As I glance down at my bathroom vanity this morning, various perfume bottles catch my eye. Appearing in all different shapes and sizes, each one individually uniquely designed. And although the bottles are quite captivating, the real treasure remains inside. The bottles were created to hold something, much like you and I. In many ways, we ourselves are like Mary’s alabaster jar.
Throughout Scripture, we as believers are often symbolized as clay jars or empty vessels. God Himself has poured His presence, the Holy Spirit, into our lives. We are His dwelling place. However, we often misunderstand God’s intention as we idly let time tick by. We were not created to be a decoration, sitting as a display up on a shelf. His intent was to be poured out, spilling lavishly on those around.
“Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.” John 12:3
What does God want from you?
God’s ways are contradictory to our way of thinking. To be filled, you must first be emptied. God can’t fill a pot if it is already full. Unfortunately, we tend to fill up our pots with things that don’t really matter. At least, not for eternity.
Pause for a moment to reflect on your schedule. Will your current activities matter a week from now? A year from now? For eternity? As you consider all the things that are consuming your time and energy, is there anything you need to let go or re-prioritize?
God loves a surrendered life. A heart leaning entirely on Him. After all, if God truly does exist, don’t you think we should let Him determine how we live?
The woman who recognizes she is nothing without God will empty herself of everything she once trusted. The things she once placed her identity on no longer matter. She willingly becomes destitute in spirit, trusting God to do a work on her inside.
“Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” John 12:25
God patiently gives us space so that we can experience more of Him. Throughout our lifetime, He wants us to know that His love will never run dry. He is always enough. There is always more!
If we never experienced illness, we would never know Jesus as our Healer.
If we never mourned, we would not comprehend the Holy Spirit as our Comforter.
If we never had a need, we would never know Jesus as Jehovah-Jireh, our Provider.
If we always relied on ourselves, He would never become our Savior.
If we never were in a jam, would we see Him as our Rescuer?
If we could always find the way on our own, would we trust Him as our Good Shepherd?
If we had all the answers, would we see Him as the Solid Rock, our strong foundation?
You see, it is only because we are insufficient in our own might that we find our way to Jesus. He is pulling us close, drawing us near, hoping we will see we need Him. He is working in us to write a better story.
Jesus is yet another example of how we are to lay it all down. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords leaves His Heavenly Kingdom. All power lies in His hands. Angels sing out, “Hosanna, Hosanna.” Bowing down and worshiping Him around the clock. He has everything at his fingertips, and yet willingly put it all aside. He made Himself absolutely nothing, taking the very nature of man (Phil. 2:7). He became a humble servant.
If Jesus willingly emptied Himself, how much more should you and I?
Our focus cannot be on the jar itself, for the true treasure remains inside. It is “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). And here is a great paradox…the more you let go of “you” to God, the more “you” you do become. You find yourself in laying your life down. You find your greatest treasure is living for Him!
“In a well-furnished kitchen there are not only crystal goblets and silver platters, but waste cans and compost buckets—some containers used to serve fine meals, others to take out the garbage. Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guests for their blessing.” 2 Timothy 2:20-21
What is standing in the way of you and God today? Is there anything you love more than Him?
Leave your comments on our Facebook page
And read more from Sue at: https://sueaallen.com/