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God gives us assignments in life that not only have the potential to accomplish his Kingdom purposes but which are also custom built for our own growth and maturity in discipleship.

Recently, while thinking of the scripture Jeremiah 48:11, I ran across a great commentary from Bible teacher and poet, John W. Follette.

I wanted to share it with you to encourage you in your own journey to embrace transitions and changes, difficult as they may be sometimes, as part of God’s refining work in you.

His heart is always for our ultimate good and gain.

Ancient Winery at Alaverdi Monastery

Ancient Winery at Alaverdi Monastery

“Moab has been at ease from his youth, and he has settled on his lees, and has not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither has he gone into captivity: therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed.” Jeremiah 48:11

The expression, “emptied from vessel to vessel” is a figure that speaks of winemaking.

It relates to a method used to produce a well-refined wine, which is poured into a vessel and allowed to stand for a certain length of time.

Then it is poured into another vessel.

Each time this is done, there is a settling of the dregs and sediment which remain in the container, as the wine-maker carefully pours the liquid into another vessel.

This process is repeated until the wine is perfectly refined and yields a freshness of fragrance and color that is pleasing to the maker.

This result will not occur if the wine had been allowed to stay in only one vessel.

Instead, it would have “settled upon its lees” and become scented with the essence of the dregs.

Because the intention of the Lord is to bring us to spiritual maturity, we also are carefully poured from vessel to vessel; from one dealing to another.

As we yield to His purpose, the Holy Spirit will see to it that we are brought, step upon step (vessel by vessel), into spiritual growth and maturity.

With our wills yielded, and our spirits mellowed, we shall then become “wine, well refined.”

If we are consecrated, our lives are not our own to arrange as we please, in order to avoid these many pourings. 

Therefore, it is important that we recognize that our Lord has a purpose in emptying us from “vessel to vessel.”  He is producing within us a broken, yielded spirit to prepare us for a higher purpose.

There is always the tendency for us to seek the easy way.

We dislike disturbances and having to do things differently from the way we did in the past.

It can rightly be said that

the road of least resistance is a rut.”

Thus, if we are never poured from experience to experience, the wine will become spoiled and scented with dregs.

Someday, the last vessel will be filled and the last pouring finished.

May it please the heart of our Lord to find in us choice wine; rich, sparkling and well refined, because by His grace we have been emptied from vessel to vessel.

From Emptied From Vessel to Vessel by John Follette

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