Sunday, April 24, 2011

Emptying/Filling, Part 2 of 2

Read Part 1.

It’s as if we have two tables set before us. Our stomach is growling and hunger is calling out. One table is prepared by the Father and the other is by Self. Self knows what you want to eat quite well. He has set many a table for you… that you have emptied with delight hundreds of times before. It is covered with plates of self-gratifying morsels and items that will promote your image and will bring you pleasure, for a season. Some plates may even be filled with deeds that will bring you earthly gain or honor. This table will shout to you constantly, crying out for you to eat of it.

The other table was set for you from the beginning of time by Father God. There are only two items sitting side by side on one plate in the center of the table. Bread and wine. You know that they represent the Son and hold eternal life and all things that will satisfy your regenerated self. Eating of this table will cause you to lose your life, your image and all desires of self-preservation. Eating of this table will further your dying to self and its wants and desires. Even though you know it alone will satisfy, this table will not demand that you eat of it. Only your regenerated spirit can hear its continuous call to come and dine.

You know that you have the freedom of eating of whichever table you choose. This my friends is where you discover who you are. This is what defines who you live for.

In John 6 Jesus said that He was “the living bread of life” and is the “true food” and “true drink”. In other words, there is an imitation or counterfeit also present. It may look beneficial and perhaps even godly, but in the end it leads to feeding our self-promoting flesh. Until the members of the Body of Christ begin to understand that they are to be constantly filled by the life-giving elements of Christ, daily, they will continue to gorge themselves on religious activities that, in all honesty, are just a different form of worldly conformity. Or they will keep returning to the table of self, the flesh-man, never maturing into disciples of Christ (This is why the doctrine of “rededication” is so rampant throughout the Body of Christ).

If you know for sure that you’ve been born from above, you need to know where you reside. The incredible plan that God set in motion before time began never intended for us to go to the cross and stay there. He never intended us to hang out around the tomb, looking for Him there. He doesn’t desire us to stand in one place in awe of Jesus’ ascension. Christ is seated now, at the right hand of the Father. Those whose lives are hidden with Him are also there, now. (Eph 1:20, 2:5&6) In order to operate out of this position, one must absolutely be walking in the Spirit and feasting on the things of God. Refilling oneself with fleshly cravings cannot fuel your spirit man. We must be found eating of the table that the Lord has set for us for it alone will fill us and enable us to hear what the Spirit is saying in this hour.

In summary, the cross empties, the Spirit fills and imparts life (again reflect on similarities of the “ruach” breath of God). There must be an exchange – one where we exchange our desires via the Spirit that Jesus promised He would send (and in fact did) for those of the Father.

When the Body lacks the guidance of and submission to the Spirit, She cannot daily feast on the Body and the Blood and She becomes gaunt, faint and completely incapable of reproducing Life for She Herself has none. Unless She eats of Him, She will not see the difference between the natural and the spiritual.

Lacking the revelation of this reality will remove the Believers ability to walk in victory and power throughout their days. Instead one will either continue in a cycle of “back-sliding” (I personally despise this word but I know its use will be understood best) or they’ll fill what they were emptied of at the cross with religion, attempting to please God with the very rituals and ceremonies that He in fact abolished.

I urge you to sit down and assess your life, the spiritual as well as the natural for they should always be thoroughly intertwined. Do you regularly choose to sit at the table that calls you to die to yourself, your image and your will? Do you choose to allow the Holy Spirit to be your Comforter and Guide? Do you willingly place yourself in Gods all-consuming fire, purging you of self and all of its impurities that keep us spiritually stagnant in rebellion? When Jesus walked the earth, many people wanted to be around Him and be associated with His marvelous works, but few wanted to be displaced by Him and allow His character to swallow up there identity. I believe this is absolutely still true today. As another Easter comes and goes it’s my prayer, that if you have truly been born from above, that you grasp the great depth of your salvation and see it as your enabler to become a Father-pleasing son or daughter. All that Jesus did on our behalf exemplified our lives today, in Him. Emptying ourselves is not enough. We must begin to take the steps to be filled!

The dying and emptying alone is not enough for they are the catalyst to enable you to be filled and live!

Dead to self, alive to God in Christ Jesus and whole-heartedly led by the Spirit. Amen.

Acts 13:52 And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

1 comment:

Joel Spencer said...

Yes, I'm going to make a comment on my own blog. I find it quite intriguing that whenever I post something "controversial" about religion, American Christianity or the downfalls of the Body, I get INUNDATED with "private" emails, the blogs get comments and my FB gets hammered. But when I post about topics that strictly encourage us in spiritual matters, addressing/examining Scriptures, I generally get ZERO feedback.