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Broken Cisterns - A Year of Heart Study

Broken Cisterns - A Year of Heart Study

Broken Cisterns - A Year of Heart Study

By: Hannah Shoults, 2017 Graduate

When people ask me about the WEST Institute, my reply is often that it has been the best decision I have ever made, second only to accepting Christ as my Savior. In this year, was able to devote all of my time to studying and being changed by things that were eternal, lasting, and so valuable. Though I treasured my time in class and studying, the most impactful aspect of the WEST Institute was the Heart Study. The Heart Study is a curriculum that addresses the gap between what we as believers profess to believe and how we actually live our lives. In going through this curriculum with my Heart Study group, God showed me very clearly that there were patterns of sin in my life that I had been ignoring—He also made it clear that He wasn't going to let that go on.

Jeremiah 2:13 says, "For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water." The Israelites had forsaken their God—the only source of life which was made readily available to them—and had instead turned to other things for life, which turned out to only be dry, cracked cisterns. This is our problem still today. We chase after other things that will never satisfy, will never provide life. In God's love and grace, He refuses to leave His children there. His tool for crushing the broken cisterns we have hewed out for ourselves are trials. The difficulties He placed in front of me while going to the WEST were perfectly formulated to target the sins of discontentment and placing my value in man that I had harbored for so many years. The Heart Study was the perfect place, filled with imperfect people that God provided to show me these things and support me as God changed my heart. I cannot express in words how grateful I am to my loving Father for the trials He placed in my life this year because through these I have come to a greater and greater realization of God's love, goodness, faithfulness, grace, and the hope that I have in Christ.

Lord why is this, I trembling cried

Wilt Thou pursue thy worm to death?

"Tis in this way" The Lord replied

"I answer prayer for grace and faith"

"These inward trials I employ

From self and pride to set thee free

And break thy schemes of earthly joy

That thou mayest seek thy all in me,

That thou mayest seek thy all in me."

Lyrics from "I Asked the Lord" by John Newton

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Wednesday, 13 December 2017