From the markings on our bodies to what fills us to what we pour out. We are a unique people. This species we call the human race.
I didn’t choose the title, I believe it was given to me by the Holy Spirit. Since reading Matthew 10:27, which says, “what I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs”, I felt I should follow through with writing this.
At first the phrase caught me by surprise because of the extreme images it conjures up in my mind. But as I ruminated on it for the past couple of weeks, I could sense the Holy Spirit writing it on my heart. Then I wondered if the three items had something in common (Besides the fact they all start with the letter ‘T’).
I prayed and asked the Holy Spirit for clarity and then I shared the title with a few trusted friends to see what God might reveal through conversation. Those moments only increased my excitement while I still didn’t completely understand what the title meant. As I sat at my computer in anticipation, this came out.
For what it’s worth…
The first part of Ephesians 2:10 says, “we are God’s workmanship…” which means we have the markings of the Maker in our story. I am not accustomed to going to art galleries or museums, but I hear that most art has a story behind it. It distinguishes one artist from another. Since we are God’s workmanship, we have unique traits that display His handiwork in our lives. I imagine that is how it is in the tattoo world. One artist’s work is distinguished from another’s by certain characteristics or techniques they use.
To get a tattoo, we need to go to a tattoo artist. We wouldn’t go to a painter, because that’s a different kind of artist who does different work and uses different tools.
We need to go directly to the expert who has what we need.
One of the many incredible things about God is that He is The Artist who has created all things and can do all things. As our Creator, He puts His markings on us, engineers our lives, is the doctor that heals us, and is the One who clothes us with unique character qualities, just to name a few. All of this creative work allows us the privilege to display His beauty, glory, and righteousness.
In 2 Corinthians 4:10, Paul says, “…we always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body”. Some people choose to tattoo their bodies as a reminder of what God has done in their life (me included), while others may choose a tattoo that reminds them of a loved one that has passed or a personal challenge they have overcome. Whatever the reason, what we carry in our hearts often reflects what is on the outside.
What markings do you want God to put on your story?
There there’s tequila and tea. Whatever your choice of drink (follower of Jesus), we are called to be a “drink offering” to those the LORD brings us. Sometimes I think we need to be strong and potent, while other times we need to be comforting and soothing. For some, they are one in the same. In any case, we need to always serve it up with love. Too much tequila will result in a lot of damage being done. The stronger the tea the more bitterness it reveals.
I think being poured out isn’t something we actively do. We need to submit to what God wants of us and where He wants to pour us out. When we only pour out in ways we want (aka. in the flesh) then we tend to grumble and sometimes even allow bitterness to take root. Lately I have been smelling the weeds of grumbling and bitterness in me. Through confession, the Holy Spirit has shown me where the roots are and is helping me dig them out. In the meantime, I choose to stay surrendered and submitted to His Will, even if I don’t like it or understand it.
Are you being poured out or are you just indulging for yourself? I am not condoning a lifestyle filled with tequila or even tea, for that matter. I am asking you if you are allowing God to put you in the places of His choosing? What are you pouring out? Or perhaps, what are you keeping to yourself? An example would be taking in the word and getting “filled up” for yourself and assuming or expecting that someone else will do the pouring.
YOU are God’s workmanship and He wants to share you (aka. pour out through YOU) with others. YOU have His markings on you through the lens of your story and He wants to pour out His Grace and Love through those markings.
Has God filled you with circumstances that move you to gratitude? Then pour it out. A simple “thank you” will go a long way!!
Has He filled you with patience and peace? Then ask Him to bring you to places and spaces where those things are needed.
“Filling ourselves up” without a place and space to pour it out will make us spiritually fat and sluggish.
Seeing the slums in India always makes me wonder how in this country we build and fill storage units to keep our treasures when so many here and around the world go without basic needs. Now when I see the countless storage units around the city, I can’t help but think how many homeless people could have a shelter instead.
[SN: Need a perspective shift? Take a trip to a place that is outside your comfort zone. It doesn’t mean you get on a plane (although that is quite an experience), just go to a place near where you live or someplace unfamiliar to you, and ask God this question: “LORD will you please give me eyes to see what you see?”. That’ll leave a mark for sure!!]
Markings and drink offerings.
So what? You say.
Here it is…
Jesus, His markings were His bruises, His nail-pierced hands, and His drink offering was His blood poured out for us on the Cross. That’s the long and short of it.
He took on Himself the permanent markings of our sin and poured Himself out to the point of death so that we may live.
“I will not forget you, I have written your name on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:15-16)
Our names have been permanently tattooed on Jesus’ palms…with nails.
Go in peace,