Oil pouring, pouring. And increasing as it pours out! Pouring, pouring, till there’s no room left to hold it.
The sermon declares our need for fresh fillings of God’s Spirit, and shows, via 2 Kings 4:1-7, how we can get this.
I listen. I take notes. I come home and ponder, repeatedly. Into Monday. Into Tuesday.
For two huge reasons:
a) My focus word for 2012: “closer” — as in “closer walk with Thee,” as in “Nearer, my God, to Thee,”
b) My ongoing desire to fulfill God’s purpose for my remaining earth-time. Fulfill as in full fill, fill as fully as possible.
So my heart listens hard to the remembered three part instructions:
(Like the destitute widow…)
1) First, I need to ask. And who should I ask but God?
Simple enough, and exactly what Jesus said (in Luke 11:9-13) to do.
It’s just plain spiritual common sense. Could I expect to draw nearer to the great God, Who is Spirit, on my own, in my flesh? Could I expect to do spiritual work by human efforts alone?
So it floors me that I have not yet asked Him to work in me to bring it about! Where have I been??
(Mark that one not yet done! Meaning, I haven’t even gotten started on this 2012 aim!)
2) Second, I need to prepare to receive it as the widow did the oil
I need to ask, as Elisha did, “What do you have” already?
What I have of God’s Spirit already is
a) the beginning work of grace, and
b) unique spiritual gifts, the main one of which I know to be that teaching gift by which God illumines Scriptural principles, truths, and insights, and helps bring them to life for others. There are other things (encouragement, mercies), but this teaching one has been lying in hibernation, opportunities closed, ministries ended. And all that seems left is a few drops of oil of potential with nowhere to go.
Which leads to the other part of preparation: gathering all the potential vessels possible.
Yike! I feel tension mounting! Speaking engagements? Classes, Bible study groups? Online Bible explorations via blog? It scares me, thinking of resurrecting openly those fascinating but potentially controversial old studies — like the one that keeps coming to mind, the one with Song of Solomon as springboard…
But yes, honesty concurs with the sermon, which stressed the importance of nabbing every possible appropriate empty vessel. Borrow! Beg! But don’t get just one! Or two!
3) I need then to readily receive
Take in, fill up. All of it possible! “Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it,” quoted the pastor (Ps 81:10), reminding me how that verse jump-started George Mueller’s amazing orphan work.
I also consider how the widow received continually more: by pouring it out, into all receptacles available.
I must admit I’m feeling daunted. I was just about to relax, draw back, do less, slide into shadows, “retire.”
I’m not bounding out thither and yon. Not yet! There’s this thing called presumption. Also precipitateness.
Yet, ending my notes page in my journal, in large letters, I wrote…
Maybe I’ll just start today with step one. Can’t go wrong with that. Then I’ll think about #2…
Please pray for me…
And… State of the Heart