Empty

‘Bottomless pit’ and ‘well’, in the following verses, are the same word in the Greek language: phrear. This is one of several word denoted as ‘Hell’ in the Greek language. Hell, then, can be a state of the heart…

– Rev. 9:2 – He opened the bottomless pit, and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit.

– John 4:11-12 – “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?

In context with the rest of the story, the woman at the well was basically saying, ‘I am an empty, bottomless pit’. I have a hole that I can’t fill. I cannot get enough husbands, or boyfriends, to fill this hole in me. How then can I draw water up to quench my thirst?

– Eccl. 12:8 (MSG) – It’s all smoke, nothing but smoke.

Smoke chokes you out and burns your eyes. It dulls the senses. It wants you to flee in discomfort instead of putting out the fire at its source. It doesn’t want you to have an endless source of water to squelch its flames.

The smoke isn’t the fire; it’s only what the fire produced. I lot of times we try to treat symptoms instead of curing the illness. God is the healer. This woman’s symptom was that she felt like she had to have a man in her life. The root issue was something else. It might have been that she had not received love from her father, or that she never finished grieving over the loss of her first husband. Whatever the case, Satan loves to throw up the smoke screen and try to confuse us. He knows that if we can’t see to put out the fire, that he can continue to burn us out till there is nothing left.

– John 4:25-26 – The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” 26Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

She had heard of Jesus, but now she’s met Jesus. Jesus turns your bottomless pit into a spring of water. He doesn’t just give you one drink in your need, but provides a lifetime of provision for you. He is the living water and the only way to put out the flame at its source. If you have a bottomless pit that you can’t fill, ask Jesus to come meet with you and give you a spring of water, welling up to eternal life.

– 1 Cor. 3:20 – The Master sees through the smoke screens

– Rom. 8:27 (MSG) – He knows us far better than we know ourselves

– Rom. 8:1 – there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus

When you can’t see through all the smoke, ask Him to show you and snuff out the flame. Notice that Jesus didn’t condemn this woman. The woman didn’t lie to Him about her sin. God honors your honesty, even when you know that you are doing something wrong. He won’t condemn you for being honest and asking for His help. He came to explain everything to us. He wants you to know your own heart and understand what it is you really need.

James 1:5 – But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach; and it will be given to him.

Jesus isn’t just a well of water. Jesus is a spring of water welling up.  You don’t have to do the work of drawing up the water for yourself when you have Jesus. Just get in His presence.

Listen to this worship song on the subject: Jeremy Camp “Empty Me”

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Porn

There are quite a number of reason to become gay/lesbian. One reason why our generation has seen an increase of lesbians is because they don’t feel like they are beautiful. Mens sin of lust, and addiction to pornography, has fueled more than just broken relationships; it has fueled rejection of relationship. Women often feel like they have to become masculine to escape this abuse, or go to a woman to have genuine love.

God wants to heal your hurts, not your sins. Sin is only a product of pain. He wants to speak lovingly to you and doctor the wound

Late Night as a Single Person

I am single (unmarried & not dating), but God is my husband. When I lay down to sleep some nights he’ll whisper, ‘I love you’; and although I know it with my mind, it’s nice to hear him speak it to my heart. It shows me the tenderness of his care.

And just like newlyweds stay up all night enjoying connection, so the Lord connects with my spirit and starts pouring into me; revealing the secrets of his heart, encouraging me, listening to my fears, showing me how to overcome. He is everything to me.

He Is.

Who would ever ask for more? He is beautiful and he sees every part of me with love. He sees my nakedness and does not put me to shame. He calls me His. He says, ‘There is no other like you. You are beautiful, my bride’. I cry and ask him to have all of me. Take every part of my heart and let it be filled with you.


To every unmarried person tonight: let him be your husband
To every married person tonight: let him be your example
To every hurting marriage tonight: let your God husband mend the pains
To all fighting pornography tonight: take comfort in your spouse


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What is Love?

