Ban the teaspoons!

Is there anything that fills you? Yes, I know. We talk about being filled with love for someone. Filled with compassion. Filled with anger. But are we speaking perhaps more of floodings than fillings? A span of time when the feeling or motivation floods through us but later ebbs? Even food fills us physically only for a time.

Can we say there is anything that truly fills us?

Our women’s Bible study is looking at Scriptures on joy. Jesus said He intends to fill us with His joy. Fill. Not just a wave of joy here and there, an hour or so of God-bequeathed happiness once a week, a drop or two on a cloudy day. No, He wants to fill us with joy.

Someone in the Bible study group suggested that there are buckets and barrels of joy available. “But,” another woman pointed out, “we just go to God with little teaspoons.”

God says He will supply and bestow overwhelming abundance, buckets and barrels of gifts and mercies and grace, but we arrive at His throne with just a teaspoon in hand.

I propose that we ban all teaspoons from the Kingdom.

When God tells us what He has for His children, he uses words with meanings of enormous and unlimited proportions. Here’s a sampling. Many of these passages we can rattle off by memory, but do we understand the extravagance, completeness, and perfection they detail? Try hard to grasp the beyond-measurement of the words I’ve bolded in these familiar phrases.

… that your joy may be complete

hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace … so that you may overflow with hope …

the God who gives life to the dead

The earth is filled with your love, O Lord

to know this love that surpasses knowledge

the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds

he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion

Grace and peace be yours in abundance

with God all things are possible

him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine

rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit whom he poured out on us generously

this all-surpassing power is from God

out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness

He is able to save completely those who come to God through him

the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time

ask God, who gives generously to all

Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.

as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

And this is what he promised us — even eternal life.

he who promised is faithful

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches

I am come that they may have life, and have it to the full

God’s abundant provision of grace … brings life for all men

How priceless is your unfailing love!

They feast on the abundance of your house.

the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him

his incomparably great power for us who believe

How our lives would be changed if we understood the depth and breadth of these statements!

God apparently does not deal in drops or smidges or smatterings or pinches or trickles or dabs or teaspoons. Not even in buckets and barrels. He pours and fills; He promises and is faithful and completes.

God’s vocabulary of abundance saturates Scripture. What if we start looking for the hugeness of His promises, start thinking in His dimensions … start believing and living in God proportions?

That’s impossible, of course. As long as we dwell in these human tents, we can never fully understand the reservoirs of God. But we can ask the Spirit for a glimpse … and then we can begin to believe-live.

Let us go to Him with more than teaspoons.

 

*

Scriptures taken from: John 15:11; Romans 5:5; Romans 15:13; Romans 4:17; Psalm 119:64; Ephesians 3:19; Philippians 4:7; Philippians 1:6; 1 Peter 1:2; Matthew 19:26; Ephesians 3:20; Titus 3:5-6; 2 Corinthians 4:7; Ephesians 3:16; 2 Peter 1:3; Hebrews 7:25; Titus 1:2; James 1:5; Isaiah 1:18; Psalm 103:12; 1 John 2:25; Hebrews 10:23; Philippians 4:19; John 10:10; Romans 5:17-18; from Psalm 36:5-10; Psalm 32:10; Ephesians 1:19 (All NIV)

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