2nd Timothy 4:6-7
“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the fight, I have finished the race, and I have kept the faith.”
I have always kept this verse as a sort of battle cry for my life in ministry — especially for field time. I have said many times before that I want to go to bed exhausted every night knowing that I poured myself out before the Lord. But, now I’m realizing that that’s not what the verse says. It says “I’m being poured out” not “I’m pouring myself out.”
The question for me is, am I hitting the pillow having poured myself out, or having been poured out by God in whatever way He desires? That means allowing myself to be poured out for whoever He pleases, whenever He pleases, wherever He pleases, and however fast or slow He pleases.
Whoever He pleases means being willing to be poured out for those who don’t appreciate it. That means being willing to be poured out onto what looks like dry ground — I need to trust that He know what he is doing even when my service looks “pointless.”
Wherever means Guatemala instead of Cambodia, working for JoAnns instead of Potter’s Field — simply being poured out where God leads me while trusting He knows what He is doing.
Whenever means whether people are looking or not, whether I’m tired or not, whether I feel empty or full, knowing that the Lord will supply me with all boldness and strength to be poured out.
However means I need to be content to be poured out as a trickle or at a dumping speed. Whether I’m actually being poured out of my strength with actual labor, or I’m serving the Lord in the small things, it’s being content with however He uses me.
So if I’m being poured out by God, not choosing when, where, who, or how, what is my responsibility in this? Look at verse 7: “I have fought…I have finished…I have kept.” My responsibility is to fight, finish, and keep my eyes fixed on Him. I need to sit down, buckle up, and press on and in to Him.
It’s easy to think of how Paul is the one saying this, and put the idea of being poured out for the Lord high above our grasp. But, when we stop and recognize that God’s the one pouring us out, and it’s His sovereign hands choosing the circumstances, the idea of being poured out becomes words we can all say at the end of our race.