Haddaway had a great question: What is Love? <- (link if you want to jam out)

‘I don’t know why you’re not there
I give you my love but you don’t care
So what is right and what is wrong?
Gimme a sign
What is love?
Baby don’t hurt me no more’ – Haddaway

Thankfully, God gives us the clearest description of love possible and teaches us how to keep from hurting others. We’ll cover what love is and how it pertains to God and self.


 1 John 5:3 – this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments

Matt. 22:36-39 – “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Gal. 5:14 – For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

All of God’s commands are summed up with one word: LOVE!

But what is love? We all think we are loving and we are all hurt, so what are we missing? We all hear sex referred to as ‘making love’. We hear a lot of things… but have we heard how God defines love?

God knows we love Him when we keep His commands. The law is fulfilled when we are obedient (1st law) in loving people (2nd law).

Which is amazing, because what does God get out of us loving people? God shows us here:

1 John 4:8 – Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

and

1 Cor. 13:4-8 – Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.

In other words: God is patient, God is kind. He does not envy, He does not boast, He is not proud. He does not dishonor others, He is not self-seeking, He is not easily angered, He keeps no record of wrongs. God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. God never fails.

God doesn’t call us to follow His commands for no reason. He isn’t looking out for himself; He is not prideful and exalting himself above us. He gave us the commands as an instruction book on how to live life to the fullest; life abundant.

John 10:10 – The thief comes only in order to steal, kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, life in its fullest measure.

1 John 5:3 – this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

Matt. 11:30 – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

He knows that every person alive is looking for love. We can look for love everywhere, but if we aren’t looking in the right place it weighs us down and hurts us. He has already told us how to find true love that gives rest, ease, and no burden. True love is God and we are called to be made into His likeness. When we become like God, we become love and our burden is light.


I’m working on a study about dating (a coming post), and one thought came to mind: I should not be looking to date until I’ve learned how to love. Starting a relationship without knowing how to love is going to end in disaster! After I came to this realization, I made this list, based on 1 Cor. 13, to see if I’m measuring up to God’s likeness or not; to see if I’m capable of loving a spouse or not:

Am I patient? Am I kind? Do I envy: feel discontent, or want others advantages, success, or possessions? Do I boast of or exaggerate myself? Am I proud: as to put myself as superior or more important than someone else? Do I dishonor others with insults, or try to bring shame to others? Am I self-seeking and looking for my own profit or interests even if it hurts someone? Am I easily angered, wronged, displeased, troubled, or resentful? Am I unforgiving, or focused on, repaying evil for evil? Do I delight when evil happens to someone, whether I planned it for them or not? Do I rejoice when truth and good prevail in the life of my enemies? Am I patient, kind, protecting, trusting, confident, hopeful, and persevering with others?

The answer is NO! A big, big NO! (and when I can say yes, I’ll be looking for a man who can say yes to this too)

I had to figure it out, but eventually realized I was not capable of loving people at all! People cray! But I found out all the law is fulfilled in the first command. If we love God, we will automatically learn to love people. Even then I couldn’t figure out how to love God, so I prayed this prayer which has flipped my life upside down: “God, teach me how to love you and how to love other.” God is teaching me about honorable prayers (a coming post). This prayer is the most honorable. If you want to see God moving in your life, I dare you to try it.

Matt. 6:33 – But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

I can put my desires above God. I can date whoever, whenever, but will it turn out well? No. When it comes down to it, after being a christian 17 years, I still haven’t sought Gods most important commands or sought his righteousness – how to live a life with love. I’ve learned many things, but if the most important command is love, then I’ve missed the mark. How can I seek a dating relationship when I have no idea how to love? How can I live without burden when I weigh down my friends with my own envious, self-seeking behaviors? So, I’m done; no more playing around. I’m gonna learn to love, and nothing is going to take precedence till I get there.

