Poured Out

By Meg - 6:47 PM

This summer I've been doing a couple of different things for my morning bible time. I've been rotating between a couple of books and then just reading through the book of Philippians... memorizing it and meditating on it and letting it take root deep in my heart.

There have been many words that have convicted and challenged me to check the motives of my heart, but these specific words from Paul have been following me around the last few days.

"Even if I am to be poured out 
as a drink offering upon the 
sacrificial offering of your faith,
 I am glad and rejoice with you all.
Likewise, you also should be glad
and rejoice with me."
Philippians 2:17

Poured out as a drink offering, upon another sacrificial offering. That's what Paul was saying. I was curious so I looked up "Drink Offerings" in the Old Testament and there is actually a lot of theology behind God's instructions for the Isrealites to offer Him these drink offerings! More than I was expecting when I first looked it up. Like how it was not to be offered until they reached the promised land - which makes sense in terms of Biblical Theology because drinking wine was a celebration activity - so God abstained from receiving this wine from His children until they reached the promised land the same way Christ says He will not drink the fruit of the vine until he drinks it new with us in his Father's kingdom! (Matt. 26:29) {I love learning things like this!}

Aside from that, in terms of what Paul was saying, the wine along with other offerings like the grain offerings were symbolic of the works of the worshiper. Paul thought of the struggles and toils of his ministry as a drink offering upon the sacrificial service of the churches to which he ministered. His labor was offered up as a drink to God, a wine to make God's heart glad and Paul was saying that he rejoiced in this labor.

But why did this stick with me?! I thought about it for a few days and initially I felt like it was speaking to my season of motherhood. I am *in*the*trenches* right now with my two year old. I definitely feel like I am being poured out every hour of every day parenting her. By bedtime I feel like I have done all I could to train and instruct with love, patience and diligence and there is nothing left. So "Yep," I thought, "this is why this verse is hitting home with me right now. I am poured out. I need to rejoice in this season. I will try to rejoice as I go about my correcting for the 1,000th time everyday."

But then this morning... oh this morning... do you ever have those moments where you read something and feel like scales are dropping off of your eyes? As I read these words again and prayed again, God showed me something new. Perhaps I did feel like I was poured out right now, but I felt the Holy Spirit ask me who was I pouring my energy out for. Earlier in Philippians Paul instructs the church to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit {which I'm convicted is a motive that invades almost every area of my life!} So I was asked again - Whose alter was I pouring out my drink offering on?

My own?

Sometimes I get caught up in wanting my children to be well behaved because it will reflect well on me. It will make me look like a good mom. Like I have it all together. I love when the girls are complimented on their behavior and on the flip side I've had so many humbling moments this last year as Lilly has displayed her two year old tantrums and acts of defiance in very public places. As I've trudged my way through this year of parenting I've almost done it out of a prideful place in my own heart. I don't want to be humiliated or embarrassed. I want to be, to be perfectly honest, thought well of for my parenting skills and well behaved children.

Don't get me wrong... we are trying to be intentional to raise girls who love the Lord and have character traits that are a fruit of their love for Jesus and not just for good appearance. That is our summed up, ultimate goal for them. But have I been working towards this for my own good appearance and desire to be praised or for the glory of God?

I believe the labor of Motherhood can be a sacrificial offering to God, I'm sure you Jesus following mama's can agree! And when we are in one of those rough seasons, feeling exhausted by the tedious training of young hearts and minds, it can feel like we are being poured out on top of our usual offering of our lives. God made it clear for me that I have to be more careful that I am offering my life and labor on the right alter. I want my children to love Jesus and behave like they do for God's glory, not for my own. My own behavior, the way I parent, needs to be for God's glory and not my own. I know this isn't a theological enlightenment happening here, and even sharing this is humbling because it seems like something simple that I should fully grasp. But sometimes I think I'm doing the simple things because I know it in my head when there's really an area of my life that has become all about me and not about God. I'm so thankful for a God who patiently helps me to see!

For from him and through him and 
for him are all things.
    To him be the glory forever! 
Romans 11:36

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