Last week I left empty. This week, I write to you from a refilled cup. God is good, and He will always draw near and refresh your soul when you call upon Him.
Refueling began as soon as I picked up my Bible and read my evening devotional. Proverbs 1-3.
“To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth—”
There’s nothing like being shown the big picture. Sometimes we need to go back to the “why” in order to move forward. Why do we study God’s Word? Why do we pray? Why do we seek God? Why do we live by His instructions? Reread the beginning passage of Proverbs and you’ll have many of those questions answered. A few verses down, you’ll find another good reason.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
And then a promise:
“If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.”
It turns out that the first few chapters of Proverbs are great for filling up. These chapters, the whole book really, contain reminders about the benefits of seeking wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of our God.
The next morning, I was presented with Galatians 5:22-23 as the verse of the day.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
When I read this verse, I usually focus on the fruits. But here, I was reminded that the fruit comes from connection with the Spirit. Fruit does not appear on a tree because the tree is trying to grow fruit, but is a natural byproduct of a healthy tree (or vine, etc.). The Holy Spirit is the source of our nourishment, and connection to the Spirit will naturally produce fruit.
The third installment of filling up occurred from my devotion the very next evening with the prayer of Jabez.
“Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, ‘Because I bore him in pain.’ And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, ‘Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!’ So God granted him what he requested.”
1 Chronicles 4:9-10 NIV
This prayer reminded me that it’s ok to ask God to bless us. When we are feeling empty, we should cry out to Him. When we feel like we’re not reaching our goals, we can ask for His help in accomplishing more and reaching more people. When we don’t feel Him near, we can ask for more of His presence. When we’re afraid, we can ask for His protection and direction. And when we worry that we’ll hurt others, we can ask for His wisdom in dealing kindly and wisely with them. Other versions of the last portion of Jabez’s petition translate it as Jabez asking to be free or protected from pain. We can ask God to protect us from impending pain in difficult situations.
God will answer our prayers. Maybe not how we want and maybe even with a no, but He’ll always be there to carry us through and fill us up.
I asked God to fill me and received an answer in the next three consecutive devotionals. The filling of my spirit began the moment I asked for it. That’s how effective God’s Word is when we take the time to slow down. I stopped rushing through my devotions and God began speaking to me in fresh ways that connected with my spirit. I had gotten into a bad habit of making time with God a box to be checked rather than a vital time to connect.
If you find yourself on empty, it’s time to stop at the refueling station. Yes, it takes time, but it’s better than running out of steam at a vital juncture. A few extra minutes spent absorbing God’s Word and visiting with Him makes all the difference. Energy levels will rise, patience will increase, hope will ignite, and wisdom will enter into every situation.
It’s true that you can’t pour from an empty cup. Take the time to let the Spirit refill you and rejoice as God refreshes your soul. As your cup begins to overflow, you can share generously with others and enjoy the fruits of God’s labor in your life.
Follow Jesus to the next adventure!
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I want to follow Jesus! How do I get started?
“This is how we know that we live in Him and He in us: He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.
1 John 4:13-15
If you are ready to join the family of God, simply believe and ask. You can choose your own words or pray the prayer below. God hears your heart, simply confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and let the Spirit lead you.
“Father, I want to be yours. Forgive me of my sins. I believe that you sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to die in my place. I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior and thank you for the gift of salvation through Him. I invite the Holy Spirit into my heart and surrender my life to You. In Jesus name, Amen.”
Feel free to spend time just talking to God and sharing your heart with Him. Let Him speak to you and listen as He leads you forward into new life. Welcome to the family.
Need to talk or have questions? Feel free to reach out and contact me.