If there was ever a prize for the person with the most diverse range of people that they followed on twitter I think I may be in the running for it. Among the people I follow on twitter are a few celebrities, some pastors, a chef, some home executives, my hairdresser, and some registered dietitians to name just a few. As long as the tweets I read are not full of self-promotion, I love twitter. I find it inspiring and encouraging. More so than Facebook.
This week I read a tweet that has been quietly marinating deep within for a few days.
‘The oil ran out because the empty vessels ran out…fresh oil comes daily to the empty vessel’ – Mark Peterson (Pastor at C3 Church, San Diego).
The more I think on this, the more I love it. Love it.
It is referring to 2 Kings 4, in which Elisha the Prophet ordered the widow to collect empty vessels and he poured oil from the sole thing she had in her house – her single vessel of oil, into the empty vessels. Therefore providing for her in a tangible and helpful way. She was destitute, and had no way to help herself. But God saw her need and through Elisha provided over and above.
The widow was obedient, she collected as many empty vessels as she could. And they, in turn, were filled. She must have felt like a bit of a twit. Her neighbours must have thought she had lost her mind. What could she do with empty vessels, when all she had was one single pot of oil? But, as Spurgeon says, ‘Her faith, when exercised, was equal to the emergency’.
God takes care to deliver us in ways that exercise OUR faith. We’ve never going to get results for the Kingdom if we’re not growing. If we’re not trying new things – if our ‘tent pegs’ are not being enlarged.
What does that look like? How can we make that happen?
To me – it is by starting off with being an empty vessel. Less of my selfish desires and wants. Emptying myself of the things I feel are important. Surrendering myself. Saying ‘Not my will, but yours Lord’. By being ready to obey. What does that mean? You know that quiet calm voice in your head, that tells you to do something that you wouldn’t think of yourself….that is often the Lord. Quietly, because He is a gentleman, directing your ways.
As long as there are still people unsaved – we need to be empty vessels. Spurgeon says ‘Our own fullness shuts us out from receiving God’s fullness’. I love that. As long as I am concerned about my world and my life and my issues – my eyes are not on Him and on others around me.
Coming back to the widow and her oil – the vessels were not half-filled. No, God’s not like that. He’s not the God of half measures – in Him there is FULLNESS of joy. In Him, my cup runs over. We serve a mighty, mighty God.
Daily, repeatedly, I need to empty myself of me, so I can be filled, to the brim, with Him.