Straight from the Overflowing Heart
By Lisa Elliott
Have you ever been told something that you can hardly contain? Perhaps it’s a secret, or some exciting news that you can’t wait to tell somebody about? This would well define the way I’ve lived my life since I came to know Jesus.
My spiritual curiosity began as a young child. At the age of twelve I realized a hunger in my soul that needed to be filled. In fact, it was starving for truth and my search for God intensified. I began to ask questions. And when I was fifteen I met Jesus as my Saviour and the God I knew in my head moved into my heart.
I was given the verse Phil. 1:6 (NLT), “ And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Whatever good work the Lord was doing was something I knew I couldn’t keep to myself. Something was suddenly alive within me that was uncontainable. Something was itching to get out. There was something pent up inside of me and I couldn’t wait to release it. That something was the living God!
As I sought spiritual guidance, a Christian friend directed me to read the Bible. Although I was raised in the church, I never thought of turning to the Bible to fill me with the food and nourishment I needed. No wonder I was starving! I owned a Bible but I was never encouraged to read it. That was the minister’s job! My friend directed me to the Psalms. I was inspired by how naturally the psalmist poured his heart out to the Lord. There was something riveting and compelling about his vulnerability and authenticity. I was in awe of the intimate relationship he had with the Lord. I completely resonated with the way he shared his deepest joys and struggles with Him. I made my way into the book of Acts and saw that Paul, too, had a faith he couldn’t contain. It flowed out of him and spilled over everyone he encountered.
As my intrigue grew, I read a book entitled, I’m Out to Change My World by Ann Kiemel. Again, I was captivated by her ability to share the love of Christ with a lost world as naturally as she breathed. When I grew up, I wanted to be like her, and Paul, and David in the Psalms.
My high school friends began to notice a difference in me. They asked me questions about what had changed. That’s all it took to release all that was taking place in my heart. Jesus was alive. His word was resonating in my heart. As God’s word was activated in me, it began to overflow. I freely shared His truth with others. As I grew in my knowledge of His word, God called me to a speaking platform to share even more openly. Eventually His word spilled out onto paper through my personal journal, blogs, magazine articles, and books. To think that out of the abundance of my heart, God could speak into and ripple out and impact others for His kingdom thrilled me like nothing I’d ever experienced! The more I filled myself with God and His Word the more I had to share and the more that overflowed.
Years later, He opened doors to share my faith with a part of His vineyard that desperately needed hope. The hospital cancer unit became my speaking platform when my son was diagnosed with leukemia. Nurses would stop me in the hallway and strike up conversations about what was keeping me going. When my son died a year later, one of his nurses came to visit my home. I noticed she was quite restless. Finally she blurted out, “Tell me about your hope.” Given that she was an oncology nurse, I asked her if she had the prescription to cure cancer, would she keep it to herself. She replied, “Of course not!” I went on to tell her that I have the prescription for the hope she was looking for—and I couldn’t keep it to myself. For the next hour, out of the abundance of my heart, I shared Jesus.
Each of us who have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus contains the prescription for eternal hope. How can we keep it to ourselves? More so, how can you release it? I strongly encourage you to read God’s word for yourself. Allow it to fill you to overflow into the lives of those around you. Speak to a friend or colleague. Take it to a speaking platform. Or consider writing about it in an article, blog or book. Whatever you do, don’t keep it bottled up! Rather let it overflow.
I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God. (Phil. 1:9-11 – NLT).
Straight from the Heart,
About this Contributor:
Lisa Elliott is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of The Ben Ripple and Dancing in the Rain. Additionally, she has written articles for Just Between Us Magazine and devotionals for theStory. She and her pastor-husband, David, have four children (3 on earth, 1 in heaven) and serve the Lord together in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
To book Lisa for a weekend retreat or day conference contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org