13.1 An Overflowing Father
13.1 An Overflowing Father
© 2016 Christ Revealed Bible Institute
An Overflowing Father
The Greek word, perisseuó, meaning “to be over and above, to abound,” or, better yet, “more than is needed,” is found in one form or another 39 times in the New Testament. The concept of overflow, of more than is needed, is pictured and expressed, however, many more than those 39 times.
Some of the ways perisseuó is translated include: out of their surplus; surpassing; over and above; left over; an abundance; more than enough; enough and to spare; was abounding; increasing; excel; overflow; lavished upon; overflowing. Here is Jesus’ picture of the same quality: Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom (Luke 6:38).
For a further picture of perisseuó, visualize the feeding of 5000 men, which means more than 10,000 people. I know what a crowd of 10-12,000 looks like, that’s the average number of people who gather for each service at Lakewood Church here in Houston. It’s a lot of people.
These people have walked a long way from home, they have sat for a few hours listening to Jesus talk. They are hungry. They see Jesus from a distance take five loaves and two fishes and break them apart. They see the baskets and baskets being passed around. They all EAT a LOT. Perisseuó, however, does not refer to the huge amount of food eaten that day, it refers to what was LEFT OVER – too much!
The word Jesus used in Luke 6:38, “running over” is a slightly different word, ekcheo, meaning poured out. It is the same word Paul used in Romans 5:5, the love of God has been poured out in our hearts. Except Jesus added huper to ekcheo, or hyper poured out. You see, packed down and shaken together are ALL we could ever need, but running over is far more than we can use.
Paul also added huper, meaning “over, beyond – for someone else,” to the word “abundance” in the defining verse following being filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us (Ephesians 3:20).
Look at these words: exceedingly abundantly above. You see, Paul used “hyper” twice, for exceedingly and for above. The English places the two “hypers” on each side of ABUNDANCE. Hyper hyper-abundance. And Paul used “power” twice as well, power, power working IN you and me.
Now, perisseuó comes from the Greek word peri, from which we make the words perimeter and periscope. And it means all the way around. More than is needed in every conceivable direction, yes, but also in directions we cannot think or imagine.
More than Enough
When I was a boy, I attended a number of Mennonite potlucks. This was not store-bought food, but the best cooking coming out of the best cooks on earth. I know what it means to press down and shake together one’s food until one’s belly is simply FULL.
Abundance refers to all the wonderful food remaining on the table AFTER you cannot eat one more bite. MORE than enough.
Father is first everything we need to the full. But then Father also surrounds us in every direction as far, far more than we need in the present moment – just in case we are able to squeeze in one more bite.
Then There Is Scarcity
This is the picture of the Biblical concept of abundance, a concept we are to apply to every quality and aspect of God towards and in us, as and through us. But abundance cannot be understood by itself, for abundance is always paired against it’s opponent – scarcity. Abundance means more than enough; scarcity means less than enough.
In order for us to grasp how all this works together, I must give you the outline of the upcoming sessions. This session, “Abundance,” is paired with the next session on Scarcity, but which I titled, “Not Knowing Father.” Yet this session must include scarcity and the next abundance.
An Outline Ahead
We want, first, to arrive at a full comprehension of the practical opposition of abundance versus scarcity in our lives and in the experience of all humans. Following this comprehension of full, practical Father abundance, then, we will look at the curse, of which the appearance of scarcity is one part, and then at the wickedness of angels and the wickedness of humans in this world. Following that comes three sessions on the church in this world, including a view of the successful Church in the full expression of Tabernacles. And following that comes sessions on the source of abundant power flowing out of us to defeat and cast out of the human experience every element of the curse.
A Concrete Ceiling
We need to dig a little deeper, here, in order to grasp the critical nature of Father’s abundance in the arising of the Kingdom of God upon this earth. There is a thick steel-reinforced concrete ceiling sitting upon all Christians in this world. That concrete ceiling is the deep and overwhelming conviction that Christianity in this world is a failed experiment.
The reason “go to” heaven rules in a way not found in the Bible is the conviction that Christianity is a failed experiment. The reason Christians today are convinced that “when Jesus returns,” He will set up His kingdom through the Jews and through Old Testament ritual is the conviction that Christianity in this world is a failed experiment.
The Triumph of Christianity
And thus, if we suggest that the two witnesses of Revelation 11 are present-day Christians or that the sons of God setting creation free is the triumph of Christianity, we are considered blasphemers by all our brethren and dangerous heretics.
But even worse can be found among those who teach the victory of the “kingdom of God,” for they teach that the “kingdom” is when God commands and you and I obey. They teach that our “perfect obedience” is what makes Jesus, finally, at last, “King.” Their darkness is that, even reaching for the truth, they keep Jesus far away on the other side of that concrete ceiling, and we, here, are the ones who “make Him King,” a hubris of the flesh that God hates more than anything else.
No Ceiling at All
Jesus is the absence of separation between Father and me. Jesus is the living relationship by which Father and I walk together as one Person. The ceiling does not even exist! There is no ceiling at all!!!
Here is what we must understand. Our belief that God intends to prove Jesus faithful and true through us His body, right here on this earth, is considered by other Christians to be UN-Biblical and dangerously ungodly. The Christian Church fully successful on this earth in the revelation of all that God speaks is not in anyone’s picture. To our brethren such a belief is the worst form of blasphemy.
