A sister shared the following statement she had read this week:

“The usefulness of the cup is in its emptiness“.

The simple statement becomes profound when seen through the eyes of my spirit.  Many pray for God to fill them with His Holy Spirit, but God requires an emptying of self and a surrendering to Him to present an empty vessel fit for His divine purpose.  God will not top up my “vinegar”!

Philippians 2: 5,7,8:  “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…….He made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men….And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death”.  Jesus emptied Himself and became a vessel fit for divine purpose in His Father’s hands.  He came to do the Father’s will, (John 3:16),  He only did the things that pleased the Father, He only spoke the words His Father gave Him.  The power displayed through the miracles He performed was all through “the power of Another”, His Father.  Jesus declared as the Son of Man, “I can of mine own self do nothing”, (He became an empty vessel/cup).  “It’s the Father in me.  He does the works”.  (See John 5)  In His emptiness and declaration of His inability to do anything of Himself, He then did everything through the power of Another, His Father’s power flowed safely through Him and He gave all the credit to God.  God’s glory was safe in His hands, He wanted nothing for Himself, just to please the Father.  That produced His greatest joy.  You cannot do the will of God miserably.  Peace lies in surrender and obedience creates incredible joy.

The fullness of God requires an empty vessel.  If the divine Son of God had to empty Himself of divinity, to leave heaven and become the Son of Man on earth, to demonstrate to us how to live a life completely dependent on the Father, why should I think I can present a vessel half full of the right to myself, and expect God to “top me up” with an infilling of His Holy Spirit?

John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus, heralded His coming and declared, “He must increase, I must decrease”, John 3:30.  Knowing the scripture is not sufficient.  Applying it should become a lifestyle of any disciple of Jesus.

The usefulness of the cup is in its emptiness…….In my emptiness God sees a perfect vessel to display His power and glory in.  My emptiness has value to God.  When I lay aside all personal ambition and plans, He can fill my cup and direct my life according to His plans and thoughts which far exceed any of mine, and all the glory will be His.  1 Corinthians 2:9 “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those that love Him”. 

2 Kings 4: 1-7 is the record of Elisha and the destitute widow.  Her husband had died, the creditors were threatening to take her sons in exchange for the unpaid debt.  God cared and sent Elisha the prophet to aid her.  He instructed her to find as many empty vessels as she could and begin to fill them with the one thing she had left, a small pot of oil.  God performed a miracle and filled every empty vessel she could find.  The oil stopped flowing when she could find no more empty vessels to fill!  She then sold the oil and paid her creditors.

We can learn from this account that God’s sovereignty gloves human responsibility.  What must God do that I cannot?  What must I do that God will not?  In our discussion today it is easily perceived that my responsibility is to present my empty cup.  So the challenge is for each of us, what is it that we are holding back on?  What right to myself am I holding on to?  What is God requiring of me to surrender?  (Surrender is always in the now, the present tense.) It behoves us to find out. Complacency and indifference will cause me to drift or stagnate.  God requires change for Him to move me on to get in step with Him.  If all creation is groaning for the manifestation of the sons of God (Romans 8:19, 22), dare I be indifferent?

When my vessel is empty, God will fill my cup.  He equips us with the life of His Son, to “live, and move, and have, our being”, Acts 17:28.

Let us make this song our prayer to the divine Potter:

Change my heart, O God, make it ever new,

Change my heart, O God, to respond to You.