There are days I don’t feel spiritual as I start the day. If I am honest most days I show up with bible, coffee, my quiet time journal . . . and an empty, needy heart. So very empty and needy. Oh, and did I mention dark. Yes, confession is needed about so many things . . . little creepy, hidden sins that I had better not ignore. I just have to pour out my heart to Jesus who meets me where I am. Needy and Empty.
The Blessing of Emptiness
Showing up matters, and being honest about who we are is just as important. God knows, so we don’t need to act like we are something we aren’t.
Recently I was listening to a podcast of a talk Elizabeth Elliott gave many years ago. She admitted that she didn’t always feel spiritual when she got up to meet with Jesus. She approached God telling Him how she really felt, lifting up her burdens and confessing her sin. She was honest about her lack and her need. Elizabeth has been speaking into my life since the early days of me coming to Christ. She is one of my heroes of faith and once again, I learned from her authenticity, teaching, and wisdom.
I am learning to come to Him just as I am . . . needy and empty. No pretense, just an honest heart about feeling empty, burdened, and needing Him so very much.
I was actually encouraged when I read something about neediness yesterday. How good of God to bring these words to me just as I was in the process of writing this blog. This is from Oswald Chambers’ If You Will Ask – “A great many people do not pray because they do not feel any sense of need. The sign that the Holy Spirit is in us is that we realize we are empty, not that we are full. We have a sense of absolute need. We come across people who try us, circumstances that are difficult, conditions that are perplexing, and all these things awaken a dumb sense of need, which is a sign that the Holy Spirit is there.”
Who would have thought? Realizing and acknowledging our true state of emptiness and neediness is actually a good thing when it comes to our relationship with Christ.
It’s An All Out War
It is hard to acknowledge my lack of discipline. I easily get distracted and fail to pray as I should. There is a battle to focus my mind and listen to the Holy Spirit as I read God’s word. It’s truly a battle. If we are prepared for war and are suited up in the full armor of God, we will overcome. There is no way we can win this battle without the full of armor of God protecting, enabling, and strengthening us. The enemy is out to distract, defeat and discourage. It’s vital to be alert and mindful of his schemes. We can recognize his attacks and call it out for what it is.
Romans 12:2. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
2 Corinithians 10:5 “ We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
I Need Some Direction Here
We come to Jesus . . . admitting our need. Then, we look up – taking our eyes off of ourselves and this world. We look to God to change our mindset and allow us to recognize we lack. It’s then that He can fill us up with His life, love, strength, power and joy.
He renews our mind with His word. He fills our empty soul and brings hope and purpose to the day.
We don’t have to come all put together and prepared. We only have to come . . . empty and needy . . . and Jesus puts us together and prepares us for the day.
One more word from Oswald Chambers about looking to Jesus to find what we need . . .
“Are you painfully disturbed just now, distracted by the waves and billows of God’s providential permission, and having, as it were, turned over the boulders of your belief, are you still finding no well of peace or joy or comfort; is all barren? Then look up and receive the undisturbedness of the Lord Jesus. Reflected peace is the proof that you are right with God because you are at liberty to turn your mind to Him. If you are not right with God, you can never turn your mind anywhere but on yourself. If you allow anything to hide the face of Jesus Christ from you, you are either disturbed or you have a false security.” My Utmost for His Highest
As I am honest with God about my state of being and begin to ask Him for what I need, He comes and fills me up. He is always faithful to give me a new perspective. He provides a new outlook on life . . . a new energy for the day ahead as I choose to worship and turn my attention to Him and off of myself.
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
Helen H. Lemmel
O soul are you weary and troubled
No light in the darkness you see
There’s light for a look at the Savior
And life more abundant and free
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in his wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of his glory and grace.
Come as we are . . . empty. Let Him fill us as we confess fear, doubt, insecurity, lack of motivation, unconcern, our deepest need and our heaviest burdens. Bring it to Jesus and receive life in His love, peace, strength, and joy.
Prayer for Today
Jesus, my life is yours. I am yours. Apart from you I can do nothing. I come needing your life to bring me to life today. This world is in turmoil, and the needs are so great. It overwhelms my heart to consider the suffering of so many around the globe. The burdens of life drain me and leave me feeling weary. Father, I am empty and confess my heart struggles with fear, control, anger, doubt, pride, a critical spirit, selfishness, worry, striving, and unforgiveness (the list can be long . . . specifically what does God bring to mind today where you have had a bad attitude, said the right thing with a wrong heart, or an area of disobedience). With your help Lord, I lay my sin at the foot of the cross, admitting that choosing to hang on to any of it separates me from you and your best for my life. I want to walk in freedom with God’s peace and the joy of knowing who you are, Jesus. If I hang on to sin, my prayers will be hindered. Prayer is my lifeline. It is the greatest work we can do and I want to pray big prayers that move the hand of God in the lives of those I pray for. Help me follow you, Lord, wherever you lead me. Help me live with purpose today and glorify you in all I do. Be thou my vision, be my strength. Lord, go before me in all I do, opening my eyes and ears to your voice so that I will see and hear the work of the Holy Spirit in and around me today. In Jesus’ name I pray.
With a heart full of Hope,
Monica and Chuck