Be a Vessel

We are having a lovely spiritual retreat at IST school for teachers. Here is the first talk:

Be a Vessel by Reed Skinner.
What can we do to keep our children from the bondage of sin that is at the door for them? 
Oil. Every time oil is mentioned in the Bible it represents the Holy Spirit. He is the only thing that will keep the next generation from bondage. 

2 Kings 4
A widow came to the prophet Elisha to help her because her acreditors were coming home to take her children to bondage to pay her debts. The prophet asked: "What do you have home?"

The issue to separate life from death, bondage from freedom, and heaven from hell is "Is there a vessel?"
The oil never stopped flowing to the vessel in the story with the prophet Elisha.
Elisha told her to go and get all the vessels available to pour oil. 
Oil was not in shortage. The vessels that could hold oil were in shortage. 
These vessels needed to be empty. 

The prophet tells her to shut the door and stay inside alone with her children.
To be an empty vessel there are things in your life you are going to have to shut out, including people. To be a usable empty vessel we will have to separate from the world. 

2 Cor 6:17
".. be separate, do not touch what is unclean..."
Also found in Isaiah 52 and Ezequiel 20. 

Three times the Bible mentions to be separate.
When we do this it is so that God can pour to us so that we can pour into the world. The purpose is not to separate for the sake of being separated; the purpose is to be filled. 
The oil stopped when there were no vessels available. As long as there are vessels, the oil kept flowing. 
The vessel does not give value to the oil. The oil gives value to the vessel. It is needed, but it is not the value. The glory is always God's, and we are just grateful He uses us and He needs a vessel and choses to use us.
But we must be clean and empty for God to use us. 

The Devil hates the vessel. He knows its power, and he is trying to destroy it. 
1 Cor 10:19
"Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit Who is in you Whom you have from God? You are not your owner; you were bought with a price."

Satan can't hurt the oil. His only tactic is to damage the vessel. 
This is why what we do matters. 
It matters what we are putting in our hearts and minds, the people we are sharing with, what our actions are doing.
You are either a vessel of treasure or a vessel of trash. 
You are a container, no matter what you do. 

Ezequiel 47: 9-11
The picture painted is an angel calling Ezequiel to a river. He is ankle deep in water, and the angel calls him into the river. And he is knee deep in the river, and the angel keeps calling him into the river. 
God is bringing us into the river of His Holy Spirit, and He wants us to go deeper in it. 
2 Cor 7:9
Paul is asking for perfection, but he finds that even after asking God three times to have that thorn removed God refuses to take the thorn. 

And the angel is telling Ezequiel that the river is going to clean and heal him, but he will have parts that remain with salty water.
Even Paul found that he couldn't clean completely from sin. 
Because it is for God's glory that we may know we need God's grace and we must remain in Him. 
But this doesn't mean we must not try to keep our vessel clean. 

1 Cor 3:4-5
"What is Paul? a servant...."

God can do miracles through you, show His power through you, and preach through you. You, a lowly creature, are chosen to be a vessel. 
Don't give your space away to things of no value limiting the place in your heart to have the oil poured.

You can think your role in the Kingdom is not important.
2 Timothy 2:20-21
In the house of God there are vessels of honor and vessels for more lowly things.

You might want to say what type of service or what things you want to do for God. 
You chose what you'll do and ask God to bless what you chose to do. 
And thank God He is merciful and forgives our stupidity. 
I can't chose what the Lord wants me to do. 
Rom 9:20-21
"Will the thing ask the Maker why have you made me this way?"

Your service to God is not about what you can or want to do.
God does not need superstars; He needs vessels. 
If you want a glamorous work, you are not fit for service. 
If you want to limit to do what you can do, God can't use you. 
The Lord chooses. 

Deut 1:15

If you can't clean a bathroom with the same love that you would preach in a big church, you are not fit for service.

The disciples are told by Mary on the Canaan wedding to go and do what He tells you.
Nonesensically bringing empty vessels and filling them with water was probably not what the disciples thought they were following Jesus for. And God showed His glory there, and they did what they were told. 
A missionary walks endless hours into a mountain to arrive to a tribe to reach a single man. But God cares about that single man being reached. 

When Jesus was about to die in the Cross He said "It is finished." He did not say I am finished. He descended to hell to take the keys from Hell. All that time, the vessel was in the tomb. He, the oil, was not defeated ever.
And by doing this, He bought me, He bought you, and He bought our children and students. 
The oil is not the problem; the problem is finding the vessel that will step out of his comfort zone and will tell what Jesus did in his life. 
You are the hope of the world for the Lord to deliver His message. 
You don't have to be talented or be a star.
You just have to be clean and empty. 
People prays "Give me anointing, give me a purpose" and God answers "Give me your vessel. Be my vessel, and I will be your power, strength, and my purpose."

Act 9:15
"But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel."

God is never wrong in who He choses, but you must be intentional to be a clean vessel ready to be poured into by Him.
When you empty yourself to be the vessel, don't be surprised to fall into attack. It will happen! 

2 Kings 6:15-17
"Do not fear for those who are with us are more than those who are against us."

We are not trying to do this in our own strength. His strength and His forces for you are greater than those that are against us, including yourself. 
The God of angel armirs is for us. 
Revelations 17:14
".. the Lamb will overcome them for He is the King of Kings."

Isaiah 54:17
"No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me," declares the LORD.

Bondage is coming for your children, your family, and your heart. "What is in your home?" the prophet asked. The oil is there. Be a vessel, clean and empty, so that it may flow. The oil is the only one that can save us and our children. Be an empty, clean vessel that the oil can be poured in. 

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