15 March 2012

Fullness (Part III)

Overflow by -yury-
Overflow, a photo by -yury- on Flickr.
Lately I've been pondering the fullness of God and what He wants in our lives. Often when people think full, they think of their petrol tank. And once the tank is full, the spicket shuts off and no more liquid can enter. If you force the pump to continue, the spillage will be useless to the car's operation and in fact, bad for the environment and your clothing.

You might know the Bible text, "my cup runneth over." (Psalm 23) That's really in my thinking today. This is why so many Jewish kiddush (wine) cups come with a saucer. You can fill the cup only so full, and after that, spillage happens. Most people don't want such spillage, certainly of red wine, onto their nice tables and tablecloths. Hence the saucer.

This photo by the Aussie Yury Prokopenko not far from me in Mona Vale on the Northern Beaches of Sydney says what I'm thinking in another way. Fullness is not really about a 'just enough' amount. Fullness is about overflow. It's about the effusive nature of the One who wants us to be full of the measure of God.

Listen to these words from the great rabbi, the Apostle Paul, to the believers in Colossae. "For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." (Chapter 1, verses 9-14)

Fullness in so many ways. Filled with the knowledge of God's will (that's being filled with purpose), in all wisdom and spiritual understanding (that's discernment). .. Fully pleasing Him (bringing God satisfaction, really, me? Yup!). Being fruitful, that's full of fruit. Increasing (wait, I thought we were full)?

Aha, that's the point. If you live a Torah-summed, Torah-observant, rule-compliance type life,you will look to meet the rules. You will try to make the word 'fullness' into a fill the cup to a specific quantity. But God is effusive. Lavish. Overflowing.

Many who are rule-keepers, and I hear from them all the time, want to know when I celebrate Sabbath. How I observe the Law. What did God mean when He said...

Listen, there is nothing wrong with such consideration. What is wrong is when we think our satisfaction of a rule is the same as fullness.

In the next Blog I will consider the story in Luke 15 of the Prodigal Son.

For now, ponder how God wants you to live in His overwhelming flood. In His mercy and not in His scorekeeping. He loves you and wants you to know Him personally. There's nothing like that anywhere, in the Northern Beaches or in your world.

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