The New Church Lady

Weightier Matters

BUT WHAT KIND OF A GLASS?

It’s popular to ask if someone is a “glass half full” or “glass half empty” kind of a person. Often that is followed by encouraging those “glass half empty” folks to see life, lessons, trials, etc. from a perspective of the glass being half full. 

I’d like us to forget for a moment any concern over how full the glass is and think about the container itself. 

I confess that I am still learning. I can still read a scripture and gain new understanding - even realize that my previous understanding was all wrong. That was the case recently when Beth Moore used a scripture as part of one lesson in her Daniel Bible study that I had read many times before and it hit me with a fresh meaning.

Moore was connecting us, Christian women, to golden goblets for God’s Holy Spirit, beginning with Daniel 5, where Belshazzar used the gold and silver vessels taken from the temple at Jerusalem for toasting his pagan gods. She tied it into 2 Timothy 2:20-21, making the point that we are vessels for the Holy Spirit and must treat ourselves that way – as if we realize we have precious cargo. 

Here is 2 Timothy 2:20-21, NIV translation: 20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. 21 Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

All my Christian life, I’ve assumed this scripture meant that I might be used by God as a vessel of gold or silver or wood or clay. I thought, I could be one of these non-precious containers but still useful to God. 

But, here’s the thing, verse 21 says that “those who cleanse themselves from the latter,” that is from being a “common use” vessel, become “instruments for special purposes.” Face meet palm. 

I might be wood or clay prior to cleansing – meaning I might still be used by God for some “common use.” I think of how God used Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar and King Cyrus for His purposes. However, after repentance and baptism, after accepting Jesus as my personal savior and receiving the Holy Spirit, I am a vessel of gold or silver. 

It is a bit like the mythical Midas whose touched turned things to gold, but so much better. It is similar to the fact that we accept the imputed righteousness we receive from Jesus. We are not righteous. He gives us His righteousness.

In the same way, we are not gold vessels on our own, but the touch of Jesus, the Holy Spirit of God in us, turns us to gold or silver vessels – precious containers for a precious cargo. God will not, does not, dwell in anything less than that.

It reminds me that some people who say, “I would be happy to be a doorman in the Kingdom.” Does God need a doorman? Is He putting us through the trials and troubles of this life so that we can open doors in all eternity? I understand the willingness to humbly take whatever role would have you play. But, what a waste of the character we develop in this life! Of course, I believe He has much greater plans for us. He is not one to waste resources. 

God created us for great things – turned us from vessels of lesser use to golden vessels for special purposes. I believe He will continue to use His resources wisely and to use us as instruments for special purposes.

So, when it comes to you, precious daughter of God, you must first acknowledge that you were meant to be a container for God’s Holy Spirit. Second, you must then understand that you are in fact a golden goblet – not a glass at all. Only after that can we begin to “fill’er up” with the Holy Spirit. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts too. Write me at Nancy@DynamicChristianMinistries.org.