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?
About Athena Dean Holtz
Athena Dean Holtz serves as founder and publisher at Redemption Press in Enumclaw, WA where her Romans 8:28 Books & Gifts is one of the few remaining independent Christian bookstores in Western Washington. Shepioneered the indie publishing movement in the Christian space and is past president of the Northwest Christian Writers, was named Publisher of the Year 2022 by the Soul Café Awards and Best Female Podcast Host 2021 by the national Spark Media for her All Things Podcast. She is the author of Full Circle: Coming Home to the Faithfulness of God, and is co-author of Together for a Purpose: Love and Mission in Marriage and Ministry with her pastor-husband. She also founded She Writes for Him.