A drum is hollow and that is why it makes so much noise when it encounters “pressure.” (A drummer with drumsticks is a definite pressure.) The opposite, is a barrel that is full. You can beat on it, kick it, yell at it and it just doesn’t make much noise. A full barrel is not easy to move.
Empty barrels make the most noise.
How would you define an empty barrel? I think, that a barrel is only defined by what’s inside it.
An empty barrel is…well…nothing but empty. Uninspiring. But….
Think of a barrel full of wine. A barrel full of oil. A barrel full of whiskey. Pork barrels. A barrel full of fun. A barrel with a rodeo clown in it! A barrel full of monkeys! When I think of those kind of barrels…Voila!…I get imagery, identity and inspiration.
So…a barrel is best defined by what is inside of it! This leads me to ask… What defines you? Where do you get your identity? WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR FILL? What are you full of?
So…let’s use the clown in the barrel illustration and just imagine that everyone of us is a clown and we all have our own barrels we carry around. Please understand, that we can switch barrels any day or every day. My posting this is not about me thinking I’m the God barrel and others are not. My posting this is for us all to measure only ourselves in the presence of God and work on being the God filled barrel as described below. The start of measuring where we are is understanding what the different types are.
What fills your barrel?
Self Filled Barrel…these types are just that…full of themselves. Always thinking about themselves. These types take way more selfie photos and post them on facebook, instagram, vine, twitter and other barrel filling venues, way more often than what is normal. Part of being a healthy person is having a healthy self-love, but that is not what I’m talking about when I mention barrels full of self. This barrel is a very selfish person and is very lonely because they love themselves the most. When this Barrel gets sick of themselves, it will then desire to be filled with material goods, better make-up, over the top body augmentations, that outrageously attention grabbing new automobile, money, jobs, and anything that tastes good to the self…or makes self look better. It’s all very self-ish.
Other’s Filled Barrel…Another type is the kind that runs around always needing others to fill their barrels. This barrel thinks very lowly of themselves..but you can’t notice that fact very easily. This type seems happy and bright. This type is very good at talking and can be known as a people person. But, if you pay attention, you will begin to see a pattern. This type politely begs for attention, by giving attention, hungers for recognition as they give recognition, yet they are empty. This type has learned how to get their barrel filled by others. They approach others and compliment others…WAY too often… and tell others that they are doing wonderful…even when they are not doing wonderful, they will tell you that you look great even when you put on clearly mismatched clothing and look ridiculous. They over compliment, coddle, innocently and complimentarily lie to you…regularly…and then sit patiently in front of you hoping that you will fill up their barrel with your compliments in return. This type of barrel has a lot of leaks in it, and thus has to continue the over-giving and false complimenting with lots of laughter, fun, and starvation driven attention. In our society today, this type is considered okay because we think we are helping each other by falsely complimenting each other. Our society has catered to this being natural. We start it with our children. Giving them trophy’s when they should have gone home empty handed. We tell them they are winners when…in that race…they were the loser. Education systems are talking about not using red ink anymore, it seems to harsh on our wonderful children. And then they grow up…and have to face loss, no trophies, and regular dissapointment…and we wonder why depression and psychotic medicines can’t stay stocked in our pharmacies. OTHER’S FILLED BARRELS!
God Filled Barrel. This barrel is the type of person who has figured out that their definition is found in only one being. God. Jesus. Holy Spirit. Which ever title you prefer of those three, or all three…this barrel is FULL. This barrel understands that they are not better than anybody else but simply have chosen a life of fullness and gratitude. This barrel can get angry and express that anger, but you are a light…I like the thought of being a barrel full of light! This barrel is lot like Jesus, because their barrel is full of Him…He is light. This barrel understands their imperfections to be only unique traits that their creator bestowed upon them and them only! This barrel knows it can share what is inside of it…because there is a lifetime guarantee of free refills. This barrel doesn’t get caught up in scarcity…a panic and fear of not enough to go around…so they just keep giving. This barrel can be kicked, burnt, cut, or broken and yet maintain its confidence because it knows its creator is the great barrel builder, healer and fulfiller! The God filled barrel has absorbed into its very fibrous container the Scripture passages of John 8:31-32 where Jesus says, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you FREE.”
Colossians 3:1-4, “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.Which one are you?”
The two passages above scream one phrase to me. “A God filled barrel is always full!”
SO…if I’m not a God Filled Barrel that’s always full…then what must I do to become one?…Please Note…this is not an easy task. Don’t be decieved into thinking that you can say a prayer and instantly become a God filled Barrel. Becoming a God filled barrel usually takes a lot of repair. Most repairs are noisy, painful and full of grinding, sharpening, pressure, realignment…and it’s usually a messy fix. To become a God Filled Barrel is a life long commitment to stick to it, even when it doesn’t feel good! So…here’s how to begin the process…
If you are the self-filled barrel, then you must humble yourself and recognize that you can’t keep it up. You can’t fulfill yourself the rest of your life. You must admit that you aren’t that good and you must take on the passages of Scripture that communicate this truth to you… “Consider other’s better than yourself.” You must work on becoming like Jesus who washed the feet of even His betrayer. HE IS KING, yet took on the form of a humble servant. You must transform your barrel to only be filled with who God says you are! God loves you so much…that even while you were a full blown selfie…selfish bigot, nasty self worshipper…God still chose to kill His one and only Son…so that He wouldn’t have to kill you to pay for your sins. That is love! That is identity! That is a God Filled Barrel! For a self-filled barrel to become a God filled barrel, I’m not asking you to think less of yourself…I’m asking to stop thinking of yourself, period.
If you are an Other’s Filled Barrel. You have got to admit people have become your gods. You worship the favor of mankind. Oh…this will be hard for you to admit if you are an other’s filled barrel. You have been so trained that your idol worship is actually the love of God for other people. You come across as a people person who really loves other people…and you do love other people, but if you are an other’s filled barrel, what you love more than other people and more than God is when people “love” you back! This is idol worship and you must stop it. This will be hard for you, because you have more than likely surrounded yourself with other’s just like you. You must admit that the friends you have in life…the one’s you really like…well…you only like them because they do for you what you do for them. “Birds of a feather…flock together!” If you are an other’s filled barrel, then, when you begin to change this about yourself…you are going to find out who your true friends are. What happens to an other’s filled barrel type, when they quit doing their false worship of others? They find themselves standing by themself, because the other… Other’s filled Barrels…went after others who will fill them up because you stopped being their God for them and stopped filling them up. If you are an Other’s filled Barrel, then you must only let Jesus Christ fill you up. Oh…it will always feel good to get compliments…but you will notice it someday when you truly become a God filled Barrel…because when the compliments come from people…you notice them…but you won’t need them to make you full!
If you are God Filled Barrel…then just be you. Keep drawing near to the ever giving, all consuming, all inspiring, King of Kings, who never quits, never leaves, never disappoints and always keeps His fulfilling promises….AND YOU WILL NEVER BE EMPTY! You will be able to look death in the face and with a crinkle in your nose and a squint in your eyes say, “Where O death is your victory…Where O death is your sting!” You are living for another life, another earth, another Kingdom…in fact you are bringing that Kingdom to this earth…to this life and to others!
The most critical thing about which barrel you are…it’s your choice. You don’t have to be stuck in any one of the barrels if you don’t want to be.
You are made to be a barrel full of God…a barrel of light!