Strong and Soggy
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”- 2 Corinthians 4:7
Despite all the different forms, postures, and times of day prayer takes place around the world, I have a sense that there are some common themes and uttered phrases when people evoke the name of the Almighty. There are prayers of gratitude, in which we thank the Lord for His goodness and faithful provision. There are prayers of humility, where an acknowledgment is made of the greatness of God and the need for His covering and sustaining grace. There are prayers of confession and repentance, as forgiveness is asked and hearts return to God. And there are prayers of invitation, where we seek direction, rescue, and strength from above.
I am convinced that for many followers of Jesus, one of the top requests is that He would “FILL” us with His Spirit presence and power. As I have entered my forty-seventh year of life, I continued the tradition of searching for a meaningful word from the Holy Scriptures that has the number 47 in it. I landed on the above words from the Apostle Paul to the church in Corinth. As I read, think on, and declare this promise on a regular basis, I am continually encouraged and edified by what the Lord brings to the weak, empty, and ordinary places in my life! What a great gift and grace that Jesus supplies us with the Spirit to bring the full measure of His life and strength to us. Here are some Scriptures that remind us of the rich deposit within us:
John 3:34- “For the one God sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.”
Luke 24:49- “I am going to send you what My Father has promised; but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
1 John 4:4- “You, dear children, are from God and overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
Philippians 4:13- “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
Ephesians 3:20- “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.”
Colossians 2:9-10- “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness.”
John 1:16- “Out of His fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.”
The thing we must realize about His fullness is that we don’t necessarily need to FEEL it to HAVE IT! Let me provide an apropos picture that is pouring down on us this week. When it rains (like the string of stormy days we have just experienced) we will find ourselves having to keep things dry and safe. We will use an umbrella to cover our hair from getting messed up and our clothes from getting soaked. We will use a paper or plastic bag to keep our precious and expensive stuff from getting ruined. When we insulate the important thing(s) they remain unscathed from the storm, yet the bag itself gets soggy, stained, and even stretched. What is on the inside remains the same even when the outside gets hit hard.
What I want us to see and understand today, is that you do not need to feel great, have zero struggles, and never deal with areas of weakness to have God’s strength RESIDING and REINGING in your life. In times of feeling discouraged and doubtful, God’s perfect peace can be released from within, so you can be renewed and encouraged. In times of feeling physically exhausted and worn down, the Living Spirit can renew and energize your body for what your day entails. In times that you are feeling helplessly attacked and overmatched, the Lord will infuse you with a boldness and confidence to stand victorious. When everything in you is screaming “Give Up!”; the Spirit deep within your heart will intercede on your behalf and shout “Get Up!”
If you are anything like me, or like the millions praying all over the earth today for that matter, now is the right time to ask the Lord to meet you with a grace and strength that supplies, lasts, and overcomes. Take some time this week to speaks the words, “LORD, FILL ME,” for any areas you feel are lacking, troubling, confusing, blocking, and weakening you. Not only does God have what you need today, He has more on the way then can be contained! May His answers of abundance be what you are refreshed by through the rainy seasons of the soul. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 6:2, “In the time of My favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.’ I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”