Much more than the rule of scarcity as an element of the curse upon the human experience, scarcity has become the Christian definition of God and His intentions towards us.
Scarcity defines the Blood – not enough. Scarcity defines the Cross – not enough. Scarcity defines the Resurrection – not enough. Not enough, not enough, not enough, not enough, not enough.
Even when you fellowship among brethren experiencing the river of life outpouring of the Holy Spirit, or brethren rejoicing in present grace and full union with Christ, you see so clearly that God’s abundance is tightly LIMITED, with the concrete ceiling of “not enough” remaining on all else.
More Than Is Needed
Abundance, then, meaning “more than is needed” regarding every element of the Christian gospel and every particle of God in us, stands against the overwhelming Christian belief that what God has provided for us as we walk this earth as Christians is simply not enough. And for that reason, only by death, only by exiting this earth and arriving at a faraway place called “heaven,” will we enter a realm where God is, finally and at last, enough. And maybe Jesus will have better luck here with the Jews.
Before we talk more about an overflowing Father, then, we must face what I came to realize just last night, “not enough” is so written all through the pathways of my soul that only Father could ever erase it.
And thus our constant exercise is this. Father coming to us as more than we need erases our ever-repeating story line of not enough, not enough, not enough. And this replacing of story happens many times for us to cover every aspect of Father, us, and life in this world, until Father’s more-than-enough is the only thing we know.
Let’s return, now, to an overflowing Father. One picture of a God who is just too much is Jesus’ “Parable of the Exuberant Father,” wrongly titled “The Parable of the Prodigal Son.” The parable is entirely about this crazy dad; the two sons only showcase his too-much-ness.
An Exuberant Father
You can read the Parable of the Exuberant Father in Luke 15:11-32. It is too long to include here. What you have is two sons, one who is grossly wasteful with his father’s abundance and the other who is grossly stingy with his father’s abundance. But over and over, this exuberant father has only one answer to the stupidity of both of his sons. – “Let’s throw a party!” It’s not just a party that this father wants, but he runs to greet his sons, and he calls for the very best. The father accepts the sorrow of the son who wasted so much and makes no mention of his loss, but the father gently chides the son who “kept” everything, not to be so stingy.
Consider the son who said to his father, “I have kept everything that is yours, see, it’s all here.” The father’s response was, “Why have you not ‘wasted’ even just a bit on your friends?”
Consider the third servant in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-29. That third servant kept all that his master had given him and returned it all at his master’s request. Yet the third servant was rejected utterly and lost all he had kept. Why? Jesus was pin-pointing this conviction that God is not enough rooted in the hearts of all humans.
The Fullness of God
That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend… the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever (Ephesians 3:17-21).
Consider carefully this entire picture, a picture absent from the thinking of most of our fellow Christians. Consider the result of a totally successful church.
A Constant Overflow
The center of this passage between Paul’s prayer and arriving at a successful Church declaring all that Christ is and means are these words: filled with all the fullness of God. Everything prior to these words is to establish in us the knowledge that we are filled with all of God. Everything after these words is the hyper-hyper overflow of God poured out, beyond what we could think.
Filled with all of God means God is enough for me. God enough for me results in a constant overflow of God towards others. The immediate presence of all of God inside of me and all of God flowing out from me is the normal Christian life.
Father Spilling Out
You want to know where the essence of Father is to be found? Look at all of that God spilling out of you because you are so full of a God who so increases that you cannot contain Him. That spilling out, that overflowing is Father.
Now, enough is of God, certainly – our sufficiency is from God (2 Corinthians 3:5). Our enough-ness is being filled with all of God. But enough that is not more than enough very quickly becomes not enough. Enough is not a continuing state. Having all of God filling me full is the picture of a moment, a single photograph.
A Hyper Overflow
For that reason, we must go immediately from Ephesians 3:19, the largest statement ever uttered, to Ephesians 3:20, a hyper, hyper overflow of a God who is too much. It is that hyper overflow that is the proof of Christ through a successful Church generation after generation.
For ten years, now, I have considered in every way I know that I am filled with all the fullness of God. And I see now the knife edge on which I stand. For there is a voice that has ruled in my mind, and deep in the fabric of my being, a voice that cries: “God is not enough.” There can be no overflow of God except I, rooted and grounded IN love, KNOW that ALL of God fills me full.
Enough Cannot Be Enough
But I cannot really know that God is enough for me unless I know that God is more than enough.
What if those creaking tables of glorious food to the eyes of a ten-year-old boy at that Mennonite potluck, as he waited impatiently for the line to end so that he could rush back in for a third helping – what if those tables were empty? What if they were just enough, but no more. What if there was nothing left over? Nothing left over cannot ever be enough.
Here is my point. I cannot know that I am filled with all the fullness of God, personally and for real, until I know, all through my asking and beyond my thinking that Father is more than enough regarding every concept of reality.
A God Who Is MORE than Enough
One final point here. We are not speaking of “‘God’ is all that you need; you don’t need anything other than ‘God.’” Notice the single quote around ‘God.’ The serpent is the god of poverty; it is envy that wants everyone poor.
When we say a God of abundance, a God who is more than is needed, we are speaking of every aspect and element of creation and every quality and characteristic of God. – Power working in us, an overflow of all things way beyond what we can ask or even imagine could exist.
All things belong to us; all things are ours (1 Corinthians 3:21), including and especially the abundance of the earth.