Monday, July 11, 2011

Pouring Out or Overflowing - Part 2

In my last post, I mentioned that a Pastor recently prayed for our church staff to be filled to overflowing.  Instead of pouring ourselves out to those we serve, He asked that we be given enough of Him to serve out of the overflow so that we never run empty. 

Through my next few posts, I plan to look at the “how to’s” of becoming filled with the Lord to the point of overflowing.  This is not a magic formula, but rather advice gleaned from Scripture and found to be effective in my own life.  I don’t look at it as a way to achieve the filling, but a way to accept it.  After all, as believers we are already filled by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 3:16-17).  Our task then, becomes receiving that blessing to the point that our cups run over. 

Our first “step” is praise and worship, which comes through quiet meditation or by outwardly writing, speaking, or singing about Who we recognize the Lord to be in His Word.  There are many ways that we can daily express our adoration for the Lord and praise Him for Who He is.  If you don’t know where to begin, turn to Genesis 1:1, which states “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”  (NASB)   What character traits do we see in this simple sentence?  First, God was there in the beginning.  Next, He is the Creator of heaven and earth.  Those two aspects alone can keep us praising Him for a lifetime!   

The Psalms are a wonderful place to visit when praising the Lord.  Regardless of where in the Psalms you land, you are sure to see His goodness and power expressed.  It glorifies the Lord when we simply read His Word back to Him, so I encourage you to borrow the words of the psalmists and lift up our Savior!

If you enjoy praising through song, do it!  Choose songs that declare His greatness and majesty and focus solely on Him.  Do not get wrapped up in a performance or a particular artist, but set the compass of your heart toward the Lord and worship Him with all you have.  

You may ask how worship can help us accept the Lord's filling.  Psalm 22:3 tells us that the Lord inhabits the praise of His people.  Through praise to the King, we can enter His gates and courts (Psalm 100:4).  Many believe worship to be a response to something great that the Lord does in our lives, but it is really quite the opposite.  God responds to us and begins to move freely within us when we lift Him up in worship.  It helps us turn our focus from ourselves and place it squarely on Him, to the point that we are humbled and He is magnified.  I can think of no better way to accept His filling.  

This week, take time to praise the Lord, even outside of Sunday church service.  Pour out your heart in gratitude and rejoice in His presence!  I would love to hear how this simple, yet powerful act affects your life.

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