I Peter 1:17-19 (NLT)
And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time as “foreigners in the land.” For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.
Today is a joyous day in our family as we celebrate the birth of our oldest daughter who has been a joy and blessing all the days of her life. She is beautiful on the inside and the outside as she enters adulthood with grace and charm. What a vast difference from yesterday as I sat among the sound of monitors and alarms in a busy hospital infusion room with doctors and nurses next to our son who is battling cancer for the fourth time. This is the chaos of life of our life as we now take day-by-day. No longer do we plan for the future or live on a daily routine. The scheduled life once enjoyed comfortable in its predictability has now ended at least for now. Career objectives have tumbled down the priority list as well they should as we live by faith moment to moment. I find that I am empty from the last two years as if run through the spin cycle in a washing machine until all the water has been wrung out from the load. Do I have faith? Of course. Confident hope? Absolutely, but that does not mean those who go away full come home empty sometimes just look at dear Ruth. (Ruth 1:20-21) God has not favorites and did not dictate the order of my life as He would have it. Sin was the choice of mankind and now it is up to the Lord to “cause everything to together for good” because I am called according to His Purpose. I am a “foreigner in the land.” People don’t understand how to offer comfort to those who are facing their worst nightmare so many stay away. Those who dare to venture closer try to offer some form of empathy that comes across as pity. Emptiness is a lonely place. Many people are empty standing in crowded lives surrounded by countless people drowning in the noise, but there is only once voice that will fill the void left by tragedy, uncertainty and pain. It is the Voice of God, His Word. It is Son – Jesus Christ. He knows what you feel and how you suffer because He bore the pain of your life on the Cross. Every sickness and disease was felt as He bore the stripes for healing to make its way to His People. God paid a ransom in Blood to ensure that you did not inherit the “empty” life of your ancestors and He will fill the void if you will only seek His Face.
Genesis 1:1-3 (NLT)
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
Looking at the moment of creation, we see just how God works. The earth was formless, empty and dark much like our souls when we decide that we need a Savior. The Spirit of God hovers over us waiting to enter our lives and begin to release the Creative Power of God over our heart and mind restoring our life to fulfill the Lord’s Purpose. God said, “Let there be light” and there was light. Emptiness makes room for us to receive from the Lord. It wipes away any preconceived notions of what our life is supposed to be like based on society’s interpretation. When our plans fall apart, it is then we seek the Face of God and ask for His Plan which was the best all along. Disappointment drains us of self-reliance in the realization that we can do nothing on our own to satisfy the longing of our heart and bring contentment to our soul. This is a hard place. You will shed many tears as you pour out your heart before the Lord. But don’t worry He saves our tears. (Psalm56:8) Could it be that you Lord will even redeem my tears? Are they a part of what you are using to shape and mold everything in my life together for the good? I believe this is true.
Proverbs 16:26 (NLT)
It is good for workers to have an appetite; an empty stomach drives them on.
It is good to be empty. Emptiness motivates us for more. When all is stripped away, I simply come. These words roll over and over in my mind…just to bring something that’s of worth to bless Your Heart. Dissatisfaction increases appetite. It makes hunger a driving force in our life for whatever it is that is desired but lacking from our life. The world would have us to think that it has something to offer. But from where I am sitting right now, this world has fallen short. What I need and desire can only come from the Lord. His Resurrection Power prevails inside a heart surrendered to Him which means all idols have to be removed even those we are not aware of. The Light produces vivid introspection that reveals all the un-surrendered areas of our life. To allow the Holy Spirit to remove these things from our life and walk in awesome respect of God that puts His Will and Way before our own will leave a void. The space taken up by the things of this world leave a place for the Holy Spirit to work and create the life that you are promised in God’s Word. But there is a moment of emptiness that is raw and painful as it takes brokenness to lead us to repentance and release all those things standing in the way of faith and confident hope which allow us to believe in the impossible and see those results.
Deuteronomy 32:45-48 (NLT)
When Moses had finished reciting all these words to the people of Israel, he added: “Take to heart all the words of warning I have given you today. Pass them on as a command to your children so they will obey every word of these instructions. These instructions are not empty words—they are your life! By obeying them you will enjoy a long life in the land you will occupy when you cross the Jordan River.”
