My blog has been a little quiet lately as I’ve spent many hours in the past few months preparing to speak at a ladies conference. I thought it would be appropriate to share with you some of my notes that I shared last weekend in NC.
The theme of the conference was drawn from the verse in Ephesians 3:19, “and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
To truly know Christ’s love for me (even though it is beyond fully understanding it. . .His love for us is that deep) and then to be filled with all the fullness of God. . . Oh, how I hunger for that! My heart burns with desire to truly live a life that is filled with all the fullness of God.
I am truly humbled to stand here tonight and share Jesus Christ with you. I feel like there are many others who could fill this job much better than I can. I’m such a work in progress. Honestly, I am a pretty big mess who is just beginning to catch glimpses of really understanding the love of God and how my Savior can take my messy, broken, and empty life and fill it with all the fullness of Himself.
I want you to know that I don’t have it all together. I’m daily struggling to find His fullness in the middle of deep pain, loss, and empty places. I can’t promise you that what I share will necessarily make you comfortable. There is nothing comfortable about brokenness. You may have to wrestle in your own heart with God about the empty places He reveals within yourself. But what I will promise you is that I will be very transparent and truthful with you about God’s working in my own life. I will do my best to draw our hearts to worship a God who is the Master at taking us from living on empty to living in all the fullness of God. I want us to experience more of God this weekend. He delights in giving us Himself!
Ephesians 1:23 says that Christ is the one who filleth all in all.
Ephesians 4:10 says, “He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.”
The Bible is full of stories that reveal that our God loves to take the empty and fill it!
-God filled the earth at Creation with His glory, with light, with creatures, and with mankind.
-God filled the tabernacle with His glory.
-In John 2, we find the first miracle of Jesus. He took empty waterpots and filled them with delicious wine.
-Ps. 81:10 says, “I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt; open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.”
-Lk 1:53 “He hath filled the hungry with good things.”
-Lk 3:5 “Every valley shall be filled.”
Christ desires to fill our lives with His fullness. He is FOR us—never against us! Christ is in me—the Hope of Glory! This is truth!
About seven years ago, my heart began searching to know more of God. I couldn’t quite identify the exact longings in my heart, but I knew my heart was not satisfied in its current state. I really was restless for more! God was creating a deep hunger to know more of Him in my life. He was beginning to awaken places in my heart that were dry and dead. As I think on those early days of my yearning for “more” of Jesus, I now know that God was sovereignly preparing my heart to walk through some deep places of pain and empty in order to receive more of His fullness.
In order for our lives to receive more of His fullness, we must first be completely emptied of anything that resembles ourselves. In order for Jesus to be the greatest treasure of our hearts, we need to experience brokenness—a complete stripping away of everything but Him. Only when we are broken and empty of self, can we then be filled with all His fullness. Because it is then, that He becomes Enough! He becomes the adoration of our heart! He becomes my all-in-all!
Because of the deep love that Jesus has for me and for you, He allows and often ordains us to experience emptiness. We face dry, desert seasons of life. We go through hard journeys where our gas (our own strength) runs out. We struggle with pain and heartache that we never dreamed we would face.
Why? What is His purpose for those dry and empty seasons in your life and mine?
The answer is this—Because He knows that living on empty then places us in a position to experience His filling!
Isaiah 58:11 says “And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.”
I love the paraphrase of this verse that says “I will always show you where to go. I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—firm muscles, strong bones. You’ll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry.” (Message)
This is my God! The God who satisfies. Who directs. Who makes you thrive again in places you were barely surviving! He loves taking our lives from empty to full!
I’ve found that in these empty places of life that He whispers to us and says, “I want you to know that it’s really not about what you DO for me. . .but who I AM to you.”
“Trust in me. I am the way, the truth, and the life. I am wonderfully sovereign. I am extravagant love. I am the Suffering Servant. I am satisfying rest. I am amazing grace. I am eternal hope.”
. . .to be continued.