We were filled to be emptied and emptied to be filled.
— Pastor Rodney

The world teaches me to be nervous when Jesus says to pour myself out. “What will you have left?” the world asks. It's a valid question if you don’t know the answer and especially if you don’t know Jesus, if you don't know just how He turns things upside-down (or right-side-up?) in His Kingdom.

For God does ask us to give and serve and build and pour out, but He also promises to fulfill and sustain. Jesus talks about a life of abundance. Yet it is not an abundance to be hoarded. In fact, if we hoard it, it just may become stagnant. And the Spirit gives life, overflowing, not ever stagnant.

In Isaiah 58, God outlines what He wants from His people. They’ve received so much from Him and have been trying to serve Him with their meetings and their gatherings and their rituals, but He points out that something is missing. He begins to list out what He wants from them — to take care of those in need, to feed the hungry, to give and to share, to release those who are oppressed, and to help those in trouble. And it sounds like a lot. But He finishes with this:

“Then your light will shine out from the darkness,
and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
The Lord will guide you continually,
giving you water when you are dry
and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like an ever-flowing spring.” —
Isaiah 58:10-11

Emptied out but filled up, in fact, more than filled up — everflowing.