(Gen 31:42 KJV) Except the God of my father, the God
of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent
me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labour of my hands,
and rebuked thee yesternight.
Here we see a passage in the discourse between Laban and Jacob. Laban was as
shrewd as Jacob was and had tried to get as much out of Jacob for as little
as possible. It is like today’s corporations, those who do the least get
paid the most and those who do the most get paid the least. Laban was so
wrong in his dealings with Jacob that unless the Lord was with Jacob, Laban
would have sent him away with nothing for all the work which he did for him.
This is how the world operates. As Christians, we walk on a spiritual plane
which transcends the worldliness of the world. God has elevated His children
to Heavenly status, even while we are still here on Earth.
(Eph 2:6 KJV) And hath raised us up together,
and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Even though God has raised us up, this world can cause us to feel very
empty. As Laban would have desired to send Jacob out empty, the world, with
all its traps and enticements, will send the Christian out empty.
Have you ever felt spent resulting in a feeling of emptiness? It can happen
as we go from one situation to another. Many Christians are walking around
empty today which is the consequence of tying ourselves to close to this
world. The Lord Jesus stated that He would never leave us nor forsake us and
the Holy Spirit is given to us as a pledge or a seal all the days while we
sojourn on this earth. Yet, many of us, myself included, sometimes feel like
we are at the end of our rope and that the Christian life is not being as
abundant as we thought it would be. I feel sorry for those in churches where
they preach an emotional Gospel where everyone feigns outward joy and
happiness, and then when reality of being in a sin cursed world hits home,
they are ill-equipped to deal with it.
If you notice, when I spoke of being empty, I always used the word “feeling”
because the emptiness we feel is a feeling and not God forsaking us.
Emptiness can creep up on a Christian if we become extremely entangled in
the world system, and I am not necessarily speaking of engaging in sin. I am
speaking maybe of those who find fulfillment in their jobs to the point of
euphoria and then when the company closes, they are left with an empty
feeling. A person might be married and almost worship the ground their
spouse walks on, then one day that spouse dies or leaves for another, then
the other spouse is left with a searing emptiness in their life. Temporarily
it may be a legitimate feeling but after a while, if it does not begin to
wane, then there might be a tincture of idolatry in our life which causes us
to refuse to accept the situation.
Those scenarios probably happen thousands of times each day and we never
give them a second thought until it happens to us. We can understand an
unbeliever living an empty life, even if they have all the embellishments.
People in this life envy the wealthy such as Donald Trump who lives a lavish
lifestyle because he is a billionaire. When we look behind all the gold
doorknobs and the luxury, we will see an empty life. Unless he becomes
saved, what will go into eternity with him? Nothing! I am not picking on him
but he is a representation of what people crave in this life. Just look at
all the people who play the lottery in hopes of winning millions of dollars.
When the lottery goes up into the hundreds of millions, sometimes you will
see lines around the block waiting to purchase a ticket. If you are a
Christian and you play the lottery, think on this, what kind of a testimony
could you have if you won the lottery? How could you talk about faith in
God? You claim the money would not change you, but it will. First, you would
pay off your bills. Secondly, you would buy a new car, maybe a BMW or a
Mercedes. Thirdly, you would buy a new home and move in with the affluent.
Fourthly, your new lifestyle will have no place for God and then you will
understand the empty lifestyle. Don’t say this wouldn’t happen to you,
simply because we are all still vessels of clay.
We can create an emptiness in our life by what we invest our time in. I
remember when I was an unsaved teenager and I first received my Ham Radio
license. I was all pumped up and I couldn’t wait to get on the air and speak
with those in different parts of the country and maybe the world. My license
lapsed in 1986 but this past January I retook the test and received my
Amateur Extra License. I immediately went and purchased a Ham radio set and
used it in my car. Now, this time around it did not hold the same excitement
or interest for me as it did when I was unsaved. As I listened to the
chatter on the ham bands, I realized that it was just idle chitchat and most
of the time the conversation was about antennas and the radio sets. I
thought for a moment, how boring it really is. Now I am not saying that Ham
radio is a bad hobby, in fact, I would encourage anyone to get their
license. What I am saying is that idle chitchat is just that, no matter what
medium is used such as CB or even news talk shows. It is all the speech of
the world and there is an emptiness in the words.
As Christians when we speak about worldly things, we can always see those
things in light of the Lord. There are many Christian nets on Amateur radio
that a Christian can join when they receive their license. A friend of mine
recently told me something about the majority of his Christian friends. He
said that he is unable to speak about the Bible with them for any length of
time. They either revert to worldly things such as sports or they just
excuse themselves. He told me that the majority of Christians he knows have
never read through the Bible. If a Christian does not know the Bible, then
how could they ever know the God of the Bible? This is why many Christians
are empty in their Christian lives because other things always supplant
their reading and studying of Scripture. This does not mean we never read
any other materials but we must have our priorities in order. When we read
and study the Bible we are building a foundation for living by which we can
filter all of life through.
Here is a quick Bible quiz for you. A Jehovah’s Witness comes up to you and
says that he can prove from his version that Jesus is less than God. How
would you respond when he shows you this verse.
(1 Cor 15:28 KJV) And when all things shall be
subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that
put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
A Roman Catholic comes up to you and says that Mary did not have any
children after the Lord Jesus Christ. How would you respond?
An Evolutionist or Theistic Evolutionist comes up to you and says that the
six days of creation are long periods of time. How would you respond?
A Charismatic comes up to you and says he or she had a vision and a dream.
How would you respond to that?
If you are unable to give a clear response to these questions, then you have
an empty testimony. A substantive testimony will be able to give an answer
to these questions. Now, it must be kept in mind that the truth of the
answer does not depend upon the person accepting that answer, it is based on
what is taught from Scripture, whether the other person accepts it or not.
This is why as Christians we are to be able to give a response to any query
asked of us. If you don’t know the answer, be honest, not argumentative, and
say that you will get back to them. Too many Christians are Biblically empty
and world full, and this must be reversed. This is not to say, that we are
not to excel in our professions, but it must be done in concert with our
Christian walk, not in lieu of it. We need to take an inventory of our
Christian walk, especially if we are experiencing an emptiness. Once we
begin to refill our spiritual tanks, we will notice a strengthening of our
walk and then we will be as useful to the Kingdom of God as we are to the
world. Think about it! (11/19/04)