Have you ever gone to purchase your favorite fountain drink, got your Big Gulp or Super Quencher cup in eager anticipation, only to be let down with utter disappointment with the notice rendering “Out of Order”. It’s funny how often at that very moment the feeling of being “parched” begins to multiply and the anxiety of selecting an alternative sets in.
2016 will mark 40 years for me as a Christian (yes... I accepted Christ into my life in 1976). However, my early church background didn’t express the ideal of being a follower of Jesus. I would spend 26 years simply wearing a Title “Christian” rather than reflecting the image of the Lord I proclaimed.
For those 26 years, I was a Christian but I practiced the Religion of ME. I would claim Jesus as my Lord and Savior, but he didn’t have any decision making authority in my life. I thought it easier when the heat was turned up in my life, I would take to the Highway which was fast and furious rather than the simplicity of Jesus' Road which was certain and true. A few things stand out from those years of self improvement; I always found myself empty, weak, fragile and most of all thirsty to fill that spiritual void that always resulted.
Yes, the wild Highway could always give a temporary fix of satisfaction, but just as the byproduct of intoxication, recovery time from the wild highway became more and more problematic in my life.
Human nature desires an easy approach. We live in a society that embraces PNP (Plug and Play) technology, “Fast food-Have it your way” remedies to hunger and perpetual fountains of beverages to meet every taste and lifestyle. 2000 years ago Jesus gently said, He is the Bread of Life and the Living Water.
When the heat is on, we always tend to turn to a temporary solution, but what Jesus is saying is that He is the permanent fix to the problem of Life.
In 2002, after all those years of “self investment”, I found myself standing parched, withered, broken and my spiritual cup was completely empty. I began to realize what Jesus was saying all along about “Following Him”. I had to let go and let God direct my life. I was reading in the Book of Ecclesiastes and reflecting on all that Solomon had attempted to reconcile about life, as I read Solomon's conclusion I was sliced to the heart, “Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty” Ecc. 12:13 NLT
It all came down to this: “Surrender”. Not an easy task as a man, but a reality that would launch me into the man I am today.
In Pastor Marty’s current Teaching Series “The Essentials”, he said “How to Follow is easy, the Why to follow is hardest to work out”. I couldn’t agree more on this.
I share that in those years of an "Empty Spiritual Cup", it was like I was always carrying my Jesus Cup, (of course empty), always trying to fill it but nothing I put in the cup could sustain me. Thic was the Easy part… I was representing yet parched, wearing the banner yet empty.
When I fully embraced that I need Jesus to fill my cup; it was a point of surrender that was 100% and not just the portion I desired to give in to; I came to the reality of my cup over flowing with truth, peace, love and grace.
God inspired the Apostle Paul to write, ” Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7.
Yes, only though Christ Jesus can we have a peace within that makes no sense in this world. It is the peace of knowing that through Jesus, our cups will never be emptied. It is the Truth of knowing the "why" we follow Him, that He alone is the Living Water we can always rely on to quench every need and every desire.
How is your Spiritual Cup?
Are you finding yourself withered and parched on the road called Life?
I encourage you today to take all those woes of life and lay them at the foot of the Cross. Let Jesus fill your cup with the abundance of His everlasting Living Water. Surrender and Follow Him
Trust in this Truth:
Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.
Run to God! Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health,
your very bones will vibrate with life!
Proverbs 3:5-8 The Message
- Mike Logan