I don’t know about you, but lately I have been having some mornings where I think: ‘I’m totally empty Lord’, ‘I have nothing’ and ‘what is more, I can’t fix this.’
Now, naturally we look at those and go, this feels like a really negative situation. As I say that I have nothing within (as I did this morning), I feel a range of things. Potentially helpless, I feel guilty and I feel like I lack value to God.
But here is the thing. The gospel actually flips all this on the head. You see in the world’s economy, actually in any economy, having nothing is a bad admission. But in the Christian life it is the one qualification for life. I realised this as I started speaking the gospel to myself (which I hope is a habit you are also developing.)
Feel free to happily laugh out loud as you realise how good the gospel is.
‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’
‘Blessed are those who mourn.’
‘Blessed are the meek.’
‘Give us today our daily bread’ (I mean, aren’t we supposed to go out and get it ourselves?)
‘I have not come to call the righteous’
‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor’
ALL OF THESE and more, are reasons why being empty and being full are remarkably close in the Christian life.
Jesus has come for those who know that they are running on empty and far from the fuel station. Those who believe that the electricity metre has run out and there is nothing to put in.
But oh, we might object: ‘Emptiness is only the way into the Christian life’. Now it is true that God fills us with his spirit, but that is not incompatible with feeling spiritually bankrupt. Remember, who the Pharisees were? They were the guys who thought they had made the inside, but were shown to be on the outside, because they believed that they were self righteous.
By looking away from ourselves to a saviour everyday and even having the painful experiences of emptiness we are able to go to another for supply.
‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.’