Over the past 2 weeks I have spoken with several individuals struggling with emptiness though they were good Christians that were not living in sin. I would like to take a moment to write a few thoughts the Lord gave this morning.
We all face times of emptiness when we do not feel the Presence of God nor the fullness of His Joy. Not to worry, do not live in self-condemnation or despair. It is part of the journey with God into His Fulness.
There are times when God may withdraw the feelings of our Christianity and the sense of persuasion from the emotions of our soul. He does so so that our faith would not reside only in the senses of our soul, but that our faith and conviction would to go deeper into our Sprit where it would be to reside forever. This is described by Jesus when He said "Let these sayings sink down into your ears" Lk 9.44
There are many things that may cause emptiness: a post traumatic reaction of stress or depression where all of our soul is poured out such as Job: Job 30.16. It may be because of intensity of ministry such as Paul 2 Cor 1.8. It could be also be from betrayal such as Paul often felt though the Lord stood with him. Emptiness may also be a symptom of loneliness or neglect to nourish our soul with daily bread and the daily cross.
What are we to do during these times? The answer is quite straight forward in the scriptures.
Let's look at the 4 steps of Ephesians 3:17-19 "that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God"
First: define it. I am empty. Then act. Do not sit passively under the sway of the feeling or the lack thereof. Otherwise your soul becomes a vacuum and due to the laws of physics in nature, all empty spaces must be filled - with something. That means your soul, if passive, begins to suck in everything with no filter, the good, the bad and evil; Satanic thinking and projections.
What is our action? "That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith". We enter thought patterns and series of intentional thoughts that are based on Spiritual Truth (thinking in faith) that Jesus dwells with us and that He never leaves nor forsakes the believer. We stay our mind on Him through the truth of our position in Christ in love.
If there is something in our hearts that needs to be confessed - confess it quickly before God and let the current of communion once again flow thru our hearts.
Second: let the Holy Spirit shed abroad the Love of God into your heart by spiritual illumination. The steady intentional thinking with God about your unshakable position in Christ in Love will lead your soul down the road to getting “rooted and grounded in love”. This is something we have to do on a daily basis, maybe even a few times a day.
Thinking in faith and in the illumination of the Spirit we get planted into unchanging unconditional love.
Third: one of the best ways to experience fulness is in the Body of Christ. Paul writes here: “to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height…” - When we feel empty we need to draw near the Body of Christ and there we enter into the dimension of fullness. Where God dwells, in the midst of His Church.
In the midst of His Church we have the opportunity to see every facet and every side of His Love. When we are alone and we are empty we experience loneliness, not fulness.
“Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together” - this is the secret of dealing with emptiness
Fourth: lastly, it’s important to understand that God’s Love is not hindered by what it knows about a person. We hit the brakes when we find out something about a person that may cause us to judge. God’s love is not judgmental. It is free to pass what it knows about a person because of the Cross that satisfied God’s Justice.
So what we know about ourselves is surpassed by God’s Love. We may be blocking the Love of God towards us in an experiential way because of what we are conscious about in ourselves. 1 Jn 3.20 tells us that if our heart condemns us because of what it knows about us - know this that God is greater than our heart and knows all things. This is the Love of God that passes knowledge of what we know because He is greater knowing all things. What does God know about us. He knows He loves us.
When we practice these 4 truths we are on the road to having our emptiness filled unto all the fulness of God.