Food for Thought
Sip On This: How full is your cup?
Question? Have you ever had that moment when the things in your life that really matter to you finally start to click? You know the proverbial "aha moment" you always hear other people talking about. Well, I recently had a startling aha moment myself. Only it wasn't really an aha moment, it was more of a revelation! I (yes me) had a revelation so explosive it inspired me to create this website!
All summer long, the Holy Spirit has been encouraging me with these 4 simple words "use what you have". So I have been taking an inventory of all the things I own (things I believe God has gifted me with both spiritually and physically) that I could use for the advancement of God's Kingdom. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I have narrowed down a pretty short list. I own a laptop, possess a love for writing and I have a testimony on God's continual goodness and mercy. According to Philippians 2:13 and 4:19, God has already supplied me with everything I need to walk in His will and live out my purpose. In essence, He has given me a full cup. I just need to expeditiously get to the business of emptying it .
As a parent, when my children were younger they were aware of my unvoiced expectations. They knew what to do and what not to do. Every now and then, they would need me to verbally express my expectations to get them back on track. They also understood that they were to follow through on my verbal prompting the first time I gave it. If I had to keep repeating myself there would be consequences and repercussions somewhere after the second or third time I had to tell them to do or stop doing something.
It's the same with God and me. I know what he expects and there are times I have not followed through. He has issued a verbal reminder by gently saying "use what you have." Thankfully, the Holy Spirit's encouraging prompt for me to do the good work for which I was created has not fallen on deaf ears. I've lived long enough to know that our Father chastises those whom He loves and I certainly don't want to be found in disobedience and in the need of chastisement.
Through prayer and Bible study, I've come to understand more clearly what the metaphor of the cup in Psalm 23:5 means for my life. Just like David (a very busy man for God), God has also given me a full cup (of provision). Moment of transparency, for years, I have been content to just have a full cup. I've been walking around guarding what's in it, keeping or more honestly hoarding the contents of my cup all for myself. Revelation has had me see myself as the do nothing servant who took his lord's talent and hid it in the ground. Can you say "OUCH" with me? At this point in my life, a full cup is not enough, I desire an overflowing cup.
Try imagining how my conversation with God in the Spirit went down. Me: Lord I desire an overflowing cup. God: are you currently using or have you used up the first portion I gave you? Me: standing there with nearly full cup in hand and blank stare on my face. How dare I ask God for more of something I was already in possession of but not using? Did I even understand what I was asking God for?
So before I could ask God for overflow, I had to first understand exactly what it was I desired. The Bible in Psalm 37: 4 says that if I delight myself in the Lord He will give me the desires and petitions of my heart. Can I just say, that there have been times where I have not received a return on my delighting myself in the Lord. I will take this one step further and even venture to say that the reason I didn't receive any return was because I haven't always had a true understanding of what my heart's desires are?
Here I am asking for overflow and I'm not sure of what I was asking for. Overflow when used as a noun means: the excess or surplus not able to be accommodated by an available space. It may sound elementary but I think that believers often get themselves in over their heads when they have no idea of the things they ask God for. In essence, I am asking God to grant me excess or surplus that I, the available space (cup) can not accommodate! I was walking around hoarding my first portion. Why? Had I not yet made myself an available space? Regardless of any past answer, I am available now!
In order to receive my spiritual overflow, I have to first use what was poured into my cup initially. If I want more of a thing from God, I have to be willing to give back to Him the very thing I need Him to give me more of, just like my fore-sister Hannah, who knew that if she wanted God to open up her womb she was going to have to give back to him the fruit of her labor.
I like to think of overflow in these terms. Overflow is like this, when I'm out eating and the waitstaff brings me a full cup of iced tea, it makes sense that I'm not going to get a refill (fill again) until my server has noticed that I drank some of what was initially poured into my cup. The more tea I start to drink, the more tea the server starts to pour. Every now and then, I've had waitstaff be so preoccupied that in haste they pour too much tea into my cup unintentionally causing what's in my cup to flow over the brim (overflow).
Fortunately for me(and you) God is paying attention (1 Peter 3:12) and everything He does is intentional (Psalm 139:16). I've come to the revelation that my overflow comes in God refilling my cup. The more I use (for Him) of what He has to give , the more He will give to me in return, so much so that my "cup" may not be able to receive all of what He has to pour!
The Lord is saying to you today, that your overflow will come out of your refill. The more you give the more you will receive so much so that just as it is written in Luke 6:38: "they will pour into your lap a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over (with no space left for more)". Selah