(“Pour Me Out Like… Perfume” was written as a devotional for CMcentral.com)
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. John 12:24 (ESV)
It was summer of 2006, and I was in Nashville to record a worship album. One evening, I wrote the words, “pour me out like water” in a song called Anywhere You Are. Although the song came from a place of intimacy and genuine reflection, I never could have guessed it would turn out to be powerfully prophetic.
A few months later, my wife and I heard a teaching on what I’ll call the “Jonathon principal,” which is simply surrendering one’s own plans and/or resources in order to rescue, bless or promote someone else (modeled after Jonathan, who laid down his rights to the throne for the sake of David). Our spirits immediately embraced the idea, and we specifically prayed for God to stretch us in this area.
Within a week, He scooped us up and placed us on a radically different trail, one He has kept us on to this day. One of complete emptying. One that has included more pouring out than we ever thought we were capable of, encompassing nearly every area of our lives, such as:
~giving away all of our resources, including all the equity in our home.
~giving up a thriving & fulfilling ministry as a worship leader.
~walking away from a successful business.
~leaving our community, friends and family to go where we have no desire to be.
Why would He require such foolishness, such wastefulness?
Watchman Nee broaches this subject in the final chapter of The Normal Christian Life. Through the story of the alabaster jar of perfume, which Mary poured out unsparingly on Jesus (Mark 14:3-9), Nee beautifully articulates the purpose and power of such apparent wastefulness. While some of the disciples were indignant about the waste, Jesus was clearly very pleased!
As of this writing, we still have no answers, no ministry, no open doors and no foreseeable means to recover financially. We do have hope, but more importantly, we have Jesus Himself. We’ve never been this close to Him, this much in love with Him, or this full of faith. And even though our emptying pales in comparison to that which He has required of others, we sense His pleasure.
Lately, we’ve heard Him speak to our hearts that change is coming… that He will soon rescue us and remember His promises. We believe that, and we’re obviously encouraged; nonetheless, I feel compelled to encourage you in your journey now, while I’m still on this side of mine. Still pouring.
There is no better place than near to You
To listen for Your voice and follow You
‘Cause I want to be anywhere You are
Moving ever closer to Your heart
And I want to live with the single goal
Of embracing all that moves Your soul
So pour me out like water
My every breath I offer