I had a long overdue catch up with a friend this week and it was lovely to pick up where we had left off and share news on our families, church developments and what God has been saying. We giggled lots too particularly over another recent lunch date she had hosted. She was busy in the kitchen preparing the roast potatoes when the guests arrived but as he made his way into the kitchen to say hi, she swung round in surprise and poured all the oil from the potatoes over his feet and shoes. It gets a bit worse as the shoes were new leather ones bought the day before and seeing as he’s a global speaker who visits lots of churches in lots of countries she can already hear the sermon illustrations of her embarrassing moment of ruining his shoes whilst anointing him with oil.
As for me I could hear God picking up where we had left off in the conversation He has been having with me. My last blog was on breaking the jar open over Jesus feet in worship and having a pure devotion for Him. And the last time my husband and I had shared at our friend’s church we had focused on ‘being poured out for God.’ So I looked at it afresh- If we are breaking the jar – what is it exactly that’s getting poured out?
Come with me and picture the scene of King David (2 Samuel 23) in a cave whilst the Philistines were in Bethlehem. He needs a bit of a breakthrough so they can re-enter Bethlehem but rather than a strategy plan his thoughts are on his own wants. Obviously weary and wanting physical refreshment David craves water. Not just any old water though – water from the well at Bethlehem. He’s remembering his home town and thinking about days when things were a bit easier and comfortable and probably mindful of what that water from that well tasted like: wonderful blessings and experiences. We can all feel like that when we are up against it and our minds wander to past comforts and the way things were. Three of his men fetch the water for him at considerable risk and these men were quality folk who were committed to God’s service. (2 Samuel 23 v8-11)
Josheb-Basshebeth had killed 800 men in one battle. That’s stamina and perseverance.
Eleazar had fought the philistines till his hand froze to the sword. He wasn’t going to stop or let go.
Shammah stood in the the middle of a field and protected and held it single handed till others came. He was wholehearted.
David however, didn’t pat them on the back and savour every drop for fetching it for him, instead he refused to drink it. As the men present David with the water he asked for, he has a moment of humility and clear sight. Recognising the value of his men and the efforts they had gone to he must have remember who they were and the lives they had lived poured out for God. This was a gentle reminder that his own devotion and life was to and for God and some natural water wasn’t going to satisfy him. So David pours the water out as a drinks offering and as he does he’s giving his own wants and desires to God along with the lives and service of his men. Maybe the men watching joined in with worshiping God and saw it as a greater honour than a thank you could have ever brought. David is certainly refreshed in God as He worships.
Is that what God is trying to show me about being poured out for Him? The challenge I hear is,
can I empty myself of all my flesh wants?
can I pour out all my valid desires for home, comfort and safety so that it is nothing to me now?
Can I wholeheartedly pour that out so I’m empty of myself to create a space for Him to be ALL in ALL?
Can I take all my committed acts of service and working for Him and count that as nothing in pursuit of knowing more of who He is and worship Him?
As I empty myself of my ‘flesh’ can I trust that I am in return actually being filled up with the Life of God as I worship Him?
Those aren’t questions you just gullibly say ‘yes of course ‘ too! That’s costly surrender, some what uncomfortable as we let ourselves die so that God can come alive in us. Mary Magdelene worshiped by washing Jesus’ feet with oil and the nard would have been all over her hands and hair too. I can see she was preparing herself for burial too in her worship. The sweet fragance that must have risen from that moment isn’t just the spinkarad: this is the refreshment of living water that springs up into eternal life. Its the pouring out of human flesh so that at the same time we are filled up with the Spirit’s Life that then gets poured out too.
You see I’m pondering what this all looks like in everyday life. I can have moments of completely surrender and letting go so that I connect and receive the very life of God but how do I take that new life in Spirit and pour Him out? I’m mindful of Jesus here in the garden of Gethsemane praying, ‘ yet not my will but yours’. Worship isn’t a song but a lifestyle, so can I practice that surrender in every day situations? We become what we behold just like 2 Corinthians 3 v 18 says, ‘And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.’ So it follows that if we’re beholding God in worship then we will be transformed into His image. And if we are living lives that incarnate and reflect God then we are lifting God up for others to see and it naturally follows that they will see Jesus. John 12 v 36 says, ‘ And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself’.
Our moments of completely surrender are so that God can be poured out to others. Can we be that broken jar where the living water isn’t in a cave or a cup but flowing out into every crack and groove that is our life relationships and circumstance? I hear the call ,’Do you want that? because the Glory that comes will be more than your eyes have seen yet and more than your mind and heart can imagine. Consecrate yourself’
My most favourite quote in the whole world is one by Daniel Berrigan, ‘sometime in your life, hope that you might see one starved man, the look on his face when the Bread finally arrives. Hope that you might have baked it or bought or even kneaded it yourself. for that look on his face , for your meeting his eye across a piece of Bread, you will be willing to lose a lot, or suffer a lot, or even die a little.’
Jesus is worth that –recognising the value and worth of who He is and what He has done is worth that. That worship is worth it so the Bread of Life can be shared.
You might like to have a listen to this song- it has a heart about it that is definitely worth joining in with!
Misty Edwards POUR MY LOVE ON YOU