Dear People Who Keep Company With God,
We have inherited a particular spiritual DNA and part of the function of our church is to pass that DNA to the generations. It really is a sacred trust and it is awe inspiring that God gave us such a significant heavenly assignment. We want to be wise stewards of our destiny and recently in a pastor’s meeting as we wrestled over some of the practical out workings of this, the Lord gave me a scripture that I had not considered in over 15 years.
“Moab has been at ease since his youth; He has also been undisturbed, like wine on its dregs, and he has not been emptied from vessel to vessel, nor has he gone into exile. Therefore he retains his flavor, and his aroma has not changed. 12 “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will send to him those who tip vessels, and they will tip him over, and they will empty his vessels and shatter his jars. Jeremiah 48:11-12
In these verses the Holy Spirit used an illustration of wine making to describe some of His ways. In the ancient time, the wine-maker would pour the wine into a bottle and it would stand for a period of time and the dregs (sediment) would settle to the bottom. The wine-maker would then pour the wine into a different vessel leaving the dregs in the original bottle. They would do this over and over until the wine was pure of any dregs.
The first thing that stood out to me was the word ease. He desires to teach us how to be at rest in our hearts, but not be at ease like Moab. Ease in this context is carnal, deceptive and resistive of the Holy Spirit, however we are to be diligent to enter into His rest (Heb. 4:10-11). This is a key to recognizing where and on whom the dove of the Holy Spirit is resting (Mark 1:9). Like attracts like in the spiritual world. When we are abiding in His rest we will instinctively know the vessel He is resting on and we can readily submit and give place to the voice of that vessel. When we are only at ease we tend to listen to the voices that protect what we are comfortable with or what we have passion about. The end result will be shattering.
The next thing that stood out to me was the vessels. The vessels can be people as the Lord puts His wine into people and uses people (2 Cor. 4:7) to accomplish His purposes. People, like bottles, have different purposes and uses but we are all meant to be vessels of honor (2 Tim. 2:20-21). We are learning about three types of vessels that need to have a voice in our church if we are to fulfill our destiny. They are community, cause and corporate vessels.
The corporate vessel’s primary passion is to provide the infrastructure that will facilitate and sustain the home (community) and the mission (cause). However, if we allow the corporate vessel to always have their way we will become an institution that is focused primarily on the bottom line. The institution will become more important than the family and the mission. That is the dregs of the corporate vessel and it speaks of coldness and dead spirituality.
In the same way if we allow the community vessel, whose primary passion is the local congregation, fellowship and caring for the needs of the family to always have their way we will become in grown and inward focused. That is the dregs of the community vessel and in the spiritual world that has the scent of death on it. Our children will grow up, leave and the house will be left empty and we will become lifeless and irrelevant.
If we allow the cause vessel, whose primary passion is missions and outreach to always have their way we will forsake the most important nature of God, that is the dregs of the cause vessel. God is first a Father and a family man. We will become more of an army than a family and over time our hearts will become hardened through all the warfare.
We do not need an equal balance, but rather balance upon whomever the dove of the Spirit is resting. If we will abide in His rest we will be enabled to honor and submit to whatever vessel He desires to use regardless of our personal passions and callings.
Many Blessings, BW