Empty

<<bare, vacant>>

Only as we empty ourselves of our selfish desires can we be filled with God – two masters can’t control us at one time (Mt 5:6, 6:24). Christ has redeemed us from the empty way of the ungodly life (1 Pet 1:18,19). Only He can quench the yearning within, “The Lord satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul” (Ps 107:9). In the OT account of the widow’s oil miraculously being supplied, Heaven didn’t run out of oil, rather it was the human capacity of emptiness that determined the amount of provision (2 Kgs 4:1-7).

A person who tries to live life without God, often feels empty, having a continual ‘missing the mark’ realization which they try to fill by resorting to drink, drugs, illicit sex, turning to Eastern religions, or immersing themselves in work or hobbies. The Bible terms this an empty way of life (1 Pet 1:18). Jesus said, unbelievers “refuse to come to Him to have life” (Jn 5:40, 10:10).

Do not endeavour to satisfy the yearning in your heart with anything other than God. Even when we are Christians, we have periods of feeling drained and empty after giving out in ministry and good works. It’s at these vulnerable times, the devil wants to take advantage of any feelings of discouragement and tempts us to refresh ourselves with ‘just a touch’

   I choose to empty myself so I can                                 be filled with Him

of what he has to offer. Be careful not to try to find solace in ‘forbidden fruit’ – what God has said not to touch and what the conscience says to keep away from. Instead, refresh your vital connection to Christ.

The Israelites were instructed not to come before God empty-handed (Ex 34:20). They were always to have a gift to present to God. When we worship God, dedicating ourselves afresh to Him is the first and highest offering we can give. As believers, we should be continually ‘being filled’ and replenished with spiritual riches from the heavenly storehouse to give to hurting humanity (Jn 7:38). How many times are our spiritual reservoirs empty, and we have nothing to give? This reflects poorly on our connection to God, the life source and our drawing from the abundance in Christ (Eph 1:18, 3:16; Col 2:3).

Jesus, Himself, had a particular concern for the poor and needy, and as believers, we should also be blessing those who are destitute (Prov 28:27; Mt 5:42, 11:5; Lk 4:18). Empty infers a lack and insufficiency – when withdrawals are greater than deposits, with poverty bringing the poor to ruin (Prov 10:15). Throughout the OT this undesirable condition was associated with being under a curse for not obeying God, while plenty directly related to obedience (Deut 28:1-8,15,38; Ps 31:19; Prov 3:9,10). However we must recognise the OT primarily centred on the material physical realm while the NT focus is on the spiritual realm.

It’s our responsibility to deny (or empty) our self-life, “I must decrease but He increase” so we can be filled with the rich treasures of God (Jn 3:30). Don’t you want to be full of Him who has such a profound effect on hurting humanity? When a person is delivered from evil, there must be an intentional filling of the void with what is good or else the undesirable will return by default (Mt 12:43-45; Eph 5:18)

See also: barren, contentment, escapism, fulfillment, fullness, lost, plans and purposes.

 


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