13 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 15:13)

The verse above from Romans chapter 15 is the foundational verse for this Overflow Series.  As I was reading through this chapter the other day and got to verse 13, it just stood out to me.  For starters, being filled with all joy and peace is wonderful in itself.  However, it continues to says, “so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

So what exactly does it mean to overflow?  How does one get to the point of overflowing?

Well, I am so glad that you asked!  In order to reach the state of overflow, you must first be filled with something.  Now, the act of being filled with something, does not immediately result in an overflow, rather it takes time in order for you yourself to be full.  At the point of fullness, then comes the overflow.

Let’s dive a little deeper into the filling process.  If you are filling a jar or cup with something new, wouldn’t you want it to be empty to start with?  No one wants to mix fresh water with some other liquid or substance that may have already been inside the cup.  You would rather have a clean and an emptied cup.

Also, if you are going to fill a jar or cup with water, you would prefer for the jar or cup to be still, correct?  While it is not impossible to fill a moving cup, it is definitely more difficult and can take more time, as well as result in a whole lot of wasted water.

Okay, enough about cups, what about you and I?  Well, the same principles apply.  God wants to fill us with His Spirit and the fruits of the Spirit.  

In order to do so, it begins with us being made clean and then emptying ourselves of what was, so that He can fill us with the goodness that comes from His Spirit.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)  We are made clean through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  In being made new and clean, it also involves letting go of our old ways (selfishness, hate, anger, etc) and emptying ourselves, in order to be filled with the desires of the Spirit.
Then, it continues with us being still in His presence, so that we can allow Him to pour into us!  Think back to the example of the cup, you could have a freshly washed cup that is empty and ready to be poured into, however, if that cup is not still, it could be missing out on it’s purpose and fulfillment.  This is why it is so important for us as Christians to be still in God’s Word and in His presence daily, so that He can pour into us.

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