The Overflow (A Devotional)


On the way to my local track, I always pass this beautiful fountain. Though it’s not always switched on, it reminds me of the iconic Psalm 23 where David wrote to his God, “You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.” (or “runneth” over if you’re a ‘KJV only’-ist – gotta be inclusive!)

A while back a mentor of mine said some wise and practical words that have stuck with me: “ministry is the overflow.”

Christian, at any given moment, when you attempt to serve God and your fellow man, you generally either do so out of selfish ambition or selfless overflow from your Heavenly Father. There really can be no in-between, if you really think about it.

The time you spend reading and meditating on the Bible, in prayer for specific needs and wants, or gleaning truth from a sermon, book, film, podcast (Hey now! Have you listened to ours? It’s pretty awesome: The Reformed Gamers) or even a video game is not for you alone! “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks…”

Likewise, the efforts you make to touch others and fulfill your calling in life cannot be forced if they are genuine and should not be done out of guilt or obligation. This is dangerous and can lead to unmet expectations, feelings of entitlement or not being appreciated, emotional breakdowns, overzealous burnout, and all sorts of unnecessary pain or disillusionment. I have learned this firsthand and consider myself as currently in the process of recovery.

It’s not a matter of whether the glass is half-empty or half-full.

The real question is: is yours overflowing? With thankfulness? With Grace? With all the fruit of GOD’S Spirit? (Galatians 5:22-23) If not, then it’s time to repent…again. Only then can you be filled anew. And overflow!

Like Adam and Eve in the Garden, we think we can hide, sometimes. But there’s always our habitual thoughts. Our patterned words. Our day-to-day actions and lifestyle are proof of what we’re filled with, laid bare for all to see; it’s there for non-Christians to catch us slip up on and fellow disciples to hold us accountable for (Matthew 7:1-2, anyone? People love to quote that one out of context a lot these days).

“Jesus answered [the Samaritan woman at the well], “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water…whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:10, 14)

So what does all this have to do with gaming? Well, everything is connected (something I learned from a watch dog) and questions like that are meant to be wrestled with! (triple-A wrestling sim not required)

So much of gaming nowadays is inescapably social (shout-out to my favorite: the share button!) and contrary to what my stepdad used to say, our relationship with God is not just between us and God. How silly to think that it is when both the people we’ve looked up to growing up and even our own lives prove the contrary.

So…whose run-off are you catching? And what are you overflowing with?

GG & Amen!