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.