Saturday 30 November 2013

The Fullness of God! by Rich Novek

The physical body of Jesus Christ was filled to the fullness with the Word, so much so He could only do what He saw His Father doing.

He was and still is the fullness of God!

For IN Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and IN Him all things hold together. And He is the Head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that IN everything He might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell IN Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things IN heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the Cross. Colossians 1:15-20

In order to be the fullness there has to be a complete emptying, and could it be possible, that instead of us waiting on God, He is the One who is waiting on us? Waiting for the time we finally see the hidden mystery of His fullness, which was in fact His being “poured out” for us!

How else can something be filled with one thing unless it’s first completely emptied of the thing it was filled with?

I am “poured out” like water,
And all my bones are out of joint;
My heart is like wax;
It is melted within me.

My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
And my tongue cleaves to my jaws;
And You lay me in the dust of death. Psalm 22:14-15

But even if I am being “poured out” like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me. Philippians 2:17-18

For I am already being “poured out” like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who (NOW) long for His appearing. II Timothy 4:6-8

“Though often understood as a reference to his impending death, it is more likely that Paul understood the struggles and toils of his apostolic ministry as a libation upon the sacrificial service of the churches among which he ministered (see Gerald F. Hawthorne, Philippians. Word Biblical Commentary 43 [Waco: Word, 1983], pp. 104-6). In the OT, the libation was offered as a portion of the fruits of the worshiper’s labor, so it is fitting for Paul to speak of his labor as a libation. His labor was OFFERED UP AS A DRINK FOR GOD, as wine to make His heart glad. But, as is appropriate to a better covenant, it is not only the Lord who drinks the wine of joy, but also the people: hence, Paul says that he shares the joy of his libation-labor with the Philippians, and asks them to respond by pouring their libations out upon him (2:17-18).” (Biblical Horizons Newsletter)

“Drink offerings of blood” is used in allusion to the heathen practice of mingling the blood of animals sacrificed with wine or water, and POURING OUT THE MIXTURE in the worship of the gods, and the idea conveyed is that the psalmist would not partake of the abominations of the heathen.” (Psalm 16:4 Easton’s Bible Dictionary)

Being “poured out” is what happens when the believer finally sees the “mystery” found in the power of the Cross. Jesus was poured out as was Paul, so what about us?

How can we see ourselves as being filled with the fullness of the complete and unadulterated pure Life of His Son, when there is a danger of any remains of the “mixture” of serving and worshiping another master? That is unless we allow Him to take us to and through the Cross? The Cross being the personal revelation (our daily Cross) where we finally see (with the single eye of Faith) there is no possible way we can serve Him while we are also serving something (or someone) else, especially ourselves.

The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be “single”, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil (double), thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the One, and love the other; or else he will hold to the One, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Matthew 6:22-24

Or is it possible for us to serve God and anything else!

What was it that got me thinking about all this?

Recently, while praying with Linda and our ministry partner, Joan, I had a picture in my mind of a bottling plant, a pure water plant, such as is owned by the companies who make Smart Water or Aquafina. And in it I saw all of these tainted water bottles coming down this massive assembly line. I could tell by looking at them that they were not pure water, but a mixture of pure water and something else.

It was then the Lord said to me, “These containers were not completely emptied before being filled, and the result is now a “mixture” that isn’t fit for me or anyone else to drink.”

When referring to the believer, Jesus used several different examples.

In John 15 He calls the believer IN Christ a branch. I am the Vine you are the branches. So what is the purpose of the branch, but for the channel or container of the life giving sap produced by the Vine? We are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. The church today has developed such a fixation on the temple’s outward appearance so that it fails in conveying to others it’s one true purpose, which is to contain God. He also refers to us as vessels. The vessel, whose sole purpose is to contain whatever is poured into it, be it water, wine, or what have you.

The purpose of the (daily) Cross is for the “pouring out” of whatever the container contains, so it can be filled to the fullness with the “New” thing…that being His very Life!

For you have died (been emptied) and your life is NOW hidden with Christ (in His fullness) IN God! Colossians 3:3

The suffering we endure in coming to the end of our resources is not just for the sake of suffering alone, as many today believe, but is in fact the only “gateway” to seeing and knowing the “Glory” of being emptied by God, only to be filled to overflowing with the fullness of God.

And if the Word “became” flesh is the Son. (John 1:14) Then the Word “become” flesh…are the adopted Son’s! The son’s of the New Covenant, the ones who are right here and right NOW no less filled with the fullness of God’s Word.

Therefore if any man be IN Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are “become” new. II Corinthians 5:17

We are the earthen vessels, the jars of clay, that He Himself has chosen to express His own life IN and through by means of the Spirit who is NOW willing and doing within us! (Philippians 2:13)

But until we are completely “poured out” of “All” that can in any way taint the pure revelation of seeing only Him IN all things, what Paul called losing his life, we will never be able to see ourselves as the true containers of the fullness of God!

The institutional church today is like an assembly line of tainted containers, polluted by their own independent bent of trying to preserve the life they still dare call their own, while trying to live FOR God in their own strength. And they do this, not knowing the One who they are resisting, the One living, moving, and having His being IN and through them, is the same One who is taking them to be “poured out” at the foot of the Cross.

The fullness of God?

In the same way God is only able to resurrect that which is dead, so is He only able to completely fill what He Himself has emptied. And while many within the Body of Christ still hold to the belief that it’s we who are waiting on God, could it be just the opposite? Could it be it’s really Him who is waiting on us?

And waiting for what?

Waiting for us to finally come to the Cross, without any pretense or self preserving strings attached, and in a way much like the younger (Prodigal) son, who finally came to the end of all of his “own ways.”

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to HIS OWN WAY; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6

There is only ONE WAY, TRUTH, and LIFE!!!

There is no one righteous, not even one;
there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.” Romans 3:11-12

And He does this “pouring out” not for punishment sake, but for a wonderful eternal purpose beyond anything we could ever imagine!

We are being completely “poured out” of our own way, and a life focused on “taking a thought for our own life”…SO THAT we can experience the privilege of sharing in the sufferings of the unseen Faith OF the Son of God. Galatians 2:20

Being completely emptied so as to finally know what it is to be filled to overflowing with…the fullness of God!

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