Friday, December 16, 2011

Tips on Getting Filled when you are empty.

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio
Its been pretty grey here. This was taken mid morning.


2 Samuel 23 The Message
1 These are David's last words:
The voice of the son of Jesse, 
the voice of the man God took to the top, Whom the God of Jacob made king, 
and Israel's most popular singer!
 2-7 God's Spirit spoke through me,  
his words took shape on my tongue.
The God of Israel spoke to me,  Israel's Rock-Mountain said,
   "Whoever governs fairly and well, who rules in the Fear-of-God,
   Is like first light at daybreak without a cloud in the sky,
   Like green grass carpeting earth, glistening under fresh rain."
   And this is just how my regime has been, for God guaranteed his covenant with me,
   Spelled it out plainly and kept every promised word—
   My entire salvation, my every desire.
   But the devil's henchmen are like thorns culled and piled as trash;
   Better not try to touch them;  keep your distance with a rake or hoe.
   They'll make a glorious bonfire!
So I found myself again today at a loss for what to write. I seem to have come into a dry spell.  I realize that I can't do this on my own. I need the Lord to fill and inspire me.  I admit I have been a bit down lately, I think the lack of sunshine is probably bothering me more this year than it has in the past. Money is tight which means I must use faith and trust God,  and I think I have a bit of compassion fatigue and I need to remember "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9) Maybe some of this is hormonal.  I don't think any of those things are to dangerous levels but I realize I need to remember to take care of me. (For some reason that is hard for me - I tend to put me last - Trust me I have a long way to go to arrive at perfection - I am like you a work in progress.)  I think there are things God shows me that test and try me and I find myself wrestling with God in a sense. Like you I have to sort out what is this my voice, what is Gods voice, and what is the enemy.  So I must ask how does it line up with the Word? 
Speaking of His Word - every day we have to decide if we are going to do things His way or continue with life on our own terms.  In my effort to be transparent here I am sharing that I do struggle to keep my focus on Jesus, and to die to my flesh, and avoid the traps set up by the enemy. It is a journey that is taken one step at a time, one choice at a time and there are days that I do better than others.

So anyway this morning I read the last words of David, the shepherd boy who becomes king of Israel.  Generally we believe that the last thing someone has to say is very significant and important. It is the final thing that they wanted to be sure to communicate.  David tells his son Solomon. "God's Spirit spoke through me,  his words took shape on my tongue."  I know that I need God's Spirit to speak through me as I write these posts. Today I feel like an empty vessel, and I don't want to give you muddy dregs of water. So I pray Lord come and fill me, allow my life to overflow with your presence. In and of myself I have a handfull of talents and abilities but I realize that if you don't breath your life into those things they are nothing more than pretty trinkets some are relics of the past from other times you have moved powerfully through my life. Like faded photographs and memories I know I can't live in the past. I can't live on yesterday's mana (heavenly food - see Exodus 16). I need a fresh infilling of God's Holy Spirit presence today and every day.  So do you.... and so I come in my transparency to something that may help you. What do I do when I feel empty and dry.
How to get re-filled when you are empty?
I pray and ask the Lord to fill me. 
I will take time to listen to what He is saying to me. (Sometimes we don't really want to listen because we are afraid of what God might tell us) Have I put my will ahead of God's will?
I will check to see if I've done something to damm up the flow of His Spirit - (check for obvious sin area's of my life that I know I am not allowing the Lord to govern)
I will look for cracks or leaks ( places where I should be walking by faith but have decided not to trust)
If I find that anything comes up that I need to deal with then I take my findings to God. I ask him to help me with it. Do I need to repent or forgive - those are quite often the place to look. 
Has God told me to do something that I have neglected to do? 
Sometimes all those things are fine and I remember that there is a spiritual battle going on even if I want stick my head in the sand and pretend it does not exist. Perhaps there are some things that I need to bind (Matthew 18:180 - doubt, fear, insecurity, shame, guilt, depression, double mindedness are a few I can think of.... There may be some things I need to loose or release over my life. Keeping in mind that there is the power of life and death in the tongue (Proverbs 18;21). The words that come out of our own mouths do effect us. What am I saying to myself? Am I speaking the truth to myself or have I taken up the lies of the enemy. Ugggh - guilty as charged on that one.  The lie of the enemy to me is "you are not ok, you are not good enough, you have nothing to say, you are empty, you are tired, you are broken...." Lord forgive me - I love David's final thought "But the devil's henchmen are like thorns culled and piled as trash;  Better not try to touch them;  keep your distance with a rake or hoe. They'll make a glorious bonfire!" Perhaps you will join me in adding some garbage to the bonfire. 
Dear Lord, 
Please show us any place that we have dammed up the flow of your Holy Spirit. Help examine us for leaky places and come and repair those places. Help us move out the sin that is clogging the flow of your presence into our life. Lord where we need to us to at least to be willing even if we don't know how to get there, Help us to repent of the things we know of and bring to mind things that we may not be able to see. Lord we need to add some things to the bonfire and so help us to speak aloud those things that you bring to mind now and to bind them by the power of your authority and your name. Lord finally I ask in your name that you would fill us up with your Holy Spirit, that you would loose your peace, joy and love in greater measure into our lives. I pray that you would grant us wisdom to understand your word and faith to do it. I pray you would guide and direct us by your Holy Spirit and I invite you to walk arm and arm with me into this day. Help me to be aware of your presence and help me not to miss the little gifts of love that you send my way.  

