So yesterday morning, just before Church, I started a new book that my preacher Terry Cooper told me about. It is “The Book of Mysteries” by Jonathan Cahn. I had read one of his other books, “The Harbinger” and it was good but this one is a bit different. I think I like it better. It is a daily book of mysteries and the first one discussed Open vessels versus closed vessels. The title was “Eternity in a Jar”.
I read the passage a couple of times and the accompanying verses. He spoke of these clay jars and asked the question; could they contain something bigger than themselves. He went on to explain that the only way they could was if they remained open. A closed jar could not contain anything more than what was in it.
I meditated on them yesterday and this morning. It would come back, this reference to clay vessels, as would the verses. It would linger a while until some distraction came. But it would not be long until it came back. Another verse, not related to the book, came to mind as well. This verse seemed to fit with the thoughts that were bouncing around in my head. It was Proverbs 9:10
Proverbs 9:10 (ESV) 10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
As I thought of this Jar and what it might contain I thought of my own heart and mind and I did not want to limit it at all, not when it came to knowing God. My desire was to seek after him.
The Open Jar
As I ponder this one-page document from Jonathan Cahn’s book I think about being an open jar seeking after living water, the Word of God, so that I may grow closer to Him. Cahn made one other point. “Which is larger, that which you know or that which you do not know?” And that stopped me in my tracks. It was blindingly obvious that what I do not know was far larger than what I know, but I do not think I had ever looked at it that way. I just plodded along not really grasping the difference. I knew there was much I did not know, but I never considered the scale.
As I thought about that I started thinking about where my open jar was along this river of living water. Is it just lying on the edge of the stream gathering a little bit here and there or is it immersed in the flow of the river nearly drowning in the influx of knowledge? As I considered it I knew what I wanted, but I was not so sure I was there all the time.
I wanted to be immersed in the river of living water. I want to be gathering the wisdom that God offers in His Word, but I know that I get distracted. Sometimes those distractions are petty, sometimes they are more serious, but all those distractions I choose to handle myself I should be giving to God. I know what to do. But so often the adversary distracts me and I turn inward instead of leaning on God; even my favorite verse.
Matthew 11:27-30 (ESV) 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
If I will let these distractions go I can immerse my heart and mind in his word, even when I am not studying it because the Holy Spirit takes the nourishment I gained from my study and reminds me of it when I need it.
Filling This Jar
I thought about my hope and salvation that comes through Christ Jesus this morning and then I considered how fortunate I am to have His Word to draw on to fortify myself. From Genesis to Revelation it is all there for my nourishment and strength.
I looked at Jeremiah 33:3
Jeremiah 33:3 (ESV) 3 Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
I read this and I think of the torn veil and the gift we must approach the Lord God in prayer and ask for His guidance and help in Jesus name and He will answer, and so often those answers come straight from His Word. What joy there is in that gift. But I would not know it if I were not connected to the vine through the Holy Word of God and Prayer.
John 15:5-7 (ESV) 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
Just thinking of that gives me goose bumps and I am thankful that through Him my Jar is filled.
Filling the Jar with Compassion
I considered Isaiah 55:1-11 which Jonathan Cahn referenced in this process. And I thought about this Jar and in Isaiah it is not enough to be an open jar, we must thirst and truly desire to be filled with Gods Word. As people, we always thirst for stuff: a new car, a new boat, a new camera, a skinny body, popularity. But those are all fleeting and temporary. The thirst God reveals through Isaiah in chapter 55 is eternal.
Isaiah 55:1-11 (ESV)
The Compassion of the Lord
1 “Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
3 Incline your ear, and come to me;
hear, that your soul may live;
and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David.
4 Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander for the peoples.
5 Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know,
and a nation that did not know you shall run to you,
because of the Lord your God, and of the Holy One of Israel,
for he has glorified you.
6 “Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
7 let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
I read this passage and God says it all. He calls us to Himself and asks us why we seek after things that do not last and he assures us forgiveness. But how would I know if not for His Word and the Holy Spirit to guide me. I am so thankful for His love, grace, and mercy.
Filling this Jar with more than I am just really hit me the last couple days. I was filled with all sorts of thoughts that led to increasing joy. I remembered this passage in John.
John 14:26 (ESV) 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
What a gift that is; the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to teach us all. I know that He opens my eyes to new things in God’s Word every day.
I think of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well.
John 4:10 (ESV) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”
I thank God that I do know who Jesus is and through His Word, I have grown closer to Him every day.
Then I think of John 1
John 1:1-5 (ESV) The Word Became Flesh
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
And I realize that my jar is small but it can contain infinitely more than its size would indicate because the Holy Spirit is in me and I am a branch connected to the vine. And the Holy Spirit knows my needs before I do, and this thirst I have is for the living water – God’s Word!
Father God, I thank you for the wisdom that comes from you. The thirst you give me for Your Word and the answers you offer to my prayers. Lord I am humbled by Your love, grace and mercy. Help me that I not squander them on distractions of this world but keep them focused on you always. In Jesus name, I pray.
PS. I have a friend in the hospital that just had a stroke after an intricate surgery. Please keep Greg in your prayers.