I was so encouraged and also exposed by the Emanna for yesterday – the emanna is a free Christian service that you can subscribe to, and you receive daily a portion of spiritual nourishment from the Word and the “Words of the Ministry”. Yesterday it was about “Filling Empty Vessels“, and it was based on the story in the Old Testament in 2 Kings 4:3-6, where the prophet told the widow woman to bring vessels and even borrow vessels, then get into the house, close the door, and start pouring oil from her one vessel into all these vessels. What happened was that this widow woman was poor and had nothing but a little oil and some flower – so when she started pouring from her vessel, the oil didn’t stop until she filled all the vessels! When the last vessel was filled, and there were no more vessels, the oil stopped. This is a great picture of our Christian life – our life is not “once empty then forever full“, that is, once we did not have the Lord but when we received Him we are content and … that’s it. No, every day we need to empty ourselves & cooperate with the Spirit’s work in us to empty us. We need to be emptied of the old experiences and old knowledge – continually being emptied, so that we may be filled up!
This is spiritual progress – a matter of being continually emptied and also continually filled every day. We are learning to “always be empty and always be full“. The work of the cross operates in us to empty us – even when we think we’re emptied, or maybe that we don’t need to be emptied but rather should keep some things… – the Lord still operates in us. Also, this emptying is “inside the house with the door shut” – which means that our relationship and our experiences with the Lord are personal and intimate between us and Him. Our difficulties and our joys, our troubles and our happiness – it’s between us and the Lord. If there’s something that happens to us and we feel it’s not our fault, instead of holding grudge to others we rather take it to the Lord: close the door and go to Him! No one can “be filled for us” or “be emptied for us” – the best others can do is help us realize our continual need to be emptied and filled. It is up to us and the Holy Spirit – it is up to our cooperation with the Spirit’s work in us – that we have a rich spiritual life or a poor one. This is why we need to be open and willing to cooperate with what the Lord intends to do and work in us…
As long as we have an empty vessel / an empty space in us and we come to the Lord, He will fill it. The more we empty ourselves, the more He fills us. The more we come to Him and we cooperate with Him, the more He continues to empty us of anything else and fill us with what He is. It’s not that He is not willing or that He is limited in Himself – it is our willingness, our opennes, and our being emptied that decides / brings in His continual flowing and filling. This is so true – God is just waiting for us to empty ourselves – if we “infinitely empty ourselves”, He will “infinitely fill us”. The oil was not exhausted – it was rather the vessels that were exhausted and then the oil stopped. Whether or not we will receive the blessing of the Holy Spirit – the continual filling of the Spirit within and without – depends on whether “we have empty vessels” / we have room in us for the Lord.
Lord, make us those who cooperate with Your work of emptying us of anything else that is not You, so that we may be continually be filled with the Spirit! Lord, gain more ground in us! Gain more space in us, have more room in us! O, Lord, save us from being content, full, or satisfied – rather, may we be willing to open and be emptied, so that we may be freshly filled with You!