Friday, December 22, 2017

We can fill up in a lot of ways

The psalmist tells about this, for he says that when Christ returned triumphantly to heaven after his resurrection and victory over Satan, he gave generous gifts to men. Notice that it says he returned to heaven. This means that he had first come down from the heights of heaven, far down to the lowest parts of the earth. 10 The same one who came down is the one who went back up, that he might fill all things everywhere with himself, from the very lowest to the very highest.  
(Ephesians 4:8-10 TLB)

Christ came down from the heights, but his return to those heights made possible the "filling" - not with a temporary filling of power, but with a permanent presence of himself wherever we are and go. That means everywhere you are, if Christ's presence dwells within your heart, then Christ is right there in the midst of the present moment. Many times we focus on the coming of Christ, but forget there is a "remaining" part that actually was the purpose for his entire coming!

We have the evidence of God everywhere we look, but can others see the evidence of God everywhere they look? They can, especially if the see even little bits of him in you! The purpose of our filling is that we might show forth what fills us not just to capacity, but expands our capacity so we can keep on being filled.  I think this is often missed - the belief that once filled that is "enough", or all there is. The "filling" is ongoing and continual.

Sometimes we allow things to fill our hearts, occupying the space intended for the presence and peace of Christ. The sad part of this comes when we finally recognize, often with regret, just how much we would have "benefited" from actually abiding in that presence and peace all along. It is understandable that regret may enter in when we consider just how "lean" we ran during those times we didn't count on his filling, or take time to be refilled. We truly run much "leaner" than we were intended to when we push the presence of God to be back and allow anything else to fill that space intended for him.

Cottage cheese fills my stomach when I am hungry, but it doesn't always satisfy what I long for - the craving is different than what the taste or texture of cottage cheese can satisfy. In a much similar manner, things and people may fill the space in our lives, but will they ever satisfy quite the same as Christ's presence? Hardly! That space was designed specifically for him - even a clever counterfeit might attempt to fill that space, but the counterfeit lacks one thing - the ability to keep filling that space as it was created to be filled! Just sayin!