Recently, I’d been having a hard time (feeling down, negative, old habits creeping back up). I was very confused why this was happening. God used a dear friend to speak to me. She could tell things were not right and so we had a chat. An Aha moment chat. When I told her what was going on, all she said was “How are you being filled?”
Isn’t it interesting that the most profound Aha moments come from a question? It’s like you need that little push, extra effort of thinking (application), to remove the wool from your eyes. Also, did you catch it? She didn’t ask “Are” you being filled, but “How” are you being filled. This is huge. You can always find someone or something to fill you temporarily, but is it good for you? Sometimes, they are even good things, but are they the best for you?
I realized that I was giving out as a mom, as a wife, as a homeschool teacher, in my friendships, in my ministry, etc. These are all good … really good. However, I was doing all this without getting filled back up the right way, especially in the area of utilizing the healthy relationships God had place all around me. I didn’t even mean to, I was just “too busy.” I was trying to do it alone. We are not that strong.
Application: Picture in your mind a bucket full of water. It’s imperfect with holes so it cannot stay full if left alone and not refilled? Also, the water in the bucket has many uses, so the water is often poured out and used elsewhere causing the water supply to decrease even more. Questions … Are you attached to “the water source” and continually getting filled? Are you accessing all of God’s ways to be filled? Are you filling back up with foggy or clean water? When you’re giving out, “how” are you getting filled back up? And lastly, Do you know how to be still with the Lord and let Him fill you? (I will admit I’m continually working on this one – Funny I say that… I’m not supposed to be “working” at it … I’m supposed to be “still” and depending on Him.)
When you’re out of balance, you are working in your own strength and will fall. To have an abundant life, you have to continually be filled by Him. Click Go Deeper to see ways God fills us (I need them ALL, how about you?)
1. Through church community – (Acts 20:28, Matthew 28:19, Hebrews 10:25; ) At the least a weekly dose of learning, encouragement, and fellowship. For more, there are bible studies and volunteer opportunities. Some think this is enough “filling”. I disagree.
2. Through praise, worship and prayer , (Psalm 18:1-3; 100:2; 118:24 ) This could be any time you put aside to experience Him, praise Him, thank Him and pray to Him. For me, its when I’m running. I put on my praise music and it’s no longer a chore for me, it has transformed into this sacred time …. “My God Time.” It’s just He and I. It’s when He encourages me, pours out his love on me, renews me, speaks (not audibly, more like prompts) to me. I’m addicted and Love this time, but is it enough? No.
3. Studying the Word– (John 8:31-32, Hebrews 4:12) Did you know He speaks here to? Though this doesn’t come naturally to most of us, including me (He’s calling me to stretch here at this very moment), it is a vital necessity. You can “feel” encouraged, strengthened, ready for anything, but if you are not continually learning how to be more like Jesus and putting Truth into your noggin, it’s inevitable, you WILL fall.
4. Friendships – (Ecc 4:9; Hebrews 3:13) I find myself, being in “the world” (always seeking who to help instead of cultivating strong, healthy relationships). Is this a bad thing? Most definitely NOT, could it bring your downfall if you’re not careful? Most definitely. (1 Cor 15:33). As mentioned earlier, this is where we can easily be deceived. Don’t be prideful and think you can do it alone. Make the time to build solid relationships with other Christians.
5. Accountability Partner – (1 Thess 5:11; Prov 27:17; James 5:16) I was recently sitting with 3 dear friends who are strong Christians. The question came up if we all had an accountability partner? Two shrugged, then said their spouses (instead of another woman) and myself and the other said yes ONLY because we JUST had come to the realization that we NEEDED one. It blows my mind how we so easily let this important truth slip through the cracks. Do you have relationships that keep you grounded, confront you when you’re walking on shaky ground, encourage you when you’re down? Are you being transparent with them? Why is it so hard to do and be consistent? Think about it. Satan tries to keep you from things that help you grow. So, fight back. Find that person. And if you already have one. Be accountable about being accountable. Meet and share your lives with them. Remember, you cannot do it alone.