Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Staying Filled

Full, adjective - 1. containing all that can be held; filled to utmost capacity 2. complete; entire 3. of the maximum size, amount, extent, volume 4. wide, ample 5. abundant; well-supplied 6. engrossed; occupied

And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent...Being filled with the fruits of righteousness... (Philippians 1:9-11)

I captured in my heart this week what it truly means to "be full of Christ". I don't know why I hadn't seen it before. Many sermons have been spoken about the need to "have more of God", and we as church members sit there and nod in agreement. We believe it in our heads and yet do not understand it in our hearts.

Think of yourself as a glass. Here's another analogy that has been done before, but I believe it is the simplest way to grasp my point. A glass can be empty, partially filled, or completely filled. If I am thirsty and my glass contains only one ounce of water, then I will not get satiated very well. I will remain thirsty. As a result, my behavior, my need for refreshment, will continue and probably worsen. Only when I have obtained the proper amount of water and consumed it will I be satisfied.

Ask yourself this. How does the glass become filled?

When Philippians 1:11 states "being filled", it is requiring action on our part. "Being" is a verb, and for something to "be filled", necessitates a continuing action. Think about that. Continuing action itself needs time for it to work. If we "continue" in something then it is a task we are dedicated to or something we linger over. Remember Jesus' words in the book of John?
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; (John 8:31)
The very next verse contains the promise, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." When did the truth come? When were we "made free"? After we continued.

Now, in Matthew 6, Jesus gives us a caution.

The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! (Matthew 6:22-23)
We don't speak today using the phrase "eye be single". This simply means sound eyesight. One translation puts it this way, "If then your eyesight is good..." * What you spend time looking at, and this does not specifically mean just television or music, is what you will be full of.

Back to the example of the glass. A glass can be filled with any number of things: liquids or solids. What we put in the glass, and the amount we put in the glass, is what it contains. I cannot lift a glass of pebbles and drink it. Neither will a glass of soil quench my thirst, but it will fill the glass. Then, because the glass is full of something else, there will be no room for water.

There is no "straddling the fence" with God. He Himself said He disliked people who were "lukewarm". He dislikes it enough to "vomit", which is strong language. ** We sing a song in church about "our God" the "consuming fire". But if you look up all the verses in the Bible where this thought is, they are not positive ones. Instead, they speak of consuming enemies or consuming sin. I don't want to be "consumed" by God. However, I do want to be filled!

I want my glass to be full and contain nothing but Christ. Then I will, just as Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, "never thirst again." # Never thirst! Here's where I got my revelation. What is thirst? Typically, we think of thirst as the desire for more of God. But thirst doesn't always reveal itself in that light. Thirst reveals itself when we begin to "feel bad". Our throat feels dry, or in extreme cases, our body begins to shut down. Speaking figuratively, it would be our bad behavior: irritability, unkindness. Thirst is not walking in the love of Christ.

This thought answers the question I know I personally have asked myself so many, many times. I'll bet you have done the same. You become overwhelmed by a situation and begin to grumble and complain. You might even pray one of those "God, please help me!" prayers. And yet afterward, you are still frustrated, still unable to overcome.

"God, what do I do now? How can I feel better about this? How do I go to work tomorrow and sit beside this person? How can I love him now?" when our heavenly Father has given us the solution all along. 'BE FILLED' with Him. If I am full of God, then I am only full of love, peace, joy...all the "fruits of righteousness" promised in Philippians 1, and listed in Galatians 5:22. If I am truly "full" (at maximum capacity) then there is no dirt, no pebbles in my glass. Conversely, if I still feel the tiniest bit irritated, then I am not full enough.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. (Matthew 5:6)
How glorious it is to have the solution! In any circumstance, I can overcome through more meditation on the Word, more worship in His presence, more time spent in prayer. Yes, it will take time out of my day, but it will also change me. I will become different, will look at things differently. But that is okay with me, because it means my glass is always full, I am never thirsty, and I always have enough!
Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD. (Haggai 1:5-8)

* WNT ** Rev. 3:16 # John 4:13

Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

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