AN EMPTY VESSEL
BY: LENNY ANTONSSON
When God wants you, He just wants you. He doesn’t need your money, your strength, your wisdom, your knowledge, or your abilities. The only thing He wants is you, an empty vessel, so that He can flow through you and do what He wants to do through you. Any abilities at all that you hang on to are a hindrance to God. He doesn’t need you to help Him with anything at all. He just wants you, an empty vessel to flow through and to be through and to save through.
I had an interesting experience in the Sunday School class that the Lord has caused me to go to, to bring forth His light to these people. They are Baptists and they are born again and I’ve had an interesting time with these men. In the class last Sunday, something happened which has never happened before in the 2 1/2 years that I’ve been attending the class. I don’t fully enjoy the class, but God has me there and I know that He is totally sovereign and He controls everything. Yesterday, someone had decided that they wanted to pay off the church mortgage, so the class was going to be on how to tithe and how to give gifts beyond tithing. I struggled through the whole class, because there was nothing spiritual about it whatsoever. There were many to and fros in the class, talking about the law, talking about the disappearance of the law that it’s not there anymore, but they still felt that we should be tithing and so on.
After the class, I went home and grumbled at the Lord, because I did not see any spiritual benefits whatsoever in that class. There are some natural and soulish benefits, because the self, the ego and the pride does take advantage of a works, like tithing, and gain some glory out of it, making the person feel good that they can do something for the Lord. As I grumbled at the Lord, it was all about why He allowed this subject since there was no spiritual benefit from it, and why would He permit them to talk about it when He had sent me to there to teach them more about the Lord, more about walking in the Spirit instead of in the flesh and in the soul. As I was going on and on, the Lord started to show me why it had happened. He clearly said that these men think all the time that they need to give to God of their strength, of their wisdom, of their knowledge, all these natural soulish things. They think that God needs them and is benefited by their efforts, but He clearly showed me that all He wanted was them, with nothing attached, no self effort whatsoever attached with it. He just wants a clear, clean, empty vessel and this is all that He needs so that He could flow through the vessel; He could speak through the vessel; He could do through the vessel; He could be through the vessel. All He wanted from them was a clean, empty vessels. He does not need any of their abilities whatsoever.
I had never seen this so clearly before and it was exactly what I needed. I knew that out of this class, God was going to reveal something to me, because I know that He doesn’t waste anything at all. To see that God only wants an empty vessel is great gain to me.
It is interesting how religion operates. God says, “I want you,” and each person, in turn, says, “Here God. Here’s my natural strength. I’ll help build a church; Here’s my natural wisdom; here’s my natural knowledge. I’ll teach for you; I’ll sing for you; I’ll be a prayer warrior for you.” All these things and many more we offer God, when all He says is, “I want you. Period. None of your abilities. All your abilities are going to do is hinder me. I just want you as an empty vessel so that I can flow through you and do the things I want to do through you towards others.” Religion at its best, offers everything in the natural and everything soulish to God except the one thing He wants, the person himself. I knew this before, but I had never received such a clear view of it as I have now. Total emptiness is what God needs, nothing else.
He wants you, a totally empty vessel so that He can fill you with Himself. He wants to flow through you in His love, in His mercy, in His kindness, in His light, in His life, in His righteousness, in everything you can think of, He wants to flow through you. Why do you think Jesus said, “In and of myself, I can do nothing. I do what the Father does; I say what the Father says” (Jn. 14:10,24). This is what God wants with you. Jesus is our example. He wants to flow through you. He wants His thoughts flowing through you; He wants His feelings flowing through you, His words flowing through you. He wants to do through you. He wants to totally be Himself through you (Gal. 2:20).
The very first time that God pressed in on you, what did you do? You turned your life around and started serving Him. But He kept pressing in on you more and more and you gave up sin: you gave up lying; you gave up cheating; each time He pressed in on you, you gave up something. You gave up hating people; you gave up being jealous. I could go on and on and on. When you ran out of things to give up and He still kept pressing in on you, you started working in the church, or He pressed in on you and you started witnessing; or He pressed in on you and you started praying more or reading the Bible more or perhaps, fasting and praying, and He still kept pressing in on you more and more, and you started giving tithes, or you started teaching Sunday School. You were doing things for Him. Instead of giving things up, you were doing things for God, so you became treasurer of the church, or took some other job there. There are so many places in the church where you can function, but He still kept pressing in on you more and more. What was the reason for it? Because you had not given Him what He wanted. Each time He pressed in on you a little harder, you would throw Him a crumb by giving Him your abilities, or your strength or your wisdom and knowledge, all these things that you thought would satisfy Him, but He kept pressing in on you. Why did He do that? Because He wanted YOU! Not what you were capable of doing; He wanted you, just you an empty vessel so that He could fill you up with Himself, and flow through you in light, in life, in love, in mercy, in kindness, in righteousness, in faith. All of these things He had for you, but all you did was keep Him at a distance by giving things up or by doing more for Him. That is NOT what God is looking for. He is looking for YOU. He wants you as an empty vessel so that He can fill you up with Himself. He wants to manifest Himself through you. God can do things through you much better than you can do for Him by yourself. His abilities are much beyond what you are capable of doing. When He keeps pressing in on you, the only thing He wants is you, yes, just you, nothing else.
We will come to the place of saying, like Jesus, “In and of myself I can do nothing. I do what the Father does; I say what the Father says.” The Father wants to flow through us in rhema. His actions will flow through us. He wants to be Himself through us, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That’s what He’s after, nothing else.
AN EMPTY VESSEL [Lenny Antonsson] Jan. 2001 1