Along the way, I noticed this little gem hiding in the love chapter; a pattern of how we turn bitter:

1 Cor. 13:4-8 – Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.

This scripture shows us that everything starts with unforgiveness, and that love, in essence, is forgiveness. Was that not what the Bible teaches us anyway? (God so loved the world that He gave His one Son to die for us – He took on our punishment of death if we simply accept it… the death penalty from not loving others?) Reading it backwards we see how it builds up:

  1. unforgivness turns into being easily angered (repaying an evil with anger or delighting when something bad happens to that person)
  2. being easily angered turns into being self-seeking (anger makes me put myself first)
  3. self-seeking turns into dishonoring others (if I’m first then I’m pointing fingers at the last)
  4. dishonoring others turns into pride (shaming others makes us think we are better)
  5. pride turns into boasting (if we think we are better we start exaggerating ourselves)
  6. boasting turns into envy (when we get full of ourselves, we get mad about others being better, or having more, because we’ve made an ungodly system of hierarchy to hold ourselves to)
Last week one of my bible study groups talked about unforgiveness. That week I was also reading a book that suddenly was talking about unforgiveness. I felt like I had already forgiven everyone, but I prayed anyway, since I don’t believe in coincidence, and said ‘God show me if I have any unforgiveness.’ He revealed this pattern from the love chapter this weekend and today, behold, someone called me at work; I answered as usual, ‘This is Jehle’. They said ‘Shannon?’ and the first thing that came to mind, while my face was turning hot, was, ‘Did I say, ‘This is Shannon?’. Tada! God revealed unforgiveness in my heart. Pay attention to what easily angers you and reflect on why. The fact that I was easily angered (in 2 seconds flat!) shows that there was a thorn hiding somewhere, rubbing me raw! Until I receive love in this area of my life, I will not be able to give love in that area.
Matt 10:8 –  Freely you have received; freely give.
We can’t give what we haven’t recieved. Seems it stemmed from past hurts of being ignored. Poor communication is my biggest pet peeve; make me repeat myself and you’ll see the flames of hell! Thank God that He sees my hurt and wants to heal it, to bring wholeness to me, and so I can love others in a wholesome way. He is capable of changing our hearts and bringing us into the fullness of Christ. God is love and God can heal our wounds. We need to rely on Him, ask Him to reveal and heal our wounds, and bring us to a place of forgiveness for each crime against us. Forgiveness is going to be another post soon, but just remember this for now: Forgiveness starts as a choice then moves to our hearts. What was done was wrong. Forgiveness is not saying that what happened was okay; it’s simply saying I want to live free from this burden, and I choose not to repay this person with evil. Also remember that one of the aspects of God is that he does not dishonor; he is respectful whether we respect Him or not. If you only want Him in a certain part of your life, He will only be in that part. We have to invite Him into each part of us; invite Him to heal each wound. He never fails. We choose this day life or death. Unforgiveness is a path to death, burden, and replayed disaster.
Heb. 13:8 – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Matt. 14:14 – And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.
2 Cor. 3:17 – Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1 Cor. 12:4,7,9 – Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit… But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good… For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
Ps. 147:3 – He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds

The Heart of Eve

I’m going to a group study with some girls from work and we are reading Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge. It’s about the fall of man and its affects on the human heart; particularly a woman’s heart.

Woman, in the garden, was made to be a helper, a beautiful life-giver. Women want to know that we are beautiful; and we were. We were the crown of creation, until the fall. Since the fall we have been cursed with dominating and desolate spirits; leaving us trying to control others, or leaving us with an overwhelming sense of loneliness, or a combination of both. That combination, is a recipe for ugliness. Let’s explain this phenomenon so we can start feeling beautiful again.

What made us fall?
The question of trust.

Can we trust God? Eve was convinced God was holding out on her. She wondered if she could trust God’s heart toward her. She wondered what God’s reasoning was when he told her not to eat this one fruit.

Eve couldn’t see that God’s request was out of love.
“Don’t eat the fruit, because you will die; and I want you to live.”
(Like telling a child not to touch something hot, because it will hurt them.)

Instead, she chose to see it as God withholding love.
“Don’t eat the fruit, or I will kill you.”
(Like telling a child if they touch something hot, you will kill them. Which is ridiculous!)

