Rest & Overflow (199-200/365)

I feel all tired. My nose is either clogged or runny – it couldn’t decide but I’m armed with some tissue nearby for that purpose. My body aches, and I’m feeling pretty hot – like the sunshine from this morning is stored in an inner solar ‘battery’ of sorts. My throat is easily irritated, and I’ve been coughing – don’t worry, I’ve had my mask on the entire time I was out.

Speaking of being out, well, that’s been fun – I took a quick trip to the local car part store to have what I now know is called body cladding replaced, particularly what’s covering the rear passenger side door and tire. Cost me a pretty penny but I’m glad it didn’t cost any higher than what I expected. And let’s just say I wouldn’t be driving too recklessly and too aggressively any time soon.

After all that was done I came home thinking that the rest of the folks in the house needed a ride out. I worked out while waiting – and take note, this was the second time I worked out today. I mean, considering how I feel now, I’m seriously gonna be loading on vitamin C before I turn in. Anyway, I found out the folks were staying home today so I headed back out, to buy the appropriate spray paint for the fiberglass body cladding, which came in white out of the factory. Apparently the body cladding is colored in METALLIC silver – no, not just silver, but metallic silver. First off, I’m glad the dude who did the replacing stored the busted original parts in the back of my car, and second, I’m glad I didn’t forget snapping a piece off of said original cladding, just so I have a color reference.

Around this time I remember the unnecessary inconvenience I went through, oh, last year, regarding the renewal of my car registration. For some reason the folks in the Highway Patrol Group thought that it would be a good idea to update my official records to reflect the true colors of the car – this, after almost TWENTY YEARS of letting just ‘black’ slide, all of a sudden I’m forced to have an affidavit made, to state that the car was black and gray. It wasn’t as easy as that, because soon as they saw the affidavit, and soon as they saw the car, they insisted on having another affidavit made, to state that my car was black and SILVER.

Looking at the spray paint I bought today, I thought, huh. They were right. Oh well. I have TWO affidavits now, just in case anyone decides to mess with me on the specifics. So far I haven’t encountered anyone from the good office of the HPG who insists that they’re also experts in color.

And then I remember a conversation I had with a friend recently, who mentioned a cuckoo teacher she had back in the day, saying that both black and white aren’t colors; I mean, I’m inclined to sort of believe in this teacher, considering his explanation that white expands to all colors, while black absorbs all colors – if that makes any sense. Needless to say, if he’s right, then I could officially call my car black, black and gray, black and silver… or, colorless.

I’m sorry, I’m rambling. But I do want to share something today, believe it or not.

First off I’m glad that I was brought to listen to a podcast of Joseph Prince during the first workout session this morning. Without going into too much detail he spoke on Mary, who rested and listened to Jesus, versus Martha, who spoke against her sister and told Jesus to tell her (I mean, she was in the same room) to get up and help with preparing food. To this Jesus replies that Martha had too much on her mind, and that Mary had the right idea.

Pastor Prince goes on to talk about how Aaron and Hur held Moses’ arms up on an elevated place while the rest of Israel battled against the Amalekites (or was it the Amorites? I forget). This was because if Moses’ hands were up, Israel would be wining, but when Moses grew tired, the invaders would have the upper hand (literally). And although it was mentioned that Moses got help in holding up his arms, what was more important was that he sat down. He was resting his body, and he was also resting his arms on Aaron and Hur – and in his resting, eventually his people won the battle. Pastor Prince eventually links this to Christ and His finished work, which guarantees, of all other things, that we are SEATED in the heavenly places with God, and in our resting, we celebrate victory.

I felt like I needed that before I headed out to have my car repaired… and I found myself just driving at a leisurely pace all the way there. I let people go ahead of me. When people cut in front of me, I was cool. I mean, in the attitude of rest, I actually felt more powerful than when I needed to assert myself. So surprising that I forgot about all this, throughout all this time that I’ve been preaching about Christ as our literal Prince of Peace.

Second thing I wanted to share is sort of related to rest. See, for the longest time I’ve been so fixated on being so overwhelmed by the literal person of Christ, and His finished work, much so to the point that all that we do, all that our beings are led to do is coming from an overflow of Christ alive in us. This is Andrew Farley’s wisdom being put into action – for see, I believe him when he said that only 1% of our worship is singing – the rest of it is us moving in dependence on Christ.

And I still believe this. We sing as Christ has sung songs of deliverance over us. We invest just as Christ has invested so much in us. We love others out of the appreciation of the truth, that the Creator of the Universe loves us with an everlasting love, and this was proven, again, through Christ and His finished work.

