Several years ago, I wrote a blog on what I call “poured-outness,” which I would like to revisit with a renewed perspective. It is my prayer that it will prove beneficial.
The original blog was penned as the result of an inquiry of someone, the crux of their inquiry being, “Help me understand why it is that when I pray for others I sometimes become overwhelmed with emotions to the point of crying? The presence of the Holy Spirit often moves me to tears, but this is something entirely different.”
I fully understand such an inquiry, as when the Lord burdens my heart to pray for someone I experience the same emotions. When praying for others whom the Lord has laid upon my heart to lift before His throne of grace I become overcome by what I call “poured outness.”
Are such emotions when praying for others simply the result of one just happening to have a sensitive personality and spirit that is easily touched no matter the situation, or is there a spiritual explanation for being so overwhelmed when interceding on behalf of others?
Oswald Chambers writes, “Once the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, we deliberately begin to identify ourselves with Jesus Christ’s interests and purposes in others’ lives.” When we become through prayer so identified with the Lord’s interests in other people there develops a connection in our spirits with the needs of others in such a way that it touches our emotions in an unusual way. Their hurt becomes our hurt, their need becomes our need, their pain becomes our pain; and we have a deep-seated inner desire to see God’s best unfold in their lives. When our soul experiences “poured-outness,” like Jesus, we are privileged to taste what it is like to be touched with the feeling of others’ infirmities as our Lord was touched (Hebrews 4:15).
Paul spoke of being poured out like a drink offering for Christ in his service for others (Phil. 2:17). Chambers calls upon Christians to become “broken bread and poured-out wine.” He asks the question, “Are we willing to be broken bread and poured out wine in Jesus Christ’s hands for others?” When we truly pour out our hearts in prayer and service on behalf of others we experience in our souls that “poured outness.” When such a cord is struck in our spirits we cannot but help be overwhelmed as we in oneness of spirit identify ourselves with the hurts and needs of others and the desire to see God’s best unfold in another person’s life.
As believers are we willing to become the means by which others become partakers of Christ’s life? Are we willing to become like a poured-out drink offering for the Lord? It is not always easy to be poured out for others, yet is not this the example Jesus sets for us who call ourselves Christian – “little Christ.”
This beautiful quote by theologian P.T. Forsyth speaks to the “poured outness” that is experienced when serving the Lord, “[We] are living elements in Christ’s hands – broken and poured out in soul, even unto death; so that [we] may not only witness Christ, or symbolize Him, but by the sacrament of personality actually [communicate] Him crucified and risen.”
It is often easy to proclaim the Gospel, give money for the spread of the Gospel, but we are called to do much more. We are called to present ourselves a living sacrifice (Romans 12), one who becomes broken bread and poured out wine in the hands of Jesus that through us He might nourish and feed others.
When we yield ourselves to Christ, requesting that He use us as broken bread and poured out wine, we will find ourselves entering new levels in our “poured outness.” Realizing the pouring of wine is the result of grapes being first crushed, sometimes in our service and in our interceding for others we sense “crushness” in our spirits that creates in us from deep within emotions that results in tears, like wine, flowing from our eyes. Yet they are more than tears, we are releasing New Wine on behalf of others. It is in those moments we humbly become aware that we have reached a new level of awareness of God using us as a vessel to pour out His wine on behalf of others.