Psalm 23:5-6 (NLT)
You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.
As a young person, I remember going to eat with my grandparents at a little restaurant called the Holiday House. It was an establishment frequented by the senior citizen crowd with a delicious buffet. Towards the end of the meal, they would take the coffee cup that had been upside down in a saucer and turn it right side up. Within minutes, the sweet waitress would come by and fill it with hot, steamy coffee leaving a coffee service of sugars and creams in her wake.
It’s funny how random memories come back at the weirdest times. I was praying for those who had ventured to the altar after service in our church when I could see the hands of my grandfather carefully turning his cup up to receive the dark roast that he desired to top off his wonderful meal. It made me smile and almost chuckle out loud but then I got a deep sense of His Presence reminding me to turn my cup up to receive the blessings that He has for me. So I began to pray for those crowded down front holding hands with prayer workers seeking from the Lord that day. Lord, turn their cup up to you!
When setting the table in a restaurant, the waiter will often place a coffee cup upside down on a plate with each one. If a patron would like coffee or tea, they will simply turn the cup right side up as a sign that they would like it filled. But for those who are not interested, the cup will remain upside down unable to hold any contents. How is your cup today? What position is it currently in? “My cup overflows with blessings.” This is the Lord’s desire for our life today. He wants to fill it with His Goodness and Unfailing Love, but we must keep our cup in the upright position to receive these things from God. He is watching carefully for those who want what He is offering. He is waiting for our signal to send it our way. Do you want the Lord to fill you up today?
Philippians 4:18-19 (NLT)
At the moment I have all I need—and more! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God. And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
The Lord has already provided everything that we need. There is nothing that is required in life that is not already there for us to utilize. This is a powerful revelation that will cause us to begin to examine the contents of our life for the things we need rather than trying to find them in the world. Joy, peace, satisfaction and contentment can all be found in Jesus Christ alone. Everything we need comes directly from Him and is flowing in our life. But what about our deepest desires and longings of our heart, not things like love, healing and deliverance which belong to us through salvation. I am talking about those things not required but desired. When we go to eat a meal, it is to satisfy our hunger and feed our body. But dessert or coffee after the meal is much like our wants, it is not required but rather something that we desire. The meal meets our need. But the overflow comes in dessert and coffee. We will never move on to claiming the blessings that we want until Jesus meets our needs.
John 15:8-11 (NLT)
“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!”
Are you living in overflowing joy today? To remain in the Love of Jesus is to be the recipient of overflowing and abundant joy. This is the excess of when our needs are met and now our wants are fulfilled. Why don’t we live in the joy of the Lord? Probably because we lack contentment in life. An insatiable need for the things of this world crowd our thoughts and fill our minds with images of things that will not bring us sustainable peace and joy. Who would lie to us like that? You know who! Why? What does the enemy want with me? He wants to steal, kill and destroy every good thing God is doing in your life. “You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies” might be one reason. As you begin to align your life with God’s Will and Way claiming His Word, things begin to change in your life as they change inside of you. Suddenly, you are no longer easily enticed and lose interest in those things used to distract you from pursing God in the past. Now the enemy has to watch God bless you! He hates that!
Many times as believers when opposition strikes, we shut down under the pressure. But if we could see past the fight to the future, it would be worth it. If you desire something bad enough, you will put forth the effort to have it like a gesture as simple as turning over an empty cup to receive coffee after a meal. Of course, anyone who desired coffee or tea would do it. It would be worth the energy of extending one’s arm, taking hold of the cup and turning it over. What are you doing to allow God’s Goodness to fill your life today? Do you want Him? We all need Jesus. But I am talking about desiring Him, wanting Him, longing for Him, calling to Him, reaching for Him, spending time with Him…I could go on and on. Can I let you in on a secret? The food at Holiday House was really good but it wasn’t my favorite place to eat. It was an establishment for a much older crowd. I went to spend time with two of my favorite people who are now with Jesus. I cherish the moments shared with them there even though sometimes it felt like we would never leave. I would give just about anything to meet them there one more time for a long, leisurely meal and a hot cup of coffee.
Psalm 34:8-10 (NLT)
Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! Fear the Lord, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need. Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.
To taste and see is an experience. This is not the act of a bystander or onlooker, but rather the activity of one who desires something. I didn’t care for coffee as a young person. Of course, I didn’t grow up in the age of Starbucks and specialty coffee either. I remember my first taste as bitter and undesirable. However, I tried it again as I grew older and found that with just the right amount of cream and sugar – it’s pretty good. I love the warm feeling it gives me on a cold winter day. I love the way it smells as it is brewing. We come to God for the things we need and want every day but until we develop a taste for Him our cup remains upside down. We cannot be filled with the Goodness of God without the intimacy of love. When I first saw my husband, he definitely caught my attention. One evening, I invited him to join a group of friends heading out for the evening. I didn’t know him hardly at all, but as I watched him that evening I turned to a friend and told her that I was going to marry this man. That was more than sixteen years ago. I pursued my desire to know him and fell in love with him.
Those who choose to experience Jesus living in the Presence of God will find joy! You will live a full and complete life lacking no good thing. God wants your life to be overflowing with His Blessings and Goodness. Is that what you want to? Impressing God is impossible but loving Him is everything. When we turn our life over to the Lord, surrendering our way for His Way, it is as if we turn the vessel of our life right side up and now when His Goodness begins flowing we can hardly contain it. We catch it until it overflows. His Goodness never stops flowing down to us. Every good thing in our life comes from Him. We decide whether or not we position ourselves to receive it today.
John 16:23-24 (NLT)
At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name. You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.
Today, I must consider my cup that represents my life. What is in it? Is it what I really want? Or should I be emptied to let the Lord fill me anew? Our cup was meant to be overflowing in joy, peace and love sent straight from the Father to His Children. If I am not experiencing such things in my life, it is not that He is not delivering. I must position my life to receive. Living in the Presence of God does not exempt us from tests, trials and temptations, but it will allow us to feast in front of the enemy. If I strive to remain upright before God making the choice to have Him rather than the things of this world, I will be overtaken by His Goodness and Unfailing Love. Sometimes I just have to turn my cup back up, toss out the old and let the new come flowing in. You don’t need a thing. You have been given everything you need in Jesus Christ. Do you want more of Him today? Do you want His Abundance? Are you ready to stop asking for what you need and begin to think about what you really want in life? Do it. Today. Take that cup and turn it up.
Psalm 16:5-11 (NLT)
Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine. The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance! I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave. You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.