Filled or Overflowing?

As many of you know, I have 2 precious boys that I talk about a lot because that is the season of life that I am in!

Being a wife along with being a mother to these boys keeps me on my toes…literally…as I try and keep up with their schoolwork, projects, and extracurricular activities.

On occasion when the boys have ½ day at school, I will scoop them up and have a lunch date with them. We have a special Mexican restaurant we always go to…just Mommy and the boys.

And the reason the boys love our Mommy lunch dates is…because of ME! Well OK that’s not totally true…It’s really because we don’t drink any sodas at home and I usually allow them to get one here because it comes with their Kid’s Meal.

The boys love having this opportunity to get a sprite or root beer. They always beg for a coke but no chance I am giving them sugar AND caffeine. God has given me some wisdom throughout the years!

So once they get their empty cups, the boys will sprint to the fountain drink dispensers to fill their cups with some ice and their choice of soda.

And it just never seems to fail that every single time we come to this restaurant, they will try to fill their cups to the very brim!

The problem is they just can’t seem to stop the dispensers in time before their cups begin to overflow!

Now…I think my boys have pretty good reflexes and hand eye coordination…I mean if you have seen them play sports you would think so too…so I actually do believe they allow the soda to overflow on purpose.

They always begin giggling when this happens and if you saw my face…I am so far from giggling. I try to sneak in that courtesy smile for the line of people who are patiently waiting behind the boys to get their drinks…just to let them know it’s all good…I got this thing under control.

And so for the boys…having their cup filled was not enough…they want it to overflow.

As I pondered this I couldn’t help but realize that…That’s exactly what God wants for each of us!

Being filled is not enough…God wants us overflowing!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13NIV

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. NLT

God doesn’t want to fill us so we can just be fulfilled…He wants to fill us so we can be overflowing.

Fill or Fulfill is defined as “to make full, to satisfy, to bring to an end.”

The word “fill” comes from the Greek word pleroo which means “to be filled to capacity”

Overflow is defined as “to fill or become filled beyond capacity; to fill a space up beyond its limits.”

The word “overflow” comes from the Greek word perisseuo which means “to be over and above, to abound, to exceed the ordinary”

Wow! I found it SO interesting that fulfill has “an end” …while overflow goes “beyond its limits”!

No wonder God doesn’t want us just filled…but He wants us to overflow!

Often times we are looking and desiring to be filled and fulfilled. And there isn’t anything necessarily wrong with that desire…depending on who and/or what is fulfilling us.

Who or what are you looking for to fill or fulfill you today? Is it fulfilling you…completely?

Because…even as Christians…we can so easily find ourselves looking for the people and things in this world to fill and fulfill us.

Maybe we’re looking for a spouse, a child, a relationship to fulfill us.

Maybe we’re looking for a certain job or occupation, recognition, an achievement or accomplishment…or even some material possession to fulfill us.

But these things will only satisfy us temporarily and leave us longing for more…They will never be enough.

Complete fulfillment…complete satisfaction…comes from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Complete fulfillment…complete satisfaction…only comes from God…the God of Hope!

Look at Romans 15:13 again…

God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him.   Romans 15:13

For He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul He fills with good things. Psalm 107:9 ESV

And I will always guide you and satisfy you with good things. I will keep you strong and well. You will be like a garden that has plenty of water, like a spring of water that never goes dry.
Isaiah 25:11 GNT

Ok so before we get too far ahead here…I want you to see something really important.

If we look closer at Romans 15:13…we can see a very important prerequisite for God to fill us…TRUST.

It says in both translations… He will fill you “as you trust Him” … He will fill you “because you trust Him.”

And he wishes to drive home to us this, that the attitude of trust is the necessary prerequisite condition of God’s being able to fill a man’s soul, and that God’s being able to fill a man’s soul is the necessary consequence of a man’s trust. McClaren’s Expositions

Filling begins with trust! Trust unlocks and opens our hearts for God to fill us.

Have you ever tried to fill a vessel or container that is closed? You can try and try but you can’t! Right?!

God can only fill a heart that is opened with trust.

Are you trusting Him today? Are you trusting Him with every aspect of your life?

Because maybe there is an aspect of your life…an empty part of your heart…that God wants to fill but your lack of trust is preventing Him for doing so.

How about this…

Have you ever tried to fill a vessel or container that is already full? Not going to happen…Right?!

Just as God can’t fill a heart that is closed…He also can’t fill a heart that is already full…a heart that is already full of “other” things…

“Other” things can be negative feelings or emotions like anxiety, worry, fear, bitterness, resentment.

“Other” things can be wrong attitudes or sinful desires like unforgiveness, pride, lust, greed, envy, jealousy.

“Other” things are…well really…it’s “any” thing that is not “God’s” thing.

Are you so filled with “other” things that you haven’t allowed God the room to fill you with HIS things? What is keeping you from being filled…completely…by God?

