Friday, September 15, 2017

filled to the brim

artwork by Cherry Ashen Fargo

When I first saw
this beautiful work of art by Cherry Ashen Fargo, my eyes were riveted on the word, “trust,” and the symbolism of the lighthouse. The structure itself, rising tall in the sky, lifts our eyes to the heavens and God—a towering signpost to guide the way and warn of danger. The beacon, shining out over the roughest and stormiest of seas, is a symbol of salvation and direction, leading those in danger to safety and security, whether it be physical danger or spiritual and moral trials and tribulation.

Trusting God always draws my heart back to a study of God’s Word. Today, it is a word study on fills or fullness from the last two verses in Ephesians Chapter One.


Ephesians 1:22-23

Amplified Bible: And He has put all things under His feet and has appointed Him the universal and supreme Head of the church [a headship exercised throughout the church], which is His body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all [for in that body lives the full measure of Him Who makes everything complete, and Who fills everything everywhere with Himself].

New Living Translation: God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is His body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with Himself.

Phillips: God has placed everything under the power of Christ and has set Him up as head of everything for the Church, for the Church is His body, and in that body lives fully the one who fills the whole wide universe.

Wuest: and all things He put in subjection under His feet, and Him He gave as Head over all things to the Church, which is his body, the fullness of Him Who is filling the all in all.

Young's Literal: and all things He did put under his feet, and did give him—head over all things to the assembly, which is his body, the fullness of Him who is filling the all in all.

Fills (pleroo) means to be completely filled (completed state—a net or a cup filled to the brim). It carries the idea of permeation, such as salt’s permeating meat in order to flavor preserve it. It also gives the idea of total control. The present tense means continuously fills. Pleroo means to be filled to the brim, to make complete in every particular, to cause to abound, to furnish or supply liberally, to flood, to diffuse throughout, to pervade, to take possession of and so to ultimately to control.


Pleroo is in the passive voice (subject receives the action—in this context the "divine passive") which points out the fact that as believers, we do not fill ourselves, but permit the Spirit of God to fill us (and control us). In other words, God discloses a knowledge of Himself. One cannot simply learn to know God. God is not like secular truths which may be learned. Divine truth must be revealed!

Pleroo also means to fulfill, to complete, to carry out to the full. Pleroo indicates more than just pouring water in a glass up the brim and has at least three shades of meaning that are helpful in illustrating the meaning. (1) Pleroo was often used of the wind billowing the sails of a ship and providing impetus to move the ship across the water. To be filled with the Spirit then to is to be moved along in our Christian life by God Himself, by the same dynamic by which the writers of Scripture were “moved by the Holy Spirit.” In the spiritual realm, this concept depicts the Holy Spirit providing the thrust to move the believer down the pathway of obedience. A Spirit-filled Christian is not motivated by his own desires or will to progress. Instead, he allows the Holy Spirit to carry him in the proper directions. Another helpful example of this first meaning is a small stick floating in a stream. Sometime in our lives most of us have tossed a stick into a creek and then run downstream to see the twig come floating by, propelled only by the force of the water. To be filled with the Spirit means to be carried along by the gracious pressure of the Holy Spirit. (2) Pleroo also conveys the idea of permeation as of salt’s permeating meat in order to flavor and preserve it.  God wants the Holy Spirit to permeate and flavor our lives so that when we’re around others they will know for certain that we possess the pervasive savor of the Spirit. (3) Plerooconveys the sense of domination or total control. It is used by the Gospel writers in various passages to indicate that people were dominated by a certain emotion.

Theologian Charles Spurgeon commenting on pleroo, says this involves an intimate, experiential type of knowledge, exhorting us to, “Let us try to know divine truth more and more intimately. You know a man, for you pass him in the streets with a nod; you know another man far better, for you lodge in the same house with him; you know him best of all when you have shared his trouble, partaken in his joy, and have, in fact, had fellowship with him by blending your two lives in one common stream of friendship. When you learn a spiritual truth endeavor to know it out and out; to know its foundation and up building; to know it by the application of the Spirit to your own soul so that you are filled with it.  You may have knowledge in the brain, but it may not run into your spirit, so as to penetrate, and permeate, and saturate your spirit, till you are filled therewith. Oh, to get the gospel into one’s entire nature, and to be like the water pots of Cana, filled up to the brim!”

