Alone among all creatures, I created you to be able to be joined to me. I gave you a human spirit that could become one with me. In your new birth, I gave you a new human spirit that was fully ready to receive me, and I came to live in your spirit.
That makes you a container of me. You are a vessel. You are a pot, a jar, a pitcher. You were made to contain me, and that is exactly what you do.
If I make a container, you can trust that I will fill it. That’s my responsibility. I don’t ask you to do it. And that is what I have done. I have filled you with myself. And having filled you with myself, my life overflows from you. You don’t ever have to ask me to be with you. I am in you. You don’t have to ask me to give you more of me. You are as filled with me as you can be. I live in you. I can’t give you any more of myself than I have given.
This life is simple. Really. It’s not about you. It’s about me. You are merely the vessel. The truth about vessels is this: unless the vessel is sitting in a museum (which you aren’t), the most important thing is never the vessel; it’s the contents of the vessel. You want a cup of coffee. You want some tea. You want some water. It’s not the cup that you’re focused on. It’s the coffee, the tea, or the water. The important thing is the contents, not the vessel.
You aren’t here to be the contents of the vessel. You are here to contain Someone. That is your glory. That is your liberty. That is your fulfillment. A vessel is never able to become its contents. A cup can’t become the coffee. You are the cup. I am the coffee. Stop trying to become me! Only I can be me. I never asked you to become me. I made you to be the vessel.
I want you to relax, and simply be what you are. It’s easy to be a container. You contain me. I am the one living in you.
So, if you are the vessel, and I am the contents of the vessel, how much of the contents are you? None.
If you are the vessel, and I am the contents, how much of what is poured out of the vessel is you? None.
I am the everything in you. I am the all in you. You can’t be the contents, only I can. You can’t produce the contents. Only I can. You can’t produce my life in you—any of it. Why do you think you are supposed to—or can—produce my love, my patience, my kindness, my forgiveness, my joy, my peace, my self-control? Who in the world gave you that idea? Those things don’t originate with you, and they never will. You can’t produce those things. Why are you trying to? Only I am those things.
Nor can I give you those things. You’ve been living with a false sense of separation. “God is up there; I am down here. I need to ask him to supply. Give me love. Give me patience. Give me self-control.” I can’t give you those things. I can’t give them to you, because they don’t exist apart from me.
Love is not a thing. Love is a Person. “God is love.”
Love is not something that can be given. Love is a Person loving. Patience is a Person being patient. Self-control is a Person being self-controlled.
I don’t give you things from heaven, so that you can live this life better. You aren’t intended to live this life at all. I am the One who lives it. I live it in you.
That is why I am everything in you. I am the only one who can love through you, be patient through you, be self-controlled through you, be believing through you. I don’t help you do it. I do it myself, through you. I don’t give you the life. I am the life.
I am your wisdom. I am your power. I am your righteousness. I am your redemption. I am your sanctification. I am your everything. I am your complete sufficiency.
Does this mean you have no part to play? Of course not. You are an active cooperator in this divine process. Your role is simple, but vital: you receive it all from me. That’s what containers do. If I am the All, what is left for you to be? Only a container of the All. I, the All in you, am the One living through you. You are the means by which I manifest myself—express myself—to all of the universe. Once you have that straight, life becomes easy.
Do you see how incredibly liberating this is, not having to do what you were not designed to do? Not having to be what you were not designed to be? You were designed to contain. You were designed to receive. Anyone can do that. You can do that—joyfully, peacefully, enthusiastically.
In the process, you and I enjoy a perfect union of love. A union of love that will be throughout all eternity.
… the fullness of Him who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1:23)
… Christ is all, and in all. (Colossians 3:11)
For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is not from ourselves. (2 Corinthians 4:6-7)
We are the temple of the living God … (2 Corinthians 6:16)
Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16)
God is love. (1 John 4:8)
But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption … (1 Corinthians 1:30)
Christ … is our life … (Colossians 3:4)
… Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. (1 Corinthians 1:24)
(This article is excerpted from my book If Jesus Loves Me Why Isn’t This Working?)