YOU GOTTA BE EMPTIED BEFORE YOU CAN BE FILLED!

Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death.

Philippians chapter 3, verses 8 thru 10; from the New Living Translation (NLT)

In the beginning of the Koinonia (that’s what it was called before it was called “the church”), one of the bedrock beliefs was that in order to be saved, and in order to be filled with The Holy Spirit, one had to empty themselves. Without emptying everything inside, there was no room for Jesus. Simple. Right? Ever heard the term “hoarders”? Maybe you’ve seen an episode or two of the TV series known as “Hoarders”. And from those who have, I’ve heard the question asked multiple times: “How do they live like that?” Hoarders’ homes are messy; some might say even disgusting. But hoarding isn’t limited to homes.

There are those I call “Spiritual Hoarders” and their daily lives are just as messy–and just as disgusting. Yes, even in some churches. I’m not talking about that space where members want to get rid of stuff and think, “The church can use this!” I’m talking about what they are hoarding in their hearts and minds. Here is just a very small sampling of what people hoard in their hearts and minds:

  • Church Traditions
  • Failures
  • Fear
  • Guilt
  • Selfish Desires
  • Laziness
  • False Humility
  • Their Own Way Of Thinking

And the melancholy results are just as messy and disgusting as those you see in that TV series. None of this, or a billion other things can remain in us if we want Jesus to live in our hearts and to fill us with His Presence, The Holy Spirit. Some hoard “that’s the way we’ve always done it”! Some hoard “I want to keep my sexual desires”! Some hoard “I am capable of understanding God without what the Bible teaches”. And all that and other “stuff” keeps filling up the spaces of hearts and minds until there is no room to get around.

That’s what Paul was writing about to the Philippians. He hoarded a lot of stuff! Read what he was hoarding in his heart and mind:

I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.

Philippians chapter 3, verses 5 and 6; NLT

But on his way to Damascus, he came face to face with the hoarder he had become! In his blindness he saw that his only need was for Jesus. So he took out all that garbage–all of it! He knew without a doubt, that The Holy Spirit couldn’t–WOULDN’T–live in him until he got rid of all “his stuff”. And what about you, dear reader? What stuff are YOU hoarding? What have you not got rid of in your mind and heart? If you want to see our culture change, if you want to see a revival break out across the land–it’s simple! Just remember that YOU gotta be emptied in order to be filled. Stained glass windows nor how you feel won’t get you into God’s Kingdom. But Jesus will. But you gotta be emptied before you can be filled!

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5 thoughts on “YOU GOTTA BE EMPTIED BEFORE YOU CAN BE FILLED!

  1. Giving up what we have hoarded is what frightens us, keeps us from dedicating ourselves to God. Paul gave it up when he recognized that it was all useless garbage. Each of us has to have the same epiphany. Most I suspect have to have that same epiphany over and over again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good post Brother. We are also told by Paul in that same epistle to the church at Philippi that we are to have the same mindset of Christ, then to show how that works, he went on to tell how Christ, himself, emptied himself of His divine prerogatives, being equal with God but yet took on the form of a servant. The heart of a true servant cannot be be full of oneself.

    Liked by 2 people

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