Overflow Mission Letter
The Holy Spirit guided me recently to meditate on the Bible’s teaching about “overflow.” Overflow means flowing over the brim of a filled vessel; excess or surplus supply not able to be accommodated by an available space. Mission means an important assignment carried out with focused purpose; an ambitious calling to accomplish something great.
As sons & daughters of our Awesome Father, followers of Jesus Messiah, and temples of the indwelling Holy Spirit, we are living water fountains of the spiritual wisdom and power of God’s kingdom. Paul described this life in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live; Jesus lives in me,” and 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Everyone in Christ is a new creation; the old is gone, behold the new is here,” and Romans 8:1, “There is now no condemnation for anyone in Jesus Christ, because through him we have life in the Holy Spirit who liberated us from the law of sin and the penalty of death.”
Not only are we free, we are designed to flourish. Not only are we alive, we are shining brightly. Not only are we filled up, we are overflowing! Consider some places in Scripture that explain what our Overflow Mission looks like as a Maranatha generation:
Extraordinary Faith > Elijah said to the widow, “Don’t be afraid! Go ahead and cook that ‘last meal,’ but bake me a little loaf of bread first; and afterwards there will still be enough food for you and your son. For the Lord God of Israel says that there will always be plenty of flour and oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and the crops grow again!” So she did as Elijah said, and they continued to eat from her supply of flour and oil as long at it was needed. (1 Kings 17:13-15 TLB)
Extraordinary means very unusual or remarkable; exceptionally great. Faith is trust and confidence in God. This widow and her son were starving to death. They had a handful of flour and a few drops of oil to share a last meal, then lay down and die. They had nowhere to go, and no hope for rescue. Into their lives walks Elijah who asks the widow to skip her last meal and give him the bread, to open the door to a future fountain of provision. Without question, she obeyed. Her actions demonstrate startling faith.
Generosity Fountain > Give, and it will be given to you; a good measure – pressed down, shaken together, and running over – will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. (Luke 6:38 HCSB)
Jesus is in the middle of sharing stories and teaching lessons about how indescribably radical the kingdom of heaven is compared to the kingdom of earth. In heaven, we love our enemies and pray for them. In heaven, we compassionately forgive anyone who has wronged or persecuted us. In heaven, we build our lives and leadership upon Jesus and his righteousness rather than the self-exalting, self-comforting pleasures of this world. In Christ, we are wellsprings of generosity: quick to love, quick to forgive, lavish in giving our time and resources wherever and to whomever the Holy Spirit directs us.
Sacrificial Giving > “Listen to me,” Jesus said. “This poor widow has given a larger offering than any of the wealthy. The rich only gave out of their surplus, but she sacrificed out of her poverty and gave to God all that she had to live on.” (Luke 21:3-4 TPT)
Sacrifice means to offer our lives in service to God as a virtue of worship. Giving means to freely hand over the ownership of something to someone else. Yet another widow is starving and has enough money for a few bites of bread, and what does she do? She goes to the temple to worship God and gives everything away, trusting God to provide even more for her needs. How often do we give to God in a way that we face a significant cost to our own lives and comfort? Let us become generosity rivers.
I heard the story recently of an Iranian church planter visiting the USA and speaking in different churches. After a brief season of traveling throughout our land, the missionary said, “Everyone here is asleep. There’s a great fog of deception overshadowing this land. We need to leave here and go home, because we cannot even breathe in this oppressive spiritual atmosphere. We will pray for this nation to awaken from her slumber.”
We are not wired for comfort. We are not saved to soak in wealth and lay back in leisure. Sure, we are made to rest in God’s love and enjoy his presence, but we also have a clear directive from our Savior King: to make disciples of all nations, and to help those disciples make their own disciples, a growing host of Jesus followers who walk in the Holy Spirit.
Won’t you join me in the overflow? It’s not defined by great wealth or possessions, nor a list of righteous works or good deeds. This mission does not require any education or credentials, any track records or previous success. Overflow is the river of the Holy Spirit streaming from the third heaven where the Risen Lamb reigns over all the realms of the universe and filling the nations with the glory of God the Father.
Maranatha Prayer > Heavenly Father, we pause to celebrate your invitation to enjoy and serve within this overflow mission. You are worthy of our praise, you are worthy of our participation. You are our Trustworthy Father, our Redeeming Savior, our Wonderful Counselor. Holy Spirit, please help us to see you every day, to delight in your presence, listen to your voice, discern your Truth, and walk in your wisdom. Let your Church overflow with the goodness and glory of Jesus Christ, and may all peoples and languages rejoice in the Messiah’s salvation and become disciple makers in Jesus’ name and for his glory we pray, amen. Maranatha!
+> James Harvey, Blazing Trees CEO/Founder
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