Lord Jesus, develop in me a deep reverence of You that leads to life, wisdom, and greater intimacy with You. Open my heart to be teachable and to receive correction and discipline willingly. Grant that I would fear You and not my circumstances in the present or the what-ifs of the future. May I be so filled to the brim with Your love that faith would replace my fear. Many people have material goods and success, but they still search for something that is real and lasting. Thank You for joy that runs deep. Thank You for peace that only You can give. Help me not to take what I have been given for granted but to be filled to the brim with gratefulness. Restore my sense of wonder and awe as I look for You at every turn in my everyday walkaround life. Speak to my heart, and give me ears to hear. Open my spiritual eyes to see that You are working in the world around me. May I be filled to the brim with wonder and gratefulness at Your great deeds. Thank You for hearing my prayers . . . always! Even when my situation remains the same, grant me grace to trust You and to thank You for your listening ear and Your gracious help. Because of Your mercy, I will sing songs of thanksgiving to You. Because of Your help, may my heart be filled to the brim with joy! In Jesus name I pray, amen.

Look Upmeditate on Ephesians 1:22-23  …pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.

Look In
—as you meditate on Ephesians 1:22-23 …pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________."

Look Out
—as you meditate on Ephesians 1:22-23...pray to see how you might apply it to your relationship with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.


* If you liked this post, you’ll love this book – Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ


Weekly LinkUps…

20 comments:

  1. Hi Beth! So glad I got to "meet" you! Thanks for sharing this great post on my blog's Mom-ventures Monthly Link Up!

    I'm a word nerd, so this post was such fun to read! I've also been feeling the Holy Spirit's nudge to allow me to be filled by Him alone, not all the things of this world, so this topic was a great reminder!

    Blessings to you!

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    1. Allison, I love that--"word nerd"--I guess I am one, too! It is a joy to share with other sisters in Christ at Mom-ventures the encouragement we have in God's Word. Many blessings to you!

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  2. Dear Beth, it's like Spurgeon took a sneak peak at my spirit and saw the gaping holes that sometimes yawn with emptiness. My brain does get it, but if my spirit was full to overflowing, I wouldn't do the bonehead things I do. And still He loves me...

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    1. Alice, thank you so much for stopping by! This scripture has become by daily prayer...Philippians 3:10Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)..."[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly]..." Many blessings to you ❤️

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  3. Isn't it amazing how different versions and interpretations bring out different things?! Thanks for sharing today!

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    1. Yes, Becky. I love that about comparing various translations...so many small nuances which give new insights into the meaning and application of the scripture. Many blessings to you!

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  4. Hi Beth! God's word is truly amazing! Thank you for drawing out it's deep truths in practical ways. I really loved your prayer. Your neighbor over at God Sized Dreams.

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    1. Tiffiney, thank you so much for stopping by from God Sized Dreams. It is such a joy to share encouragement from God's Word with sweet sisters in Christ. Many blessings to you!

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  5. Oh yes... I love this! (I mean --Ephesians!) So good!

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    1. Me too, Karrilee! Ephesians Chapter One is so rich and full of God's promises and Truth about Who we are in Christ. Can't hear that enough! Many blessings to you!

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  6. Beth,
    I love that you have the spiritual gift of teaching. So good to read your post and my prayer is that I would be filled to the brim with God's Truth...not by my power, but by the power of the Holy Spirit working in me. Joining with you in wanting to be filled to the brim so that we overflow!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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    1. Thank you, Bev. Truly, all is grace...praying daily for the Spirit of Christ to take authority over my flesh and my emotions. Many blessings to you ❤️

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  7. Thank your for helping us all become filled with God's word and its meaning.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Miriam. It is a joy to share with others what Jesus has used to encourage me. Many blessings to you ❤️

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  8. That lovely old piece of jewelry and its message would have captured my attention too, beth. Thanks for setting out the truth where we can really enjoy and appreciate it!

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    1. Michele, you are such a wonderful encourager to me and so many others! Many blessings to you ❤️

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  9. this is a day of rough seas, threats of a tropical storm in this neck of the woods. the image of the lighthouse and the words nestled nearby are a sweet reminder of Who we trust.

    thanks, Beth ...

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    1. Linda, I so appreciate you stopping by. Yours words are always so encouraging. Many blessings to you ❤️

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  10. Ephesians 1 is one of my favourite chapters, and I love the artwork too- the symbol of the lighthouse is so encouraging! Visiting from Heart Encouragement Thursday.

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    1. Lesley, I so agree with you! Thanks so much for stopping by. Many blessings to you ❤️

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