When you put a cup in front of you, do you fill it until it overflows, or do you stop somewhere short of the top of the rim? If you are paying attention, you likely fill it just below the rim, or a little down from there because you have to pick it up, transport it somewhere with you, and you don't want it spilling all over the place as you do. When God fills us, he doesn't care about the 'spill over'! In fact, he hopes some of what he fills us with will actually spill over and begin to affect those around us. If you are telling God to 'avoid the rim' in your life because it will get a little 'messy', you are probably missing out on some of the awesomeness God intends not only for you, but all those he puts in your lives!
I pray that Christ may live in your hearts by faith. I pray that you will be filled with love. I pray that you will be able to understand how wide and how long and how high and how deep His love is. I pray that you will know the love of Christ. His love goes beyond anything we can understand. I pray that you will be filled with God Himself. (Ephesians 3:17-19)
Life gets messy at times - it just cannot be avoided no matter how hard we try 'step out of the way' when the messiness comes our way. God is an 'over the rim' kind of God. He isn't content to give us half a filling of his grace, love, or peace. He wants all of those things overflowing in our lives. We are to be filled with his love - to overflowing. We are to be filled with God himself - to overflowing. When we limit him in our lives, we are saying we know better than God what we need in our lives. Spoiler Alert: None of us really knows better than God - he sees a much bigger picture than we do and he isn't going to stop at halfway in our lives!
Messiness is part of who we are - like it or not. We aren't going to avoid failures in our lives - they are part of the messiness we create. We aren't ever going to bypass his need for grace - it is the only thing that actually helps clean up the 'messiness' of our failures or shortcomings, so that what overflows instead of the messiness of failure is the goodness and grace of Christ. The goodness and grace of Christ is what fills us instead of the shame and guilt of our sinfulness. The thing we begin to value instead of whatever filled our cup that led to that failure becomes the very life of Christ within us. The goodness and grace of Christ is more than an 'additive' to our cup - it is what replaces what has occupied our cup!
We need to be drenched with the life of Christ. Scripture reminds us: You’re only truly happy when you walk in total integrity, walking in the light of God’s word. What joy overwhelms everyone who keeps the ways of God, those who seek him as their heart’s passion! They’ll never do what’s wrong but will always choose the paths of the Lord. (Psalm 119:1-3) The joy that overwhelms might be likened to the cup that overflows. When we begin to choose to fill our cup with more and more of Christ, we begin to realize that our cup is 'refilled' - not "added to", but 'filled anew'. His love goes beyond anything we can 'contain'. His love isn't meant to be contained - it is meant to overflow so it can affect the messiness of the life of another. Just sayin!