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We Are to be Pitchers, Not Reservoirs

We are called to be vessels to be poured out, not reservoirs holding onto the gifts the Lord gives us. The Lord gives us our gifting(s) so we can build up the body of Christ (the church), He gives us our resources to build the body of Christ (the church), and He gave us our life to build the body of Christ (church). Nothing we posses on earth is ours, we are only stewards of what the Lord entrusts us to use properly. As we prove our trustworthiness, He will entrust us with more and more. Many people pray for “things” or certain Spiritual giftings, but it is seldom that they receive the answer to their prayer they are looking for, until they stop seeking His hand and seek His face. Although some may “get” what they want, it usually creates pride and they forget Who answered their prayer, just like the Israelites in the wilderness in Psalm 106:13-15:

Psalm 106:13-15 (NKJV)
13 They soon forgot His works; They did not wait for His counsel,
14 But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, And tested God in the desert.
15 And He gave them their request, But sent leanness into their soul.

He desires to bless His children, but He first must be able to trust us. Why would He want give us something that the enemy could take and turn against us to hurt either ourselves or someone else?

The Lord will allow trials in our path to prove us and strengthen us, but never to destroy us. With each new trial, we will need to surrender another piece of ourselves to the Lord. As we surrender, the Lord will “fill our pitcher” with more of Him, so we can be poured out by the Spirit into others the Lord brings into our life. As we mature in Christ, our pitcher should take less to fill and overflow or pour into others. But our natural desire is to hold onto what is good and create a reservoir for God to fill, in order to keep it safe in case of a crisis in our own life. But we learn from The Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30 that we are not to hold onto what our Lord gives us, we are to use it and to multiply it. The more we are faithful with what we are given, the more we will be entrusted and given.

We need to fill ourselves with the Word daily and sit in His presence daily, that we may be filled up and be prepared to be poured out everywhere we go. Asking the Lord to open doors for us to minister in His name does no good, if we are not filled up with Him. If we are not surrendered and filled with Him, we will only pour out ourselves, say or do what we “think”. We may have the knowledge of what the Word says, but without the revelation of the Holy Spirit, we will never have the wisdom to apply it to our lives or teach it to others. We will only be passing along head knowledge, like the law.

Many people cannot receive a new (fresh) “filling”, because they are holding onto what is old. Let go and pour out into those around you and see what the Lord may do in your life. Ask the lord for a reigning ear, that you may hear His promptings as you go about your day. You must be tuned into His voice, to know how to minister and who to minister to. We must turn off our own thoughts and turn our minds to His, so we do not act or minister out of our flesh (ourselves).

Rabbit trail final thought (I found this interesting):

According to Encarta Dictionary (http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_1861700841/reservoir.html) one definition of “reservoir” is: “BIOLOGY parasite carrier: an organism in which a parasite lives and develops without damaging it, but from which the parasite passes to another species that is damaged by it”. How true this is if we pass along false truths, man’s ways/beliefs, or our own knowledge to others. It may not damage our faith or relationship, but the enemy may use it to kill someone else’s faith! Be sure to be filled with the Lord each day, so we do not allow a “parasite” to live and develop inside us to be passed along to someone else.

Surrender daily to Christ, asking Him to cleanse you of any parasites and fill you with a new fresh filling of the Holy Spirit; that you may be used and poured out to build the body of Christ.
 

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Life or Limb, What is Your Sacrifice

We have all heard the saying, “life or limb”, but the Lord gave me a new way of thinking about this phrase the other day. He has been speaking to me this week about His desire to have a relationship with us, rather than the works we do in His name. He then asked me what my choice of sacrifice would be, my life or my limb (a sold out life surrendered to Him or works of my hand).

It is too easy to get caught up in the works we do for the Lord and push our relationship to the back burner without even realizing it. The Lord is very concerned about our relationship with Him and the fruit produced by that relationship, not so much about the mighty works we may do in His name (Matthew 7:22-23). The works of your hand that are not out of a proper heart motive founded in Christ will not produce Spiritual fruit. All of our works will be tested by fire, the ones not done out of a true love for the Lord will be burned up, we will receive no reward in Heaven for them (1 Corinthians 3:13-15). Our works should flow out of our relationship with Him.

When life gets busy, it seems easy to tell ourselves that we will sit down and spend quite time with the Lord as soon as we get “this” or “that” done. But the enemy jumps on that opening and creates another “this” in our path…and another…and another, until our opportunity to have the quite time is gone. It takes a true commitment and desire to put Him first in our day, making sure nothing is able to distract or pull us away from His presence. The wisdom of putting the Lord first in my day was taught to me by my husband for many years, but it did not really make it into my heart until about a year ago. I always made time for the Lord every day, but it usually came at the end of my day and not at the beginning (I was not much of a morning person). Since my car accident last year, I have had to make sure I walk daily. I have a very busy life and a long commute, so the only way I could be sure to fit it in was to begin walking in the morning before work. I took that time in the morning to pray to the Lord, meditate on His Word, and listen to His voice. I love that time in the morning, and I really miss it when I am unable to get away from everything and everyone and be with the Lord. On the days I am unable to go for a walk; I make sure I take the time in the morning to surrender my will to His and ask Him to accomplish His purpose in my life.

