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Continuous Revival: 3. Cups Running Over

By Norman P. Grubb


      We will now turn to the first chapter of John's first epistle to lead us further in this walking. Verse 3 speaks at the beginning of a two-way fellowship, "that ye also may have fellowship with us," and "truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ." Then it goes on in verse 4 to say that he writes to us "that your joy may be full." Fulness of joy is to characterize this daily walk. Or as David said in Psalm 23, "My cup runneth over," not only full, but running over! And this brings us to our third major point. Walking with Jesus, brokenness, and now CUPS RUNNING OVER.

      We all can recognize that as a beautiful description of the abiding presence of Jesus in the heart, His peace, joy and presence filling us to overflowing, with no shadow between. We can see the clear sparkling water of life welling up within and flowing over the thirsty souls around through look, and word, and deed. But here comes the point of it in this message of revival. We are to recognize that "cups running over" is the NORMAL daily experience of the believer walking with Jesus, not the abnormal or occasional, but the normal, continuous experience. But that just isn't so in the lives of practically all of us. Those cups running over get pretty muddled up; other things besides the joy of the Lord flow out of us. We are often much more conscious of emptiness, or dryness, or hardness, or disturbance, or fear, or worry than we are of the fulness of His presence and overflowing joy and peace. And now comes the point. What stops that moment-by-moment flow? The answer is only one -- Sin. But we by no means usually accept or recognize that. We have many other more convenient names for those disturbances of heart. We say it is nerves that cause us to speak impatiently -- not sin. We say it is tiredness that causes us to speak the sharp word at home -- not sin. We say it is the pressure of work which causes us to lose our peace, get worried, act or speak hastily -- not sin. We say it is our difficult or hurtful neighbor who causes us resentment or dislike, or even hate -- but not sin. Anything but sin. We go to psychiatrists or psychologists to get inner problems unravelled -- tension, strain, disquiet, dispeace -- but anything which causes the cups to cease running over is SIN.

      What proof have we of that statement? Quite a simple one. What are "cups running over"? Of course, the Spirit witnessing to Jesus in the heart. He is our peace, joy, life, all, and it is the Spirit's work never to cease witnessing to Him within us. What then can stop the Spirit's witness? Can nerves, or tiredness, or pressure of circumstances, or difficult people? Paul's cry was, "Who or what can separate me from the love of God? Can tribulation or persecution or things present or things to come? No!" he says. Only one thing separates us from Him -- "your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you." Thank God, the great separation has been replaced by reunion with Him at Calvary, but still the daily incursions of sin in the heart bring about the temporary separation from the sense of His presence; we all know that. The cups do not run over.

      Now this is an exceedingly important point. By far the largest number of us, including myself, have not been accustomed to regard it as some form of sin if the cups cease to run over, and that is just why they do not quickly start running over again; for where sin is seen to be sin and confessed as such, the blood is also seen to be the blood, praise God, ever cleansing from all unrighteousness; and where the blood cleanses the Spirit always witnesses -- and the cups run over again. But the blood never cleanses excuses -- sin called by some more polite name!

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See Also:
   Continuous Revival: Preface
   Continuous Revival: 1. The Walk
   Continuous Revival: 2. Brokenness
   Continuous Revival: 3. Cups Running Over
   Continuous Revival: 4. Conviction, Confession, Cleansing
   Continuous Revival: 5. Testimony
   Continuous Revival: 6. Exhortation
   Continuous Revival: 7. Revival

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