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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