The Word of God is His Creative Power in our life. It is the very sustenance that can produce the satisfaction that we crave. It will fill every void in our heart. It will produce the faith and confident hope we need to endure while the Lord works out His Meticulous Plan for our life. Yet few people ever take the time to read it, study it or apply it to their life. If you do not know the Word of God, then you do not know Jesus Christ. Why? He is the Word wrapped in flesh (John 1:14) that dwelt among humanity side-by-side so He could relate to us completely and overcome the world. How can we know God’s Plan without His Word? It is the most basic beginning to following Jesus and walking in His Ways. It is not old-fashioned or out-of-date. But you cannot pick and choose which “words” you will follow or how you will go because that will deviate from God’s Intended Destination. Your emptiness will never be satisfied outside of walking in His Will and Way. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” You cannot reach the Presence of God without coming first through the Son. You cannot be filled to overflowing with His Spirit any other way! God’s Plan is for you to enjoy long life. Jesus came so that we would live a rich satisfied life. (John 10:10) This is only possible through righteous obedience to God otherwise we come up short in the gray area called compromise. The enemy will not try to hold on to anything he gave you but ruthless struggles to wrestle away the things of God. Think about it the enemy wants the good and perfect gifts of God in our life. If there is no fight, then there is nothing worthwhile being produced. You must not be bearing any fruit. But for those in the fight of your life, there is comfort in knowing that there is something of value and worth being produced in your walk with the Lord. Fight for your ground. Stay strong. Take a stand. Even in your emptiness, you can rejoice that God is with you!
Colossians 2:7-9 (NLT)
Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.
Emptiness can only be filled by the Presence of God and His Fruits. This will take time and patience which I must admit are not my favorite things as this means that we must wait on the Lord. Spiritual growth takes time but always produces a harvest. The enemy is circulating lies and empty philosophies inundating your life with countless words that are designed as fiery darts to eat away at your faith. The only way to remain secure is to go deeper and form roots that make you unshakeable as might oaks of righteousness tapped into the Kingdom of God. (Isaiah 61:3) Even in seasons of drought when the tree seems like it is dying, empty of all leaves and bearing no fruit, it flourishes from the inside out by faith prospering in the Lord according to its source. In Christ, we have resurrection power that dictates prosperity in our life. No longer must we rely on what the world says or how things look in the natural, our hope is in the Lord. He will fill us up with the Good Things that God has promised and Christ secured on the Cross for our inheritance.
Philippians 4:11-13 (NLT)
Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Emptiness produces contentment in our life by allowing us to experience total dependency in Jesus Christ. I know that I could not have made it this far in the last two years had Jesus not carried me in those times of deep despair and complete brokenness. These are the times that walking by faith and not by sight are the only feasible option no matter how unrealistic to man. Contentment allows us to see beyond the details of today to the hope of our future by faith. It is the secret to living a prosperous life. This world is a distraction but when all is stripped away – I will come. I never was in need it was the fear of lack’s lie that convinced me otherwise. I can do all things through Christ but only if I depend fully on the Lord. Emptiness produces this trait and quality in the life of a believer when there is nothing left but to trust the Lord. Faith says I choose you Lord. Please fill me up!
Habakkuk 3:17-18 (NLT)
Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
When the Lord called Samuel he was just a boy. Although he had served Eli, the prophet, since birth, it was the first time that the Lord spoke directly to Samuel so the boy did not recognize the Lord’s Voice and kept running to Eli. But when Eli realized that God was speaking to Samuel directly, he told the boy to respond to God like this, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening!” If you are feeling empty today, I encourage you to listen for the voice of God who speaks life into empty and formless things producing light. His Spirit is working in you to establish a right relationship with the Lord and will fill every void left behind as things are removed from your life. The Promises of God far outweigh anything that is humanly produced in our life. The more we rely on the Spirit of God working in our life the more resurrection power we will experience in our natural life. Make your prayer today “not my will by Your Will God” this only magnifies God’s Power in our life as we submit all that we are to His Handiwork! It is the reason my laughter is not hysterical in response to the details of our life but genuinely from the Peace and Love that God is producing by faith and confident hope in His Will, Word and Way. Yes, I am empty but now fully prepared to be filled with the Creative, Resurrection Power of God just as He promised so I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! So go ahead and pour your life out before the Lord, He will lift you up and fill you with His Spirit anew so your heart will be overflowing in all things, at all times, and in every situation.
Romans 5:3-5 (NLT)
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.