Live Full or Live Empty

Most people would think the answer is obvious. One is how life should be lived while the other you’ll do your utmost to avoid. That is according to the world. We have been educated by the world to live full. Ads aim to touch on this facet of mankind, that desire to live a full life: posters depicting beautiful homes and grand vacations, magazines and the Internet offering a plethora of pleasures beyond one’s imaginations and an experience of a lifetime. To the world, living life to the full is living without limits, be it acquisition of material wealth, shopping ’til you drop, seeing the world, pampering and lavishing oneself through cosmetic procedures and supplements to prolong youth and vitality …the list is endless.

(image from Google)

And living empty? It is not what you think it is.

What if we are called by God to live another kind of adventure, one that is foreign to the ways of the world? One which Christ actually lived? What if the will of God is not for us to enjoy life to the fullest but to give ourselves to Him and others? You would think that’s a grand quest and one which we can’t possibly attain. It is grand. But all things are possible with God.

If you asked me these questions ten years ago at the height of my career, foreign travels, and shopping to the max, I would have balked. And if you had forced me to leave that life, you would have carried me pummelling and violently flailing. So, I understand that it’s quite impossible to make the world live otherwise.

I have been faithfully following the Lord since I received Him as my Lord and King and personal Savior ten years ago. My life He has turned upside down whether I liked it or not. There had been resistance, you see. But who hath resisted his will? For ten years He’s been severing my affections for worldly things and showing me how to live according to His ways.

Now I’m finally getting it, though the process has been really slow. God is calling us to live empty. He showed us how when He walked on earth. He emptied Himself of the grandeur of heaven and came to live with us. He emptied Himself of His crown and His royal robes and came and wore dusty sandals and homespun tunic. He emptied Himself when He poured out His life as an offering for our sins so we might live.

And we are to live like Christ lived. To be conformed to His image.

For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Rom. 8:29, emphasis mine)

To live empty is not to live with a gaping hole deep within us bereft of all hope and life’s meaning. To live empty is to be a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is [our] reasonable service (Rom. 12:1), poured out for others like a drink offering. To live empty is to offer up everything you have within you for the service and glory of God. Every talent, every gift, every prayer, every heartbeat. Whatever is in your hand, a loaf of bread and a piece of fish or a basket of them. You offer willingly and the Lord will multiply them.

To live empty is to be continuously opening our hands and hearts to God to receive His grace. To live empty is to be endlessly filled by God with things that cannot be valued: peace, joy, love, spiritual power, wisdom, anointing.

So choose: live full or live empty?

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Journey with Jesus,


  1. Oh, I just found this Rina & I’m so excited to offer you what I’ve been meditating on lately; John the Baptist said basically that he needed to decrease, but the Holy Spirit (or Jesus in him) must increase. That is the great part! The more our selfish nature decreases in us, the more God pours into us; rivers of water, oil overflowing, the oil of JOY, cup OVERFLOWING! JESUS IN US! Joy unspeakable. God has given me so much joy lately, the joy of my salvation. But I know this is not only for me to enjoy, it is to share with others to inspire them, that they too may “grab hold of eternal life”, in Jesus! Love & prayers, Cynthia

    • RinaPeru says:

      This is beautiful, Cynthia – thanks for sharing! Yes, I want to think about this, too: John the Baptist decreasing and the presence of the Lord in my life ever increasing! Amen! Blessings to you!

  2. Great Post! Amen! It is only when we fully give ourselves to Jesus’ purpose and realize our life is not our own that we fin true fulfillment and contentment!!

  3. Wow! This is fabulous. It is so countercultural. To live empty. To empty ourselves. In a world where accumulating and increasing is a way of life. Yet, you have written profoundly about what it means to follow Jesus and know true discipleship. Amazing!
    Thanks so much for sharing at Essential Fridays.
    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions

    • RinaPeru says:

      It is where the Lord has been gently guiding me through, Mel, how He wants me to understand my suffering: to live empty and not hanker after the things of this world.

  4. Barbie says:

    You’ve given me much food for thought. Such powerful words. Blessings!