But here’s the thing. I only realized now that this is only one side of the coin. An acquaintance (really, I don’t think I could call him a friend) once took it upon himself to ‘prophesy’ over me during the first moments I spent in the church I eventually started ministering in, and in his ‘vision’ he mentioned a wall where a small opening was made, and out of the small hole eventually the entire wall burst open, as there was apparently so much water on the other side. To be honest, I don’t really like this guy but I do remember his words and I appreciate him for sharing, regardless of his intentions.

Sure, we overflow. We believe, and out of our bellies (some translations mention the heart), rivers of living water would flow out. And I still believe this – actually I don’t think I would un-believe this any time soon – but apparently, just as we are as raging rivers, so we are also well protected cisterns of water, where the water is still, cool, and clean. Yes, I mentioned we were cisterns, and not mere puddles of water, which evaporate under the beating sun – we aren’t just water that is still, that stagnates and attracts all sorts of pests – no. Again, we are well protected cisterns of cool, clean, living water… to refresh those would would do their own ‘overflowing’ upon us.

It’s important that we make mention of water, because in this case, just as we are limitless rivers of overflowing and living water with no beginning or no end, just as Christ is in us, so we are bottomless cisterns of peaceful and living water, superabundant in that even if any impurity mingles with the water, it is all engulfed by the unlimited living water we contain.

Simply put, Christ has guaranteed that we minister not only in our overflowing, but in our allowing the world – yes, the entire world, whether it be our brothers in Christ or otherwise – to overflow upon us, and be refreshed themselves. And if the idea of a cistern doesn’t quite grasp the subject, well, think that not only do we overflow, but we also serve as an OASIS for anyone who needs to let a load off after their time in the merciless desert, i.e. this reality which, as Mr. Tyson (Neil, not Mike) would say, is out to kill us.

Third thing that I wanna share today is actually in line with everything we’re talking about so far – that is, in our relationships with one another in the body of Christ, we ought to probably consider that there are times and seasons that we do the overflowing, and there are times and seasons when we ought to allow the overflowing to be done to us. This holds true, not matter what is being overflowed – For example, we can overflow simple snippets of wisdom in the morning, and then allow a mentor to overflow his insights on the grace of God in the afternoon.

We can overflow – that is, we would share our burdens and pray for one another as is required, but there would also be times that we would be the ones bearing the burden of another brother or sister. We can overflow in simple petty things like encouragement, and there may be times that we should also graciously take in any encouragement given to us. This also holds true with any emotional outbursts. Sometimes we couldn’t contain it, but we thank God for His grace that seasons our speech – actually we also thank God for in these times, even if we burst out in impulse, the truth of the matter is that God has renewed our minds and our hearts, so even then we are safeguarded. At other times people could overflow their own outbursts upon us, but we also thank God for His lovingkindness that allows us to respond with grace – and remember, this doesn’t necessarily mean a smile and a hug – if we were built to lovingly rebuke our brothers, then that’s just as much grace.

And really, in all this we see the body of Christ, not only thriving, but more importantly, being true to themselves. This is where the rubber hits the road, and this is where we see and ABSOLUTELY appreciate Christ in us, and His finished work as the ULTIMATE common ground that binds us together.

In our overflowing – or, actually, in our mere flowing and in our allowing time to take in other ‘flows’ we learn more about who we are in Christ, OR we see how other people desperately need Him in their own lives.

Let us always remember that our efforts are birthed out of Christ’s efforts toward us, no matter whether we are the ones moving, or if we’re moving with others, or if we allow them to move. It’s yet another perspective of how, we certainly live, and move, and have our being in Christ. And do we have to work so much to do the appreciation and the celebration?

No, just like Moses, we should just sit down, and let the victory flow out of us, or into us.

I feel better now, considering all that has been done today, and considering how I specifically feel right now. This truly is the Bread that nourishes – to share what the Lord has just allowed to flow into my mind, for anyone and everyone to read and appreciate. This is truly that Water that overflows… and, apparently, this is truly the Water that is LIVING and absolutely not contaminated; for how could a finite idea, concept, or mindset infect the infinite and eternal Salvation we have in Christ, who HIMSELF is our Salvation?

Friends, I seem to have approached my 200th post, and I am so happy that you’ve been with me this far. Know that I love you as the Lord loves me, and I pray and declare that you would just continue to not only survive, but thrive in this world, as the will of God is done in your life, here on earth as it is in heaven…

…all because of Christ, who loved us and gave His life for us. To Him be all the glory and praise, now and forever, amen.

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