I saw a facebook post this week that got me thinking. It was a pretty little graphic with a quote that read something to the effect of “Lord, empty me so that I can be filled by you.” It reminded me of the song “Empty Me” by Chris Sligh. It’s a common thought really, the idea that we need to empty ourselves of all of our baggage, all of our insecurities, all of our sinful nature, so that we can then be filled with Christ. Sounds good, right? But it’s not really. It’s exactly this kind of thinking that keeps people from coming to church, and ultimately, from coming to follow Christ. Furthermore, it’s simply not biblical. Jesus didn’t say that we could come to Him once we cleaned up our acts and got our lives straightened out. Instead, Jesus said,
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” –Matthew 11:28
Take this demonstration, for instance. Imagine a tall glass, full of juice. The juice represents our sin, our baggage, our problems, our habits, shortcomings, you name it. It is full of all that comes with our sinful, human nature. Next to the glass is a huge pitcher of oil. The oil represents God’s love that needs to be poured into us. Do we need to dump out the glass of junk in order to accept God’s love? No way! Instead, God just pours that love into us, making our cup overflow. The best part is, the oil, the love, that is poured into us, goes right down to the bottom of the glass, to the foundation, if you will, and replaces what was there before. And that sinful junk we were carrying around is the first thing that gets forced out of the top of the glass. We don’t have to figure out a way to empty the glass ourselves. The more we fill our glass with the oil (the Lord), the less of the juice (our sinful nature) will remain. And soon, our glass will be completely filled, and overflowing with God’s uncontainable love.
Basically, we as Christians need to change our thinking. We don’t need to fix ourselves before we surrender to Christ. We come to Christ as we are, and He will do the fixing. Church is for the broken, not the perfect.
“but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” –Romans 5:8
Today, I am thankful that God loved me enough as a flawed, prideful, imperfect sinner to die for me so that my sins could be washed away. I am thankful that I don’t need to be emptied, because with God’s love, I will be overflowing. I am so thankful to know that He alone is perfect, as is His perfect love for me. Can I get an amen?