Empty to Be Filled

You must empty yourself out in order to be filled more with Jesus. – Matt Williams


Matt once spoke about the necessity of remaining close to our Source of Life, Jesus, if we are to be leaders and disciples. One idea that continues to rattle my brain is the idea that in order to continually grow and be filled with Christ, I must first empty myself by taking a risk and allowing the Holy Spirit to move in my life in areas I can’t necessarily control.

It is easy for me to continue in spiritual disciplines, gathering head knowledge without pausing to reflect on the reason for the disciplines. Yet, theology that stops short of the heart and action results in intelligence without wisdom. Am I continuing in a knowledge-growing pattern without growing in my relationship with Christ, without putting action behind what I’ve been learning? As A.W. Tozer said, “The devil is a better theologian than any of us and is a devil still.” These are strong words for my knowledge-loving brain.

“It is easier to not take the risk to extend my emotional energy and wait to build relationships until I feel settled.”

These thoughts have left me wondering, in what areas am I willfully and deliberately stepping into ambiguity and taking a risk, knowing it will only be possible if God moves and fills me with Himself? Am I disciplining myself to win arguments and to better rationalize my faith in my own head or am I disciplining myself to be filled with the Creator of the universe and to grow in my relationship with Him?

I moved into a new house recently and we’ve said all along we want to get to know our neighbors. We know we will not live in this house forever and I’ve yet to live anywhere longer than nine months in the last six years. The temptation for me is to remain permanently temporary rather than temporarily permanent. It is easier to not take the risk to extend my emotional energy and wait to build relationships until I’m “settled”. But I am called to be an Ezer in every season of life—short and long-term. I can choose to live out my calling to invite, nurture, and partner in this season of temporary permanence.

In this way, I am risking my comfort, emotions, and the feeling of being “settled” in order to be filled with the sufficiency of Christ.

– Taylor Beard, Pelham

How does your own self-centeredness keep you from living out your calling to invite, nurture, and partner? In what areas of your life do you need to take a risk in order to see the Holy Spirit work on your behalf?