The Overrunning Cup

Text: Psalm 23


In verse 5 of our text David said, “My cup runneth over.” If this could be declared by all Bible-believing Christians we would soon have the revival that we pray for. Yet it ought not be beyond our expectations, for the Lord Jesus Christ came so that His followers “might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). No wonder then that David could conclude Psalm 23 with the words, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever” (:6). He knew what it meant to have an superabundance of blessing in his life.

Jesus is all-sufficient

The Lord does not send us on a pilgrimage to some far-flung so-called holy place to get the blessing. We will not find it by seeking out some well-known preacher to lay hands on us. Instead He gives us Himself, and that is all the blessing we need. “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). If He is the only way to salvation, then it is certain that He is the only way to a blessed life too, for everything God gives us is perfect, complete and sufficient.

Is our heart full?

The woman of Samaria came to draw water from Jacob’s well, yet it was not her bucket but her heart which was filled by meeting Jesus. Her religion, tradition and lineage could not satisfy her spiritual thirst, but a few words from Jesus did. “Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water … But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:10, 14). Her cup was running over from that day forward. Can we be more abundantly blessed than drinking from the wells God has provided? “Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation” (Isaiah 12:3).

Is our cup empty?

In other words, are we thirsty for all that the Lord has provided for us in Christ? “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37-38). Most believers are only experiencing a faint trickle rather than a gushing stream of abundant life. Why is this?

The main reason why our cups are not running over is because we do not trust in the Lord the way we should. At salvation we were baptised into Christ by the Holy Spirit. From that moment God made it possible for us to enjoy the constant filling the Holy Spirit gives. “Be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18) … “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14).  Instead of being guided by Him we chose to live the Christian life under our own power, and as a result found that life we thought we have soon ran dry. “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water” (Jeremiah 2:13). Eternal life means that we ought to receive the “unfathomable riches of Christ” and “might be filled with all the fulness of God” (Ephesians 3:8, 19). It all went wrong the moment we forgot to trust in Christ. “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith” (Ephesians 3:17).

What are we waiting for?

If we are dying of thirst in a desert and someone provides an overflowing cup of water, we would be fools not to quench that thirst. What holds us back? In truth it is only our knack of setting limits on what God can do. God wants to do much more than we expect! “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end” (Ephesians 3:20-21). He wants us to say with joy, “My cup runneth over!”


We have a life-giving stream that can never run dry. All we need to do is drink. Drinking is the first thing a child learns to do because it comes naturally to it. That drinking produces growth so that even more wonders of life can be enjoyed. Christ wants His people to receive His glory every day. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18).  The normal Christian life, from God’s viewpoint, ought to be abundant, full, and running over.