of worth.

We were created to be fully dependent on God for the meeting of the yearnings of the personal circle. However, in our woundedness and foolishness we often turn to broken cisterns to seek to quench our thirst.  Jeremiah 2:13 talks of this innate human tendency:

“For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.”

My greatest thirst has been for significance.  Without knowing it, I sought to quench this thirst by being successful in my work. When success was largely blocked on the mission field in Spain, I fell into a tailspin of deep discouragement, despair, and depression. At the time, I was oblivious about what was going on in my hollow core. I was nearly completely out of touch with my heart. In the midst of this difficult period of time, God began to turn me inside out. In 1989 at an Inside Out Seminar, I became aware of my faulty strategy to meet this need of my hollow core and repented. This was very helpful but not necessarily healing. Healing took place for me just before the millennium of 2000 as God the Father began to affirm me as His son through listening prayer as outlined in A Guide for Listening and Inner-HealingPrayer.

Set aside 15 to 30 minutes to listen to God. I recommend preparing your heart for this time by praying through the listening prayer guidelines outlined on Post # 46. Remaining in prayer, ask God the following questions:
1.    Lord Jesus, which of the three core longings do I struggle with the most?
2.    God, what broken cisterns do I tend to turn to in an attempt to meet these core needs?
3.    Father, I learn to hear from You in a personal way about how You want to meet this longing in my life. What do You have to say to me about this area of need?    
4.    Before closing, ask God if there’s anything else He’d like to say to you or have you do. (He may have more to say to you. He may want you to ask for forgiveness in an area and renounce the faulty strategy you’ve been following, or something else).
I like to close my times alone with God in worship. Here’s one of my favorites.

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