Within a defined space (for example, a cup), only a specific amount of fluid or other stuff can be contained. Imagine that you are at an event. Let’s say a wedding reception. Champagne glasses have been kept at all the tables - one per guest in anticipation of the toast later. You get thirsty and need to drink some water. There are bottles of water on the table but you don’t want to upend a bottle into your mouth.
So you pour some water from the bottle into your glass. You still have quite some water in the glass when the bottles of wine are opened for the toast and stewards are moving around to pour some for each guest. You want to be part of the toast and yes the wine is one you particularly like - non-alcoholic and very soothingly cold on this really warm day.
As one of the stewards approaches you, they look at your glass and then up at you with a questioning eye. “Oh yes, I’ld like some - make that a lot” you answer the quizzical look. The steward is not sure what to do. They have as much wine as you want. They want to give you as much as you want, but how much they can give you is now obviously limited by how much space you have in your glass. If you really want a lot of wine, you will have to pour out some of the water, or even better empty the glass to get all the wine you can.
As we start off this New Year, most of us desire more of God in our lives - to know Him more so that we may reflect Him more to the world around us. Yet we are so full of self - my wants, my desires, my goals, my time, my activities, my image, my reputation, my accomplishments, my . . . , my . . . If we are going to know Him more, yield more to His will, pursue His goals, push His Kingdom agenda, and serve Him more, it is going to be less of “me” and more of Him.
It will have to be more about what God says (through His word and by His Spirit) than our opinions and preferences. We will have to defer more to the leading of the Holy Spirit than to how we feel and what we see. It will have to be less about our comfort and our convenience and more about our commitment to accomplishing that which He has called us to. It will have to be less about titles and prominence but more about simply serving others and projecting Christ.
In a nutshell: You may desire God for all you’re worth, but how much you come to know Him and how evident He becomes in and through your life is a function of how empty you are of “self”. More of God equals less of you.
30 He must increase [in prominence], but I must decrease.
[John 3:30; Amplified]
To do: Daily submit yourself, your will, your desires, your plans, your everything to God.
In your areas of natural strengths and accomplishment, be intentional about pointing others away from you towards Christ. He gets ALL the glory.
Learn to say and mean it - “It’s ALL about You LORD!”
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