I remember one particular church service I attended where everyone was asked to go and stand in front of a large picture that had the most meaning for us. One that I aspired to at the moment was a painting of a large waterfall splashing down into a lake. It was symbolic of Holy Spirit pouring into a “body”. In this case it was a body of water but symbolically a person.
I remember asking God, and myself, why I felt so drawn to that particular image. It wasn’t hard to come up with the answer for myself. I had been poured out and I needed to be refilled so desperately. I remember putting both my hands up onto that image and planting my forehead against it. To the background sound of music playing “How Great is Our God”, I deeply asked God what it was that I needed, because I really did not know.
As I closed my eyes, I pointed my head upward and could feel the tears beginning to roll down my face. I knew I was spent. Every last drop of God inside of me felt like it was given out and for some reason my reserve just was not being refilled. I was doing all of the things I knew to do. I prayed in the Spirit, worshiped to great music, read the word of God, and asked God to be refilled. Nothing was changing though. It was like I had hit a brick wall.
Here was my issue. I was giving out faster than I was even taking in and my spiritual recharge just was not happening. God was calling me to a time to let Him fill my vessel while just being in His rest. I was entering into a season of not pouring out to anyone and it felt unsettling. After all, isn’t that what we are supposed to do?
The church service was beginning to disburse and I just sat down right there on the floor cross legged in front of that image with tears moving faster than I could catch them. I realized that day that I had given out so much to everyone else around me that I was not taking in anything for myself. My vessel was continually running on empty. I thought to myself, “I should be roaring, like a spirit filled lion spouting off like a fountain, moving in the Spirit, and spilling out in all directions.” That was not the case though. I was more like a sputtering vehicle whose gas tank was running on nothing but fumes.
I wish I could say that God spoke profoundly and gave me a word to hang onto but that was not the case really. If God gives me a word, He knows I will go off and share it, spew it out, and make it useful to someone. The reality was; He wanted to just fill me, give to me, and love on me. Go figure huh?
I walked out that day realizing that I was a walking empty vessel and I needed an emergency overhaul. My new mantra became, “Fill me Lord, and help me to keep it for myself.” I needed a fresh baptism of Holy Spirit; a holy recharge. I had forgotten one of the most important things when it comes to being Spirit filled. I forgot to take care of my own needs first. It’s alright to do that, you know?
My mantra continued for awhile as I allowed God to fill me once more. My prayer language began spouting out softly to the throne of God as He continued to send more of the spiritual river to bathe me from the inside out. Being in God’s presence is a spiritual recharge we can never ever deny ourselves. It’s so easy to forget that Jesus personally died for us as individuals as we serve Him. He cares for our needs, always.
From then on I began to remind myself that I come first in Him or nothing happens at all accept I become drained. Jesus never called us to be a sacrifice. He already did that for us all. He called us to service, to love, to give of our reserve. If there is no well, then there is nothing left to give.
Today I pray your well to be filled and for you to take time to allow God to fill your vessel.
Father, pour out a holy baptism of Your Spirit and fill each person to overflowing. Remind us all that we are first in Your book, the apple of Your eye, and the one that Jesus felt we were worth dying for. I ask for each reader to receive “more” than even expected. There is no such thing as an overdose of Holy Spirit!
Pastor Jenine Marie