2 Timothy 4:6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. ESV
While many may recall the drink offering as part of the ceremonial sacrifices identified in Numbers, the very first use of the term appears in Genesis 35. Jacob had just been given the name Israel by God and Jacob poured out a drink offering of oil upon a rock at Bethel. Bethel, where the tabernacle of the covenant would be placed centuries later. The oil, significant to the anointing and of course the rock, our cornerstone of foundation, Christ Jesus.
How fitting a gesture of scriptures was penned by Paul as he neared the end of his ministry. Paul declaring that his very life was a sacrifice to Christ, that it was spent on the anointing. I know that we sometimes refer to our initial salvation as “giving ourselves to Christ” but do we from beginning to end think of ourselves as a drink offering, to be poured out as a sacrifice unto the Lord?
It is verses like these that prick my conscience, knowing that I have not given my all. It is not fair for me to call on others to do that which I have not done myself, but read the scriptures and ask yourself what Christ is asking of you.
In some ways I see myself at the end of my journey. Age has taken its toll, but it has also given me experience and time in the Word and for whatever time remains for me, I am better equipped now than ever to serve in His anointing. So, I am not done yet.
Psalm 150:6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.
Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
My first encounter with God went like this; I was an angry teen who did not know why. I said in my heart “I don’t want to be like this.” Wham, instantly I was changed. I was no longer angry. I didn’t know how God did it, I just knew it was dome through no effort on my part.
Years later as I was reading Romans 8 for the millionth time, I thought to myself, “I want to be like that.” In some remote part of my brain I was hoping that God would once again perform a suddenly, wham I would be like Jesus through no effort on my part. Rather than doing that, I was led to another passage of scripture.
Philippians 2:5-8 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
“But Lord that isn’t what I asked?”
No, it is the answer.
There is no instant answer to conformance. The beginning is a mindset, to think and believe as the mind of Christ. Then to act on those beliefs. It is not in our human or worldly nature to serve, it is to dominate. We change the world by force. Christ change the world by serving.
God has been very patient with me during my change, much more patient than I deserve. God knows me and that my conversion is going to be a long process. But if I was honest with God in what I wanted when I said “Make me!” then I should be patient in how He accomplishes that end.