Infusion: The Parable of the Tea Bag

Yesterday morning God spoke to me as I was making my wife’s cup of green tea.

I noticed how the tea, in its nice pyramid shaped bag, started to quickly colour the hot water I had poured into the mug.  As it sat in the water steeping,  I suddenly had a flash of insight.

On Saturday, I heard a teaching on being filled with/ being full of  the Spirit.  The teacher was Roger Forster, the leader of Ichthus Christian Fellowship. He was in Barbados at the invitation of a couple who lead one of the house churches that I link with. In his teaching he mentioned that there are two Greek words in the New Testament translated “fill”.  The first one is always in verb form and is used at the time of an event, when something happens.  He went on to say that the ‘event’ in this context was the exercising of a particular spiritual gift.  These were the examples of Scriptures he used –

  1. Luke 1:15 – John the Baptist “filled with the Spirit from his mother’s womb”
  2. Luke 1:41 – Elizabeth filled with the Holy Spirit, John leapt in her womb (arguing that this was the event where the baby was filled with the Spirit.)
  3. Luke 1:57 – Zacharias filled with the Holy Spirit
  4. Acts 2:3 – Believers filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues
  5. Acts 4:8 -Peter: word of wisdom
  6. Acts 4:31 – Believers empowered with spirit of boldness for evangelism
  7. Acts 9:17 – Ananais: “Receive your sight and receive the Holy Spirit” (miracle of healing)
  8. Acts 13:9-11 – Filled with the Spirit (miracle)

The other word translated ‘filled’ from the original language has the connotation of being continuously filled – happening all the time. The word was either a verb or an adjective. The examples used in the session were:

  1. Luke 4:1 (Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit)
  2. Acts 6:3 (choose men full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom)
  3. Acts 6:5 (Full of faith and the Spirit)
  4. Acts 7:55 (Full of the Holy Spirit, saw the glory of God)
  5. Acts 11:24 (Full of the Holy Spirit and of faith)
  6. Acts 13:52 (Filled with joy and the Holy Spirit)
  7. Acts 2:2 (the sound of wind filled the house – the speaker made the point that this image was a type of the Holy Spirit continuously filling the Body of Christ, as this was the precedent – the first time the believers were being filled)
  8. Eph 5:18 (not filled with wine, but be filled with the Spirit)

What the speaker mentioned was that the event of filling brings with it spiritual gifts, but the act of being continuously filled helps grow the fruit of the Spirit.

He mentioned that every time you overcome the devil, a little bit of power is released into your life.  He encouraged us to stay in the act of being continuously filled, as it speaks to living in the character of Jesus.

When I was filling my wife’s cup with hot water, and as I watched the tea bag infuse with the tea, I realized that the cup would represent me as a believer, and the tea bag represented my spirit.  The act of pouring in the water into the cup would represent the act of baptism in the Spirit (the event), and the fact that the water acted on the tea bag to release the aroma, scent and flavour of the tea was the process of completely being filled with the Spirit.

All of this in one act of pouring a simple cup of tea!

Even this morning I felt the presence of the Lord as I poured another cup… I may never see a tea bag the same way again!

Lord, may we be infused totally with the complete filling of your Spirit, and not just be dipped into the water from time to time on an event-by-event basis!


6 Responses

  1. I like this: “Lord, may we be infused totally with the complete filling of your Spirit, and not just be dipped into the water from time to time on an event-by-event basis!”

    It makes me think of prayer. I pray for the event and I continously pray for life as it is lived. ie praying without ceasing.

    Good job. Oddly. I joked about tea leaves a couple days ago on facebook. The joke went somethink like, “I’ve got tea. Can someone tell me the future?” With God’s inspiration through you, it might be said, “I’ve got tea. Jump on in. The water’s fine!”

    • Well Arch… I’m glad you liked it! Keep praying, and hear my excitement….. I DO want us to jump into deeper waters. The water IS fine! 🙂

      Bless you!

  2. DEEP!

  3. Yeah, Holy Spirit usually is… .;)

  4. I may never see a tea bag the same again either… another wonderful story!

    • Thank you my sweet sister….may tea bags forever inspire you from now on! 🙂

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