Is Your Glass Half Full?


Polly lifted the mud-filled bowl so that her mother could see the problem. "I wanna put water in here. It won't go."

Mom took the bowl gingerly between two fingers. "It's full of mud, honey. See?"

She handed it back to her daughter. "You can't put anything else in there when it's already full. Empty out all the mud and then you can fill it with water."

Seems simple, doesn't it?

So why do we have such a hard time with it?

Many Christians wonder why they feel so far from God most of the time. They want to be closer. They want to be filled with the Holy Spirit, as we are commanded to be. They pray, they try. But nothing happens.

The problem?
They are like the muddy bowl. They are already full.


Philippians 2 shows us to the starting gate. "Let this be your attitude, the same one Jesus had. He was God, yet he voluntarily set that aside and emptied himself, took on human flesh, and became one of us."
(my paraphrase)

Notice the first thing He did. He emptied himself of all rights and privileges that made Him the "darling of Heaven."
(Darlene Zscheche, Worthy is the Lamb) Before he could become like us in our weakness and frailty, he had to first empty himself of everything that separated him from us.

And we are to do the same.

Before the Holy Spirit can completely fill and empower us, we have to empty ourselves of everything that keeps us separate from God: our will, our opinion, our rights, our agenda. Just as Jesus did.

Jesus had to empty himself before He could step down to dwell with us. We have to empty ourselves before we can be lifted up to dwell in the "secret place of the Most High." (Psalm 91) We cannot soar on wings of eagles while anchored firmly to earth. If we are still captivated by this world's goodies, still living with tunnel vision as though our little lives were the center of the universe, we are too full. We force the Holy Spirit to ride in the overcrowded luggage compartment.

To empty yourself means you voluntarily set aside everything that makes you YOU, just as Jesus did. Not that everything about you is wrong. It's just in the way.

The Holy Spirit cannot fill a vessel that is already filled with YOU. Until your will is lost in His, until you are "hidden with Christ" (Col. 3:3), until God is your delight and single-minded focus, you are a glass half-filled with mud.

There are many areas of life that you don't get to choose, but you get to choose what fills you.

So how's your bowl? Is it ready for water?

Maybe you need to empty it first.

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