Taking on the Sacred Cow of the “Overflow” Approach


June 5, 2019

Acts 1:6-8 (NIV)

Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”


Ok—picking up with where we left off yesterday. The agenda of the Holy Spirit is not to “bless me” with hopes that I will pay it forward. The Holy Spirit fills  us  with the power of the love of God to bless all of creation and in doing so we will experience blessing.

I’m going to take a big swing at one of the biggest sacred cows of conventional Christian thinking. I’ll just say it plain: the “overflow” approach is not biblical. Why? Because it is a “bless me so I can be a blessing,” “me first” approach.

The Holy Spirit does not create “reservoirs” that overflow. The Holy Spirit  is an unstoppable  river of blessing. The invitation of God beckons us to jump into the flow and be an agent of that blessing to others. To the extent we do this, we will experience blessing.

Remember in the Sermon, when Jesus said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you”? That’s another way of saying, “Seek to bless others and you will experience blessing.”

Look at today’s text. You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Nothing about “bless me and make me a blessing” there. It’s make me a blessing and I will experience blessedness. Nothing about “overflowing” there. No reservoir of reserves. It’s all river.

Last time—let me translate it into one more iteration. I want you to ponder the implications of this next sentence.

We don’t give love because we have it. We have love because we give it.

Herein lies the hallmark of extravagant generosity. True giving has nothing to do with what we have or don’t have. It’s about who we are and whose we are.

And don’t forget our simple prayer going forward: COME HOLY SPIRIT!


Can you think of and share an example of where you sought to bless someone else and experienced blessing in doing so? See how this is different from the “bless me first” approach?

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt

P.S. Today, everything on Seedbed.com is 50% off. So go stock up on some seeds and sow extravagantly this summer!

seedbed.com summer sale


Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.