Emptiness vs. Fullness

Emptiness. It’s the pulse of worldly religions (along with works-righteousness). Worldly emptiness is emptying as a means for finding rest and inner power. It’s finding that inner blankness through which harmony with self and others can blossom.

God never requires that we empty ourselves for the purpose of finding ourselves. Godly emptiness is surrender and repentance (a leaving behind of the old ways) for the purpose of receiving his fullness, of becoming more like him. The end goal of godly emptiness is actually fullness—of the fruit of the Spirit, the presence of God, and the character of Jesus.

It is interesting that when the apostles chose seven men to serve beside them (see Acts 6:3 for the account), they chose not men who were in touch with their inner selves, emptied of worldly concerns, but “men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom.” Full men.

Luke 2:40 gives us a picture of what it means to be a child of God.

Luke 2, 40

As we grow up into Christ, the head of all things, we are ever filling with the wisdom of God and know in increasing measure his grace upon us.

We are in the midst of the season of Lent. Some view this cross-focused time as an opportunity to empty oneself of busyness, distractions, or the things that hinder. Indeed, it is biblical to rid ourselves of these things for the sake of pursuing Christ. But I prefer to approach Lent from another direction—as a season of filling. A season where God’s grace pours in through focused meditation on Christ’s sacrifice. The more we are filled with Christ, the less there is room for anything else. Being saturated with the grace and love of God vaccinates us against the anxieties and noise around us.

The world says, be a broken cistern. Let the bad flow through you and out.

Jesus says,

“I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

And life abundant comes because Jesus takes the filth away from us as we repent and ask him to. But he doesn’t leave us empty. He fills us.

Friends, let us not capitulate to the world’s suggestion that emptiness brings peace. The fullness of Jesus Christ brings peace, and life, and abundance.

Be filled with the Spirit today.

“From the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” (Colossians 1:9)

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