For instance, if you’re so filled with anxiousness and worry in your life…how can He fill you with peace?

But your trust in Him will put your focus on Him which will push out the anxiousness and worry allowing Him the room to fill you with peace!

Filling begins with trust!

Because He can only fill you…

First, if you trust Him and second, if you give Him the room to fill you.

And so what exactly will God fill us with?

Staying focused on Romans 15:13, I found it so interesting…

1st because Paul mentions that God wants to fill us specifically with joy and peace…and 2nd because Paul doesn’t just say God wants to fill us but he qualifies that the GOD OF HOPE wants to fill us.

I included the following commentary to give us a better perspective…

Hope, joy, and peace, form a triad which represents the attitude of the Christian in looking towards the future, and so far as that future is reflected on the present. Hope may be taken as including the other two, as it is upon the certainty of the Messianic promises that they all depend, just as it is through the constant energising power of the Holy Ghost that they are kept alive. Ellicott’s Commentary

God wants to fill us with joy and peace not just to fill us…but for a reason.

He wants to fill you “so that you may overflow”

He wants to fill you so “then you will overflow”

That’s why what we fill ourselves with is so important because what we allow to fill us directly affects our overflow.

But being filled on the inside doesn’t mean there is evidence on the outside.

Are you filled to be fulfilled OR are you filled to overflow?

As Christians, we can become satisfied with being filled to be fulfilled…

But filling is about US…Overflow is about HIM!

God is concerned with overflow…Because He is the God of overflow!

He is the God of abundance…He is the God of more…He is the God of no limits…He is the God of beyond…He is the God that abounds…He is the God of over and above…He is the God of exceeding the ordinary…He is the God of the extraordinary!

We are filled because of HIS overflow!

And therefore…the God of Hope… fills us completely with joy and peace so that WE may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Are you overflowing today? Are you overflowing with hope…joy…and peace?

You can’t overflow with what you haven’t been filled with! You can’t give out what you don’t have!

My desire is that whatever areas of our lives we are not fully satisfied…we would first trust Him and allow him the room to fill us…so that we may overflow hope to others.

And the greatest encouragement we have from Romans 15:13 is that…

We can overflow with hope…by the power of the Holy Spirit. We don’t need to depend on our own strength but the power of the Holy Spirit!

Remember the definition of overflow is…to fill or become filled beyond capacity; to fill a space up beyond its limits.

Going beyond our limits is sometimes uncomfortable…Going beyond stretches us…Going beyond is out of our comfort zone…Going beyond takes time and effort…Going beyond is sometimes hard…

But nowhere in the Bible does it say that we…as Christians…are supposed to be comfortable?

But it does say we can overflow…by the power of the Holy Spirit…through the power of the Holy Spirit!

How can you go beyond today? How can you overflow today?

We are about to celebrate Easter…which I believe is the most important holiday we can celebrate!

It’s because of Christ’s death …burial…and resurrection…that we have eternal Life…that we have Hope…that we have Joy…and that we have Peace! Right?

My heart and prayer this Easter is that we would be so filled…so filled…ourselves that we would overflow this hope to others.

Someone’s eternal life…someone’s hope…may just depend on us “going beyond our limits” …on us overflowing. 

Let’s live a life that is always overflowing! Because it really is about Him…our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Happy Easter!

Reflection Points:

  1. Who or what are you looking for to fill or fulfill you today? Is it fulfilling you…completely?
  2. Are you trusting Him today? Are you trusting Him with every aspect of your life?
  3. Are you so filled with “other” things that you haven’t allowed God the room to fill you with HIS things? What is keeping you from being filled…completely…by God?
  4. Are you filled to be fulfilled OR are you filled to overflow?
  5. Are you overflowing today? Are you overflowing with hope…joy…and peace?
  6. How can you go beyond today? How can you overflow today?

Actions Points:

  1. Complete fulfillment…complete satisfaction…comes from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Complete fulfillment…complete satisfaction…only comes from God…the God of Hope!
  2. Filling begins with trust! Trust unlocks and opens our hearts for God to fill us. God can only fill a heart that is opened with trust.
  3. Just as God can’t fill a heart that is closed…He also can’t fill a heart that is already full…a heart that is already full of “other” things like negative feelings or emotions or wrong attitudes and sinful desires.
  4. God wants to fill us with joy and peace not just to fill us so that we will overflow. As Christians, we can become satisfied with being filled to be fulfilled but filling is about US…overflow is about HIM!
  5. Going beyond our limits is sometimes uncomfortable…Going beyond stretches us…Going beyond is out of our comfort zone…Going beyond takes time and effort…Going beyond is sometimes hard…But nowhere in the Bible does it say that we…as Christians…are supposed to be comfortable. But it does say we can overflow…by the power of the Holy Spirit…through the power of the Holy Spirit!

 

 

 

 

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