We’ve all done it. Maybe you did it today, and will do it again tomorrow. I’m talking about driving with that little symbol illuminated on your dash. With the economy and the new semi-frugal mindset in America, almost everyone can relate to this situation. You don’t want to fill up. You just want to get to point A and back home. If you’ve had your car long enough, you probably know exactly how much time between when that little light comes on, to when your car poops out. And to be honest, most of us do a pretty good job of running on empty and never actually running out of gas completely. Now, whether or not that’s the best thing for our vehicles is another story (mainly because I know nothing about cars). Yet, running on empty is common. And I would argue, that it is common spiritually as well.
This idea of being spiritually drained hits home for me. Running on empty in my spiritual life is easy and it probably occurs way more often than it should. And, although that’s not where I am at right now, I know that the reality of being in that place is something I will always have to maintain in my walk with Jesus. Here’s the thing, just like running low on gas, its a gradual decline, yet WE ultimately control the speed. Additionally, filling up our cars will always cost us more than we want. And just like gas prices, continuing to learn and develop our relationship with Jesus will eventually cost us more than we’re comfortable paying (time, energy, finances, career etc.). So how is it possible to feel “empty” as a Christian? Well, because we gradually forge ahead to “more important” things while acknowledging the reality that “filling up” might have an expense. Truth is, when we decide to put other things before God, its a sin. And sin in our life hurts our walk with God. I think it is also relevant to mention that the longer you drive on “empty”, the faster you are launching yourself into destruction. The sooner you realize you need to be closer to God or remove an idol, the easier and less painful the consequences will be. I wholeheartedly believe the longer you let sin dwell inside you, the bigger the foothold you place for Satan to jack you up! So, how do we fix this “empty” problem from happening altogether as Christians?
As I think back to my lowest points and most routine empty spiritual moments I see one dangerous and common characteristic with my mindset. At these points in my life I seem to see Jesus as a possession, rather than a person. I see Jesus as something I own and control rather than someone who bought me and loves me. When I start to get lazy and study, pray to, talk about, and love a possession I will always feel empty! (Its what the world does without Jesus). Possessions will always let me down. They will never fulfill or satisfy me. But, when I realize that Jesus is a real, living, and active being, it all changes! 1 Peter 1:8 says, “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” See, that verse to me, speaks volumes of how satisfying Jesus is! It says we are “filled” with “glorious joy”! Ephesians 3:18 states,“… grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” There it is again; fullness! I love this verse because it tells us that we need a better understanding of WHO Christ is so that we can be full of satisfying pleasures (aka: knowing God!).
You can’t put diesel into a car that needs gasoline. Empty your soul of the world, and sit at the feet of Grace and let your Father fill you up.
Jesus is the fulfiller. Of the law. And of your life.
Thought: Am I trying to substitute something in the place where Jesus belongs? What satisfies me more than Jesus?