Being Filled.

More Tozer.  This is the blog I have been wanting to write for a week or so now – I now that the thoughts I have gleaned from this book are going to linger.  Life altering, you know?  For myself at least – whether they will be for you or not is, I suppose, a God thing… 

“Every believer is as full of the Spirit as we actually want to be.  This sounds like a shocking thing, but it is true.  Everybody is as full as they want to be.  Everybody has as much of God as he desires to have.  The average Christian does not always have as much as he prays in public he might have, or even in private, because there is a fugitive impulse that comes to us.  We want the thrill of being full, but we do no want it badly enough to be filled.”   

Tozer goes on to say:

“This desire [to be filled] must become all absorbing.  I want you to hear this; that the desire to be filled must become all-absorbing in your life.  If there is anything bigger in your life than your desire to be Spirit-filled, then you will never be a Spirit-filled Christian until that is cured.  Never.  If there is anything bigger in your life than your longing after God, then you will never be a Spirit-filled Christian.” 

Hmmm… Do you like these quotes as little as I do?  Do they make you uncomfortable too?  They make me uncomfortable, because they are relevant.  I am especially focused on Tozer quoting D.L. Moody – his logical analogy is worth pausing over:

“D.L. Moody used to take a glass of water for an empty glass and fill it and then ask, ‘How can that be filled, how could I fill that with milk and how could I fill that glass?’  The obvious answer is, you got to empty it.  Then Moody would pour it out into another vessel as an object lesson.  There must be an emptying and detachment from the interest of life.”  “We are so determined to be happy that if we cannot be happy by the Holy Ghost, we will drum up a lot of happiness.” 

So.  I look at my life – my soul – my heart – and think about what the glass looks like.  I am fairly certain I try to fill it up with the waters of life, and try to top off the last little bit with the oil of the Holy Spirit.  But, they don’t mix…  Our God requires an empty vessel. 

This all puts new perspective to verses such as 1 John 2:15:  “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”  My vessel is full of other things.  I LOVE riding motorcycles.  I love getting tattoos.  I love new shoes.  I love stamps.  And Halo.  And my books.  And, one day, they will all fade away.  They will matter for no more than a few decades in an eternity. 

There is no good way to admit this – but I am actually, sinfully frustrated with God right now.  I am going to Florida next week, and I am already not looking forward to the great shopping trip that it is supposed to be for me.  It feels so wrong when I think about it – and I know that is the Spirit convicting me.  It’s like – He is in the process of emptying me of these fleeting pleasures, but I am resisting.  That this might not be true for so very long!  That I might be filled with the Holy Ghost!  That I might see the things of this world for what they really are….

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Raquelamisto
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 12:10:58

    Sounds like being in love to me… Love pushes us further and deeper into relationship with people/God. We LONG to spend more time with them/Him.

    And I’m rooting for ya, girl!

    Reply

  2. Laurel Esser
    May 01, 2008 @ 08:47:49

    Ok well I was thinking about our conversation from the other night, cause when it comes down to it I rarely feel guilty for the way I spend money, or how I spend my time, mostly I think because I don’t have children and I don’t have many things that devide my time, just many things that occupy it. I think some of my advice would be akin to saying, ‘go out, drink as much as you want and trust the Holy Spirit not to get you drunk.’ maybe not in quite that extreme but you know. Anyways just thoughts.

    Reply

  3. Nicole
    May 01, 2008 @ 08:51:43

    how’s that strategy actually working for you though?

    Reply

  4. Laurel Esser
    May 01, 2008 @ 10:27:37

    Hey Dr’ Phill – not exactly what I meant…as in that wouldn’t work at all.

    Reply

  5. Steve Grove
    May 08, 2008 @ 10:34:54

    John Wesley talked about having one focus in life – namely Jesus Christ, and that everything else is derived out of that one center or “filter”. I think this is the struggle that the last half of Romans 7 talks about (where it switches from past tense to present tense), and what Romans 8 means.

    The way I understand it is total surrender to God – His will and His rule (the kingdom of God is every heart where He is King). Even Jesus had to pray “not My will, but Yours” to the Father.

    The analogy is about who or what is sitting on the throne of my life. Is it me? Is it stuff? Why do I keep trying to sneak back on? Isaac Air Freight had a great skit that talked about this way back in the late 70’s or 80’s. And the problem with the “living sacrifice” of Romans 12:1-2 is that it keeps trying to crawl off the alter (for any number of reasons, including it hurts and it is uncomfortable).

    Kudos to your struggle. It iis worth every ounce of energy put into it.

    Reply

  6. Laurel Esser
    May 12, 2008 @ 15:47:40

    Just an added note, there is a lot of comfort to be found in God’s soverigty for people who are suffering or have gone through tough times. His promises for His children He will follow through on.

    Reply

  7. Steve Grove
    May 13, 2008 @ 17:37:32

    And those promises are spiritual in nature…

    Reply

  8. Nicole
    May 14, 2008 @ 21:16:21

    Beth Moore used that analogy once in a study of hers as well – I love it Pastor Steve – It is humorous to envision the meat trying to sneak off, but it does seem to do just that. Thank you for all of your insights and encouragements this past week!

    Reply

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