Breaking the Pot

I’m not much of a gardener and we only have one plant in our house: a special miniature yellow rose by my kitchen sink. You’d have to know a lot more about my story for me to explain why yellow roses are special. Enough here to say they represent how my friendship with God is new life to me. Isaiah 61 in the message says, “God sent me to announce the year of his grace—    a celebration of God’s destruction of our enemies—    and to comfort all who mourn, To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion, give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes, Messages of joy instead of news of doom, a praising heart instead of a languid spirit.”

God certainly did that for me with my past so it was a thoughtful reminder some years ago when I was bought this plant after I had a miscarriage. During that time lots of other stuff ‘died’ too yet God was, as always, faithful to bring good.  I look after it, not to be morbidly sentimental about the little life we lost, but because it’s a reminder of the providential care God brings: He ALWAYS brings beauty from our ashes and new Life blossoms where there was death. So it’s a plant that speaks to me about death and resurrection and whilst I was watering it this week I heard God say ‘pot bound’ and in the context of my recent blogs on  the process of resurrection  it got me thinking. Again.
When we are experiencing a ‘death’ we feel at the end of something and there seems no where to go from that place and we are limited. Restricted if you will. We would like to break out into something new but find ourselves blocked. Think of Lazarus being in the tomb with the stone in front of it, Jesus too. There can be no further grow when we are contained in a certain place, or attitude, or certain way of doing things like we’ve always known before. These are the times we all face: a dead end; when we need God to move a mountain or when we need Him to part our red sea. Or in other words we need the stone rolled away from the tomb we are in so we can let new life out.
But How?
In my last blog I mentioned how at the point of resurrection Jesus draws attention to the Father and Himself.  At Lazarus tomb He prays and gives thanks to the Father who sent Him and talks about the glory of God. At His own tomb when talking to Mary He talks about ‘My Father and your Father, My God and Your God.’ With Cleophas he opens up the scriptures and explain about entering into Glory. With Simon Peter He encourages him to ‘follow me’. focusing on who Jesus is and our relationship with Him is key to unlocking the future. Here I can’t get away from Jesus conversation with Mary at the tomb. ‘don’t cling to me I have not yet ascended to Your God and my God, Your Father and my Father’  and what I’m beginning to understand is,it’s
  • don’t cling to me in the flesh. Not just physically but also in principle.
  • don’t cling to what we have know of Him in the flesh and everything He has already shown us whilst He was on earth.
  • Don’t cling and remain in that place and experience, however good it was, it has now past.
His resurrection means He has now ascended to the Father so the Spirit could be poured out. He doesn’t want us to remain in a flesh experience but worship in Spirit. This is what Jesus was talking to the woman at the well about. “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth” Resurrection is worked inside out.  God reveals truth from His Spirit to our spirit and brings us alive there. It’s not what we do in our flesh trying to gain approval or by doing right or wrong.  It’s not found in us trying to imitate Jesus’ actions in our flesh – it’s purely receiving the new life Jesus brings in Spirit and recognising that we are connected at the Source. After encountering Jesus at the well where Jesus has spoken about a well of water springing up inside her to eternal life the woman leaves her water jar behind.  I can’t imagine she placed it neatly to one side: perhaps she just dropped it and it smashed! It symbolises much more than she was just so distracted she forgot what she was doing.
  • She’s leaving behind everything she has known that has brought her refreshment and life thus far. 
  • She is leaving behind the old ways of doing things and her old self.
  • She leaves behind the past instead carrying inside her the revelation (that is the well of Life) that Jesus is the great I AM.
She doesn’t have a limited amount that fits only inside a jar –she has a continuous supply that can and will flow in and through her fresh and limitless. She’s not pot bound but free. And the life flows on as she draws attention to Jesus by inviting the village to come and see a man. This was a resurrection of new life for that woman when her situation was very dead and new resurrected life flows out to others. So How do we break our pot?
1.2
My mind wanders to Mary Magdalene and another pot. (Luke 7, John 12)  Picture the scene of a men’s dinner party and in comes a woman with a reputation. and kneels before Jesus. She breaks open a vial of very expensive perfume, referred to as a years salary. Today in the UK that would be a bottle costing £26.500. She’s crying over Him and letting her hair down to wash the precious feet in an incredibly intimate personal act of worship. Although the other men ask questions about her reputation as a sinner, or the money that would be better used for the poor, Jesus simply says ‘she did what she could’ Her worship will be talked about for generations to come.  What I notice is that she isn’t asking Jesus for anything, she isn’t thanking Him for anything- she is simply loving Jesus with everything she has and owns. She’s giving Him worship just for Him. It’s an extraordinary pure devotion full of sincerity.  Then I read this.  Mary poured out all she had on Jesus. Anointing Him with her finest and rarest perfume–spikenard–she gave up her inheritance and chose Him above all.  As the king surrounded me at His table, the sweet fragrance of my praise perfume (spikenard) awakened the night. Song of Songs 1:12  Mary broke open her costly pot in worship.

Isn’t this worship in Spirit and truth?  It the place where we awaken out of the darkness of night to the light of a new day. It is the moment when we arise because we are lifting Jesus up. Habakkuk  knew something of this despite everything perishing around him he declared yet. Yet.  Yet will I rejoice in God.  The cry of a heart that is lost in a dark place struggling with death around doesn’t  waste time on other questions of why? how? what now? please do this! please do that! would you come and …? (all valid and reasonable to ask) but  it’s a heart that takes the focus of himself and on to Him. A foundational first fruit offering

  • where we no longer ask God for something;
  • where we no longer say thank you for what you did before,
  • where we no longer say I believe you can,
  • where we no longer look at the circumstance around
but where we simply and purely break open our pots and say Jesus, Holy, Holy, holy are you, ALL that I have I give to you. All .  It’s a place of worship that is in complete surrender and letting go of all known or expected outcomes. A place that we give to God and honour that in ALL He is ALL. It’s a focus on Him and not our circumstance and a slightly difference place than giving praise for who He is and what He does. It’s also worship of God that is already being sung in Heaven. I’ve had the verses in Songs of Solomon for a while now Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone.The flowers appear on the earth,the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtle dove is heard in our land.”And I sense that  part of the arising to new life is by breaking the pots of limitations open so we step into the new life that Jesus has for us. This begins for us as we join in the song that the Spirit is already singing.  We are invited to awaken from our dark restricted place into newness of Life by laying everything at His feet just like Mary did and give that offering to honour Him – an offering that has cost us something to bring -and as we come to that place we will realise that Jesus truly is All in ALL He is all we need. The dead situations or hopes or circumstance won’t matter, the outcome or answers fade away as our full and complete attention is focused on Jesus. This is the dwelling place of peace and union that connects us to the source of Life. It’s a call for the worshippers in Spirit and Truth to rise up so new Life can blossom.
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One Response to Breaking the Pot

  1. Derek says:

    Hi Sarah This is great insight and really good for where God is taking us. LOL xx

    Sent from my HTC

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