Filled Up to Fuel Others

By Athena Dean Holtz

I watched as my hubby filled the gas tanks at the back of the boat. It didn’t need much fuel, not even a whole gallon, but he topped it off and then moved to the pump-out station.

Something I’d never noticed before, but we always empty the holding tank before heading to the open seas.

In with the good stuff.

Out with the bad stuff.

The spiritual parallel was not missed on me. The most important time of my day is the first hour I tithe to the Lord. That time of sitting in the Scriptures and pouring out my heart to Him sets the tone for the day, and He often speaks truth to me before I know I need it. 

I never saw it this way, but the sanctification process is like a spiritual pump out every day, allowing the Holy Spirit to search our hearts and convict us of what we need to repent of. When we actually repent of what He has shown us, we keep a clear line of communication with the Lord. He is always with us, as He will never leave us or forsake us, but we can put distance between Him and us because of our unrepented sin. And that can get spiritually stinky, just like the head (boat term for “bathroom”) gets when the tanks are full and in need of a pump out. 

As I watched my Prince Charming fill up and then pump out, the two most vital parts of our time with the Lord every morning illuminated my heart as bright as a spotlight on a dark stage—refuel and pump out. In with the truth of the Word, His peace that passes understanding, and the conviction of sin. Out with the frustration, resentfulness, envy, hurtful words from our mouth, or whatever He has shown us—confessed and repented of. Oh, how He loves it when we do those two things—invite Him in and allow His Spirit to teach us, correct us, convict us, admonish us, encourage us—so we can take action on what He has to say to us for the day.

As Christian communicators, speakers, and writers on a mission for Him, we use examples from our own lives to illustrate the message God has given us for our audiences. If we are not filling up (and pumping out) daily, we won’t have what we need to inspire and bring hope to others. 

It’s that intimacy with Jesus on a regular basis, filling up with Him, that transforms me, softens my heart, and radiates His love for those He’s called me to pour into. 

Question:  What is your favorite way to “fill up” on Him so you can shepherd others from the overflow of what God is doing in your life?

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7 Comments

  1. Carol Kent on 2021-09-29 at 3:00 PM

    Athena, this is a powerful reminder of how important it is for us “to get rid of the bad stuff” and “fill up with the good stuff” during our time alone with God. Such a relevant message! Thank you.

  2. Kimalea Arrighi on 2021-09-28 at 3:35 PM

    Thank you Athena!

    I have been waking up in the early hours of the morning and spending my time with C.H. Spurgeon who always seems to know what I’m going through. Next, I tackle the Psalms (or other) and prayer. The key for me, is that I don’t stop until God has touched those places in me where I need him most. Empty first, then fill, fill, fill! ⛽️

  3. Carol Kent on 2021-09-28 at 9:03 AM

    Athena, this blog is a powerful reminder of how important our time alone with God is every day. Thank you for this powerful illustration that reminds all of us to be spiritually “filled up” before we enter into ministry. Also, thank you for the way you encourage those of us who work in writing and speaking ministries. You are a blessing!

  4. Tammy Whitehurst on 2021-09-28 at 6:47 AM

    I love Athena! I am blessed to call her friend and sis. Her words are always spot on!

  5. Nicole Langman on 2021-09-28 at 6:37 AM

    Beautiful Athena. Thank you.
    I love my mornings with the Lord. Things just don’t go as smooth (and I’m not as pleasant as I should be) without starting my day with Him. He is the Ultimate tank filler!

    • Kim on 2021-09-28 at 8:12 AM

      Great illustration, thank you for the charge to apply situations from every day to our ✍.

      I fill up with prayer and His word first thing (on a good day 😉).

    • Annette Riddle on 2021-09-28 at 1:48 PM

      Thankyou . I like to get up before everyone else and read and say my daily Prayers, read a devotion meditation, and then let God lead me in what to write in my book outline that day. Then it’s serve time and I am wanting to please. And be a light.

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