This morning I sat down and prayed about what to write and immediately two thoughts came to mind. The first thought was the song “Come Like You Promised,” which we sang in church on Sunday. When we got to the part that says “you violently chase me down to embrace me, engulf me in who you are” the image of Jesus chasing after me became so clear. In my mind’s eye, He wouldn’t let me out of His sight. Not because He was mad, but because He loved me. He wanted to hug me, hold me, be with me, take care of me, and help me become like Him. That’s it. That’s all He wanted.
Jesus loves each of us that way. I wish those that are far from Jesus could understand this and accept His love. This world is so full of evil, hatred, hurt and pain and all the things that are the opposite of who God is.
Which leads me to the second thought I had when I was praying about what to write. I was thinking about vessels. What is a vessel? I found a few definitions:
- A ship or large boat.
- A hollow container, especially one used to hold liquid, such as a bowl or cask.
- (Botany) any of the tubular structures in the vascular system of a plant, serving to conduct water and mineral nutrients from the root.
My definition of vessel was a container which often has a substance poured into it, then is poured out at the appropriate time. To me a vessel is just a container, nothing too special by itself. But what it is filled with, and what it’s purpose is, gives the vessel its value.
The vessel never stays stagnant or the same. It’s pretty much constantly going through a cycle.
- It is being filled.
- It is holding something.
- Then that something is poured out.
It’s kind of like rain clouds. The clouds accumulate moisture. They contain or hold the moisture for a time. Then when they are full, the rain pours out of them.
We are very much like that. We are vessels. We are constantly accumulating information from our environment. A lot of it we choose ourselves, we store, and sooner or later it will come out of us.
Hopefully we are receiving more Godly rather than worldly input which we receive into our mind and process for a time. But at some point we have to pour out what we have inside of us. Hopefully what God reveals to us.
Also if we pour out and use all we have, we need to be able to go get more. From where? From spending time with the Lord, from church, Godly friends, The Bible, Godly music, etc. We continually have to receive from Him and become full of Him, then share his Word, His Spirit with others, then return and read more of His Word, immerse ourselves in Him and He will reveal more of Him to us each time.
We can’t soak in the wrong things or the wrong things will come out of us. Look at the world! What is pouring out of so many? Sadly, hate, violence, evil, basically the opposite of what and who God is. It is heartbreaking to see all of the division and anger. We have to be careful and not become full of the negative that is in the world without having it pour out of us. We have to soak in God’s truth and be filled with his Word and His Spirit so that we will be able to share good, Godly truth with others.
You might ask, well when does that leave me time for rest, hobbies, work etc? I think the answer is in the “being filled time”. We can pray while we are exercising, playing golf, deer hunting, reading His Word. Even at work we can pray short, sincere prayers and listen for the Lord’s voice to keep the lines of communication open. He will guide us to who He wants us to speak to and what He wants us to do. After spending time with God and “being filled”, we should “pour out” and share all that He has given us with others. Then repeat the steps. Again, and again, and again.
So what are we sharing with others? You might be thinking “quoting scriptures or hearing a sermon” is not what people want to hear. How about starting with sharing the Fruit of the Spirit that is supposed to be inside of you? Can we show love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control to others? Maybe we can show some of that by listening to another’s problems, encouraging someone who is down, being a friend to them. Then we can share our testimony, share scripture, etc. This world is hurting and needs the Love of Christ.
As vessels, we will more than likely be using the gifts the Lord has given us, and honestly feel most fulfilled. Sometimes it is easy to focus on what we can’t do, but instead we should focus on strengths that we do have and share those! Everyone has a gift. It is probably something that comes naturally to you, that you take for granted. You may even say to yourself, anyone can do this or that, but they probably can’t or don’t, because they don’t have your gift! You are unique! God picked your gift just for you!! He wants you to use it…for Him!
We can’t truly be satisfied if we are resting, playing, or always “being filled ourselves”. We will get burned out quickly if we constantly work and pour out all the time without ever receiving from the Lord. However, we will be most fulfilled being a vessel which goes through all three phases: receiving, containing, and pouring out and then repeating the process. That puts us on our way to hearing the words “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” That helps us fix our eyes on Him and run our race with purpose and without distraction. That brings the Lord’s presence to our lives and keeps it there. I believe we are nearer and nearer to the return of Christ. He is chasing after you, simply to love you. He wants to fill you with His love and fruit of the Spirit so you can be a vessel to this world that so desperately needs Jesus.