Ever had one of those weeks when you feel like everybody wants a piece of you? You give and give and work and go. Pretty soon, you come to a place where, metaphorically speaking, you start to hear that grinding noise like when you run your car out of oil. You start to smell that burnt-coffee smell like when you put a near-empty pot back on the burner. You get that squeezed lemon feeling when there is nothing left of you but rind. That was me this week. Then the devotional at a ladies tea party at church this weekend reminded me of something vital that I have been missing lately. If you want to be able to pour yourself out for the needs of others, you have to first let God fill you up.
We Want to Do the Right Things
As Christians, we want to be the light. We want to live our lives serving our neighbors and showing them the love of Jesus. We want to work hard, doing everything we do to the glory of God. And, we want to be faithful, spending time at church, reading the Bible, and performing tasks for ministry. All those things are good. All those things are right. But when you add all those things to all the other things that are required in our stress-filled society, it can really start to drain your energy, leaving only pressure in its place.
Plus, when you’re the one whom others look to for strength, consistency, and productivity, it can be difficult to disappoint. It can be hard to say, “No. I need some time to rest. This will have to wait.” Like the lady behind the punch bowl, we ladle and ladle and ladle until there is nothing left in our bowls, but we just keep on ladling, scraping the bottom in frustration. We can get so busy spinning for the world that we forget that God is our priority.
Not only that, He is the only reason we have anything good to give in the first place. James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” And, Psalm 16:2 says, ‘O my soul,’ you have said to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord, my goodness is nothing apart from You.’”
The Answer Is to Let God Fill You Up
Quality time with God is the answer. When we feel empty, we can go to Jesus and say, “I’m empty. I need Your strength. I need refreshing. Fill my cup, Lord. I life it up, Lord. Come and quench this thirsting of my soul.” Those last words are from a beautiful song called “Fill My Cup, Lord.” See, apart from Him, we will always run dry. But Jesus promises the living water that will never run out. John 7:37 says, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.” He promises to fill us up with the things we need to give to others.
In fact, it’s a process. We fill up, and we pour out. Even when we feel we have nothing left of ourselves to give, God can give us what we need. Our reliance on Him even in our darkest times give us a testimony that we can share with others. He is our best and only hope in a world that can be downright ugly. And, when we consistently allow Him to fill us with His love, joy, and peace, He will put in just the right amount so that we never, ever run dry again. The Bible puts it this way:
“If you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.”Isaiah 58:10-11
We Must Be Willing Vessels
For the process to work, we must yield ourselves, our vessels, to God completely. 2 Timothy 2:21 says, “Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.” That means taking time out from our Martha lives of running, doing, laboring, and serving to be a Mary, sitting at the feet of our Master. We must never forget in the busyness of doing “good” things that God is our only source of life and power. Apart from Him we’re empty, but we don’t have to stay that way. We can let God fill us up.
If you need more encouragement, try, I Am That I Am Is Everything We Need. Or, try Instead of Fear, Choose Faith in God’s Promises. Please sign up to receive my blog in your email. Also, check out my YouTube Channel where I read the blogs out loud. I also have a playlist of hymns from my church.