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Empty Enough?
     We are people who long for "new wine."  Whether it be in something as sweeping as what we call "revival," or to His bringing forth new life to our marriages, families, relationships, and ourselves, we find ourselves fervently seeking it, praying for it, longing for it.  Yet, in so many cases, in so many ways, it seems He's not listening, or doesn't hear, or, worse, doesn't care.  Yet, if we truly know His heart, we must know that none of these are true, so, why is the longing not met?  Why doesn't the answer come?
      I recently heard a lady named Priscilla Shirer make a comment concerning the Lord's turning water into wine in John 2.  She said that perhaps we have to come to the full realization that our pots are really empty, that all the wine of our lives has run out.  There is no more, and all that is left is to come to Him, fully empty, and our greatest, no, our overwhelming desire is that we be filled with the new wine of His Life and Spirit.  We may well cry out to Him for all that is listed above, and we sincerely want to see these desires fulfilled, yet, we are not yet ready to admit, confess, our emptiness.  Some part of our self-life still believes it can "handle" things apart from Him.  Our flesh can't yet admit to its total poverty and powerlessness apart from Him.  We want change, be it in our church, ministry, family or marriage, but we ourselves are not yet ready to be changed.  We want improvement.  We don't want transformation.  We want a makeover, but we want to retain control in the midst of it.  So, our prayers continue to go up, our desires continue to remain strong, but the needs remain unmet, and we somehow remain blind to why that's so.
T.Austin-Sparks said that, "Reformation is an essential part of revival.  He calls for certain drastic adjustments before He opens the windows of heaven."  Therein lies our problem.  We don't really want to undergo those "drastic adjustments," if they are to take place within us and in our hearts.  Circumstances, other people, these are all fair game, and we readily ask Him to change them, but ourselves, well that is another matter altogether.  We want encounters with Him that change everything around us, but leave us the same.  We'll sign up for some minor life adjustments, but a total demolition that bring about a complete reformation is a lot more than we're looking for.  We're a culture that finds it unthinkable that we should have to get up to change the channel on the TV.  As we do with our remotes, we want to change the channels of our lives from the comfort of our easy chairs.  So, little or nothing changes, and we wonder why?
    So many of us are walking about empty today.  Are we empty enough?  Have our desires for change become so consuming that we can truly say to Him, "Lord, whatever you have to do, not only around me, but in me, even to me, in order to bring new life, new wine, do!"  Such prayer will bring answers, and will bring about radical reformation.  He will move in His time and His way, but He will move, and so will we.  No longer held captive by our spiritual Lazy-Boys, He will work from the inside out in us, in our homes, relationships, and above all, His church to bring forth that life.  Like the widow of Zarephath, starving in the midst of famine, we must bring our empty pots, and not a few of them, but all.  In our hunger and thirst, surrendered hunger and thirst, He will fill them.  Let us come, empty, and be filled.

Blessings,
Pastor O
 
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