The reality of how important my morning quiet time with the Lord really is hit me when I got “busy” and did not spend those first few moments with Him. On days I would “put off” the morning surrender period with the Lord, I always noticed that I did not seem to have very many hours to get things done (where did my day go?). I always seem to run behind and have trouble finishing tasks set before me during the day. When I prayed about it and asked the Lord to show me my problem, He told me it was because I did not walk out the door covered in His grace and power. I now make sure I always begin my day with Him, and you would not believe how long some of my days are and how much I am able to accomplish in them through His grace.

We must each choose how much of ourselves we are willing to surrender to His will. At the time we give it to Him, that piece of us dies (and it may hurt). Many Christians today selectively give to the Lord the pieces they can live without or they try to work their way to salvation. Either way it is only at most a limb, and their life is not given; the life of the old man will continue to live without the limb(s) and will struggle against the Spirit. We must give our life to the Lord daily in full surrender to His will, to be crucified with Him and live a life in Christ. (Luke 9:23-24; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:3) The Lord no longer requires an eye, a tooth, hand, or foot; He requires a life of daily surrender.

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Unconditional Prayer, Surrendering to the Unknown Will of the Lord

Everyone wants to receive unconditional love, but how many give unconditional prayer to the Lord? By unconditional prayer, I am talking about praying for the Lord’s will “no matter what” that means in our lives. Most of us pray for “the Lord’s will”, yet we still have in mind what we want Him to do for us. We ask Him to “help me” to do this or that, because we believe we must receive His help. But what most Christians do not acknowledge is that we do not need only His “help,” we need Him to actually take over our situations and life and “make us” into who He desires us to be. Once again, it all comes down to the daily surrender of our life to the Lord Jesus Christ.

As we surrender our life to the Lord, we realize in our “head” that we need Him to lead us and help us; but we rarely truly surrender in our hearts until we hit a wall that we cannot overcome. We have head knowledge of what we should do and what we know is right, and we ask the Lord to “help me” do those things and become who He desires us to be. But the change and revelation does not make it to our hearts until we hit a wall that forces us to realize we cannot change ourselves, He must change us. As long as we are doing the changing and laying our “flesh” upon the alter, we can still take it back and compromise when things get hard…It is our choice and we will “choose” to go back to our old ways when the going gets rough (we tell ourselves that we can always “choose” to give it up again later, right?). The only way we can be changed into the image of Christ is to allow the Lord to “make us” into His image. If He “takes” a piece out of us that does not reflect Him, we cannot take it back and change our minds about giving it to Him…it is gone. As we grow and surrender in Christ, we will hit many walls that will force us to either choose to go in our own direction (not the direction the Lord is leading) or to throw our hands up in surrender and allow Him to have His will in our life and change us to go through or over the wall.

I would like to share one of my wall experiences with you. Many years ago, I hit a wall that helped me to realize what I am sharing with you in this post; I could not change my situation or myself and that only the Lord knew what was best for me. I finally said, “I can’t do it and I can no longer live like this, YOU HAVE GOT TO DO SOMETHING!” Yes, I was yelling…actually crying out to the Lord very loudly in the Spirit. I had to die to pride and had to make the choice of allowing the Lord to do what He knew was best. I always wanted him to prove that I was right or make things better. He had other ideas, He wanted to change and strengthen me to help me through that stormy period in my life. It was at that wall that I finally stopped asking him to “help me” and acknowledged to Him and myself that He needed to “make me” into whatever I needed to be to make it through the situation. I stopped praying conditional prayers asking Him to help me to do what I wanted to do “for Him” and began praying unconditional prayers asking him to “make me” into whoever and whatever He needed me to be. My prayers are no longer about me, but are now about Him.

Often we have no idea what it is that will need to change within us or in our lives, so taking the step of unconditional prayer is stepping out in faith into the unknown, trusting the Lord will be there every step of the way. Sometimes he chooses to lead us through an open door with a clear view of the path before us. Other times he will choose to lead us into the dark, lighting only the next step on the path before us. It is on this dark path that we must surrender our own will and knowledge of how things “should” be done, because only the Lord knows where the path will lead. It is also along these dark paths that we realize our dependence upon Him.

He is there waiting for us to pray unconditional prayers of surrender to Him, so that He may “make us” into His image. We must choose daily to surrender to His unknown will for our lives, trusting that He knows what we need and what is best for our lives.

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