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Overflow – a blog post

February 23, 2018

Many times when we hear the word overflow, we are thinking of something that has happened to create a mess, such as a car radiator overflowing or a 2-liter bottle of Dr. Pepper spewing foam all over the floor (have you ever wondered why it’s always Dr. Pepper?). However, overflow can be a really good thing as well. I can’t remember when I heard the term for the first time in regard to preaching, but it has been a saying that has stuck with me.

When I preach out of the overflow, that means I’m so filled up with what the Lord has revealed to me through the week that it just “overflows”. Often that means that the Word has been really alive in me that week and it’s typically accented by some experiences that have happened throughout the week as well. I love being so full of what God is saying that it just spills out. Does that happen every week? No, I wish it did, but it sure is wonderful when it does.

When God’s people are unified, it creates an overflow that cannot be replicated in any other way. In Exodus 36, we see the culmination of a project that was begun in Exodus 25, the building of a sanctuary for the Lord. Artisans and craftsmen of great skill were creating a beautiful place to worship God and people were bringing in freewill offerings every morning…yes you read that right…every morning. Because the people were so unified and on the same page, there was more than enough to complete the work.

Because of this, Moses gave an order that every pastor that has ever led a building campaign wishes he could give. He told the people to stop giving, for there was more than enough to complete the work. Wow…

This was no ordinary building either. This was a sanctuary befitting worship of Jehovah God. The people were not only unified, but they were consistent in their efforts to spare no expense or beauty in creating this house of worship for the King of Kings.

So, can we live in the overflow on a regular basis? We’ve all had those moments, those periods of time, those experiences, where it is apparent that God is just keeping the blessings flowing. There is nothing like it. But, does that have to be the exception or can that be closer to the rule?

I believe this story in Exodus teach us that it very much is possible, but it depends on us being totally surrendered to God – recognizing that everything belongs to Him. Two key elements are at play here.

We must….Trust the Truth. For many people, trusting God with their finances is a hurdle that they continue to struggle with, but if we are going to be fully surrendered, that is an area that is most important. Either God’s Word is totally true or it’s not. Either God can be totally trusted or not. We trust God with our salvation, our eternal security, with life an death, with our daily protection, but yet we won’t consistently give Him the first and the best of our finances? If we are going to be consistent in our walk and striving for total unity, then it’s time to trust Him.

We must also…Count the Cost. There are two aspects of counting the cost. The first aspect is evaluating our investments in regard to our financial stewardship and…well…uh…buying stuff. Luke 14:28 reminds us that it is a wise steward that counts the cost before he builds a tower. Take, for instance, buying a new car. If you have to finance it, then there is that cost, plus the maintenance, tires, gasoline, etc. The average US household has over $132,000 in debt, including mortgages. Those who have car loans average $28,500 in car debt, those who have student loans average $49,000. Household income has not kept up with the cost of living, so many people are living beyond their means. It would be hard to be a part of living out of the overflow in such a struggle.

The other aspect of counting the cost is counting the cost of not being obedient to the Lord. God tells us in 2 Corinthians 9:6 that whoever sows sparingly will reap sparingly. We can restrict what our loving Savior wants to do in and through us simply by not being completely obedient. I’m not saying it’s easy but once we fully trust and see the results, it is oh, so worth it.

This life is a journey, a growth in trust. Sometimes our trust in our Heavenly Father is affected by experiences we’ve had where others haven’t been as trustworthy, but our Father is anything but untrustworthy. He created it all, He owns it all, and He loves to bless His children.

May my life be lived in such surrender that overflow is the only natural result.

Tony Watson
Senior Pastor
First Baptist Church
Palestine TX

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