I look back over these words that I've managed to write and I am thankful that God has supplied. I am once again humbled by his never ending faithfulness to me.

Some of the other things that I will do when I feel empty. 
• I will pray in the Spirit because doing so builds up my spirit.  (Jude 1:20 20 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.)
• I will spend time in the Word. Its not that you need to read great amounts. Read until something speaks to you. Then take that verse or passage and think about it, ponder it, act on it or do it.
(1 Peter 2:2 (NIV1984) 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation) Sometimes we need to grow up. There are days that I need to quit wining and fussing and stand on the Word.
• I will remember the things I have to be thankful for. Make a list if it helps.
• I will speak the truth to myself and resist the lies of the enemy. (the battle ground is generally inside my head) James 4:7" Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." Just don't forget the part about submitting to God. Quite often I get off track because what God is calling me to do or believe or walk in is bigger than I think I am capable of accomplishing. Rather than trust Him and walk by faith I will too often settle for lesser things.

 ( The more I write the more I see a dozen things that I could spin off on and write about in greater depth - the more I realize that my feelings of having nothing to write or say is just the enemy trying to get me to give up. I would covet your prayers. We all have our battlegrounds this seems to be one of mine presently.)

Reading devotionals, or the works of other believers, spending time singing songs, hymns and spiritual songs. Listening to music and worshiping God along with it.

I often will keep things around me to remind me of God's promises. I will look for little reminders of His love and faithfulness. One of those things for me are lighthouses. They speak to me of Gods light to those on a troubled sea. So I was having a difficult day, I was not feeling good and I was discouraged, and I had to drive to pick my kids up. I looked up and a big truck passed me with a big lighthouse on the side. I just had to laugh and thank God. Somedays he has to send me moving bill boards to get my attention and to remind me to not let go of hope and trust in Him. That is just a little example of one odd way that God deals with and encourages me. It has come from spending time at His feet and learning to love His playfulness. There's another subject to write about sometime. I'm going to call this one good and post it and thank God for pulling this one out of the hat,  like a magician does a white rabbit. 

• Writing seems to help - I think for me it is an act of faith and obedience and as I write God Spirit some how shows up in the middle of my personal desert like water from the rock. (Exodus 17)

You are welcome to join me, in laughing at me - God always provides and I am always thankful.
I had nothing to say and now I am having trouble stopping. Go figure.  Have a great weekend and see you back here on Monday. In the mean time if you need more check out the archives on the lower left side of the Devotional Mosaic Blog page.

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