We continue to believe the exact same thing. We continue to question Gods commands and His motives! Why does he ask us not to covet, or lie, or have affairs? It can’t be that he loves us enough to warn us, because he knows that it will bring us death. It has to be because he wants us to suffer, and struggle, and fear his punishment. Well, which of these sounds like God and which sounds like the lies and perverted/twisted half-truths of the enemy?

What was the curse for our actions?

“I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.” – Gen. 3:16

“the product of sin is death” – Rom. 6:23

Stasi, while contemplating this curse, states,

These things were not supposed to be so, but our sin caused them. Women today still struggle with this curse. We are cursed with loneliness (relational heartache), with the urge to control (especially her man), and with the dominance of men (which is not how things were meant to be, and we are not saying this is a good thing-it is the fruit of the Fall and a sad fact of history.)

Is your vast capacity for intimacy ever filled in a lasting way? Are you comfortable trusting your well-being to someone else? Most women hate their vulnerability. We are not inviting-we are guarded. Most of our energy is spent trying to hide our true selves, and control our worlds to have some sense of security. That self-protective way of relating to others has nothing to do with real love, and nothing to do with deeply trusting God. It is our gut level response to a dangerous world.

The lonely women are certain that if others really knew us, they wouldn’t like us-and we can’t risk the loss of a relationship, so we hide. We hide with angry silences and punishing withdrawals. We hide our truest selves and offer only what we believe is wanted, what is safe. Bringing us into many damaging relationships.

The controlling women, feel like they can’t trust anyone but themselves to do anything. Not allowing children to play, because they might make a mess. She believes that she had to take things into her own hands to get what she wanted. She took the fruit herself, because in her mind, God couldn’t or wouldn’t do it for her, and certainly a man could not.

Are we looking in the right place?
Whether we dominate and control, or withdraw in our desolation and hide, still the ache remains. When we feel the pain, we fill it with shopping sprees, second scoops of ice cream, romance novels, gossip, or anything else that can substitute-for a while-the real thing. But they never satisfy, so we have to continue to fill the emptiness with our indulgent bad habits; forming addictions and wondering if its possible to live without them. We take the fruit. We choose not to trust God. We get taken along the path to sin and broken relationships; And not until we finally break, finally realize that these substitutes will never cure us, do we look to God.

“I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid” – Gen. 3:10

We hide from him and others. Masking our pain and unfilled desire for love, for freedom. And He seeks us out! He sees his lover and comes to the rescue

“God called to the Man: “Where are you?” –
Gen. 3:9. “Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife” – Gen. 3:21

“We love him, because he first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19

God had mercy on us, to clothe us and to give us a hope in the image of the first sacrifice, foretelling his plan to come die in our place; to take on the price of our sin on the cross. Now Christ has cleansed us with his blood and clothed us in righteousness through his death. We now have his blessing, and the way out from under the curse that Eve’s/our sin brought. By looking to him we can find wholeness and abundant life.

My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. – John 10:10

For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him – Col. 2:9-10

“Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” – John 4:13-14


Personal Testimony

This past week, of seeking God, has filled every void of loneliness and every void for intimacy. The hunger to know Him, and be known by Him, has been more than enough to fill me up. Luke 24 tells us that a couple of the disciples were walking along talking about Jesus, then Jesus showed up and started explaining things. I had a similar experience yesterday. After thinking and studying the word for a week straight, giving God as much time as I would a boyfriend, He started talking to me. He told me one of his purposes for my life, which blew me away. He showed me the path that he’s had me on and how it would play into this role. He brought up talents that I have thrown away, that He wants to restore and use for His glory. He even taught me more about them and how to use them. He brought up, and cleared up, issues of confusion from past gifts. He is all-knowing. He is intimate. He wants to give me a good life. He has prepared the way. He is guiding me into it even now; even before, when I could not see. I can trust His plan for me. I don’t have to take control of the situation, and I don’t have to hide from him, because he is here to bring healing and break down walls and set up banners of victory. I don’t have to keep him out, because he is safe. He is love. And he is my fortress of protection.