Atoned Vessel

an empty vessel

there is a lack
an emptiness

is there something
wrong with me
or in me

why do i feel
like something
is missing

what am i seeking
that leaves me

is filling

there has been
this distance
(i perceive)
me and god

only because
i have not been:

seeing his way
trusting his purpose
sure of his plan
hearing his truth
grieved at my sin

but this distance
was my own doing

i was scared
to ask God

w h y

because i was scared
what the answer
would be

a broken vessel

i finally asked God

w h y

when i was walking home
a couple of months ago

a n d

in my
empty echo
He met me

a still, small whisper

He wanted to assure me
that this was His plan,
purpose and intention 

w h a t ?

He wanted me to know
that He made me empty
d e l i b e r a t e l y

and that there was
n o t h i n g
wrong with me

and that He created this
potential within us all:
for filling and pouring

He reminded me
that His desire is
for us to be filled to
o v e r f l o w i n g

but the problem
and the reason why
i had felt empty
was because of
what i was
s e e k in g

i slowly realised
that i was asking
the wrong question

it was not about why
i was feeling empty
b u t
how i could be filled:

how could a broken vessel be
a channel of his grace and truth

and light and life to the world?

surely only brokenness would
flow from a broken vessel?

He reminded me:
“my grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect
in weakness”
(2 cor. 12:9)

“in the same way,
the Spirit helps us
in our weakness.
we do not know

what we ought
to pray for, but
the Spirit himself
intercedes for us
with groans that
words cannot express”
(romans 8:26)

why would He place
this potential
in all He is made
if He were not able
to fulfil this potential

our brokenness
is His vessel of choice
a channel He purposed

for our brokenness is the place
His glory and grace can radiate

and we have
this potential:

to be transformed
from one degree
of glory to another
made more and more
into the likeness
of Jesus
(2 cor. 3:18)

to be filled
with the fullness of Him
who is over all
and through all
and is in all
(eph. 4:1)

did you know:

He desires to give
His power to you

that His power
may be in you

and flow
through you
to others

the perfect vessel

i had been too busy
looking at my vessel
through the world’s eyes

i had been too busy
seeking to fill myself
with worldly substance
buying into the lies
i had been told and sold
that what the world offers
s a t i s f i e s

but nothing else will satisfy

why did Jesus
when He was in the garden of gethsemane
cry out to His Father to take His cup from Him?

m a y b e

He knew
this state:

of being a vessel, a channel

He knew
His Father’s will:

that His Father brought Him into this world
to be the perfect vessel

the Only One
who would be able
to take that cup of suffering
the cup of God’s wrath
and completely satisfy that

Jesus took upon himself the wrath
the punishment we deserved
because of our sin
(all that in us and in our lives
that separates us from God

Jesus didn’t want us to be separate
from the source of Life and Sustenance

so He sacrificed Himself
that we may have direct access
to that which will satisfy
that we may no longer be empty
or separate from the Only One
who Provides and Sustains and Fills

…. that instead ….

the grave may be what remains empty,
the power of sin and death defeated

…. that ….

we may be channels
of resurrection power
to the rest of the world

…. that ….

we may be the ones
to usher forward
the kingdom of heaven

…. that ….

we may be the light of the world
fanning the flame within
reflectors of His glory

…. that ….

we may be broken and poured out
just as our Saviour poured himself out

…. that ….

we may be humble vessels
who look to Jesus
instead of looking to ourselves
(our inward state, our world)
looking to Him and His humble state
learning His nature and grace
following in His teaching and way

…. that ….

we may share He: our living water
with thirsty, dehydrated souls
deprived of true satisfaction

…. that ….

we may share He: our living water
who meets us in our drought hope

in a world that gives us
the wrong cup to drink

in a world that convinces us
that our sinly thirsts
are not poisonous

as though Jesus did not die
to deliver us from this !!

… it is almost as though …

there is a Deceiver
who would like us to think
the cup of the world
will satisfy us

an eternal elixir

when in reality:
it only erodes, destroys
our atoned vessel 

an atoned vessel

i once heard a quote from Steven Furtick:
“it’s not about the vessel, but the oil”

oil is a biblical metaphor
a visible and tangible liquid
poured and absorbed
to represent anointing
portraying the invisible presence
and action of the Holy Spirit

we are atoned vessels
channels of mercy

b e c a u s e

of the Holy Spirit
which has been
poured into us
and given to us

(prophesy in joel 2:28-29,
fulfilled in acts 2:3-4)

so when we are tempted
to believe the lie
that we are empty

or that there is
a distance
us and God

the answer to
w h y
may be found
in whether
we are living:
a Spirit-filled life
or seeking and settling
for fulfilment
in this world

Jesus’ invitation
is to find life and truth
and that is:
in HIM (john 10:10)

a n d

with His invitation
is the promised gift
of Spirit of Truth
and the promise
never to leave us
as orphans in this world
(john 14:15-21, 26)

a vessel of abundance

why would Paul write to the church in Corinth:
“the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the
communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all!”

(2 corinthians 13:14)

could it be
that we need this reminding
that we are:
to commune
to find fellowship
and seek filling
from the Spirit?

this benediction
to the believers
has deep implications

for the greek word for “communion”
means (1) fellowship and (2) partnership

(1) fellowship, or intercourse, is an intimate friendship
no fellowship with the spirit = no spiritual life/filling

when Paul encountered some Ephesians
who appeared tired and dejected
his words to them were:

“have you received the Holy Ghost
since you believed?”
(acts 19:2)

(2) partnership, acknowledges the Spirit’s purpose
in teaching and embodying truth to all:
if we have received the Spirit, we partner with the Spirit
in testifying to the truth of Jesus
(see John 15:26-17)

my original question
had been about me:

was there something
wrong with me?
why did i feel empty?

but i have been convicted
that the deeper question
is to ask the Spirit to fill me
with all truth and knowledge
all grace and peace and love
that i might bear witness
to the way, the truth, and the life
that is only found in Jesus

it’s not about me

but the question
i need confront
is whether i am willing
to deny myself
to take up my cross
and to follow jesus

am i willing
to carry like him?
to be poured like him?

am i willing
to be
a channel of mercy?

(see past blog here)

to be a channel of mercy
is not to be filled
by my own doing

to be a channel of mercy
is surrender
to receiving

“but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you;
and you will be my witnesses … to the ends of the earth”

(acts 1:8)

the depth
is there

the intimacy
is there

the filling
is there

the power
is there

the Spirit
is here

invite him in
just as he
invites you
to partner
with him

to finish, some past poetry …

a channel of Your mercy:

there is a waterfall in me

but how can it be, that:
this murky stream of
my heart, soul, body
could be purified clean?

how could my account
testify to grace? my
failings demonstrate
power? my brokenness
boast of forgiveness?
my fear speak of love?
my marred state be an
ever-changing image of
Your surpassing glory?
oh how can it be, that:
You are a living stream
flowing in and through
these cavities in me?!
thankyou for making me
a channel of Your mercy

a channel of mercy in this age:

there is a Kingdom thief:
who enjoys to see me stumbling
away from the riches of my King.
the Scribe of history leads me
as a child finding their feet;
a tourist lost in foreign city.

“give me not Earth’s treasure”
she says
“set me apart for grace, as a
channel of mercy in this age”

so the Scribe sends his Word
to teach her in the Way.
and the King sets His angels
surrounding, covering.

for the Scribe controls this story
and this Kingdom doesn’t shake
no thief can take this Kings reign.

Respond from the Heart