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 have longed for his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:6-8
My colleagues and I gathered for our weekly prayer time in the office. It was December, the end of a busy year which had seen us in ten countries, sometimes more than once. The team looked tired as we read this Timothy passage together.
For I am already being poured out
We don’t always do the things God asks of us because we feel like it. We don't work only when we have the energy. We don't just do things from an overflow. Sometimes we choose to tip our vessels even when all that remains is the gritty dregs of the year. You might say, “Go get your vessel filled before you serve” and it would be sound advice, except that it doesn’t always work that way.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Sometimes the fight is to simply stay in the game. Sometimes the finishing is showing up. And often keeping the faith is trusting the tipper, and still pouring when on empty.
I must say, I love our upside kingdom, as someone has called it, the counter-intuitive that lays naked the wisdom of man, the if-thens of the one who is far above…
Now there is in store
Now, today, even as I am on empty “there is in store for me” – I poured out for God and you, to be sure, but in see what’s in store “for me.” As I empty, the store gets fuller. As I give the best to the last I place seed capital in store. I am already being poured out…now there is in store. The father whispers, Pour my way, store my way. This isn’t some pie in the sky storing: it is the pour now, store now plan. The seed capital is not just for eternity either, but for today. I pour out, I store up, I draw down. I will not be exhausted by this year because the pouring has been storing, and the capital stored will yield a next year and eternity return.
poured out, in store
You can tell the difference between those on the man-made inventory management program and those on the poured out, in store school of the Spirit. One is logical, the other supernatural. Be tired, by all means. Take a rest, to be sure, wipe your eyes to see what God stored up especially when you poured from empty. The prophets and widows and soldiers and saints attest: this is his way.