Emptiness

Recently I’ve been thinking about the idea that Christians need to empty themselves of all their worldly ambitions and attachments in order to truly know the greatness and glory of Christ and to be truly ready for him to come again. If we allow distractions – family, career, money, possessions, healthy living, hobbies, or whatever – to cloud our hearts and our minds so that our treasure is in the wrong place and so that we have little time left over for God, then we are not really enjoying our relationship with him as we ought to and as he has invited us to. There are a couple of passages in Luke which have led me to think about this: Luke 5:1-11 (the calling of the first disciples); Luke 6:20-26 (where Jesus talks about blessings on the poor and woes on the rich); Luke 8:14 (Parable of the Sower: seeds on weedy ground get choked); Luke 9:57-62 (Jesus talks about the cost of following him); Luke 17:30-37 (Jesus talks about his second coming). When Jesus talks in Luke 17 about the revealing of the Son of Man, he says ‘On that day no-one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no-one in the field should go back for anything’ (verse 31). He is saying that if we consider our worldly interests and cares to be of greater importance than Christ, our priorities are totally incorrect. ‘Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it’ (verse 33). We need to consider Christ above all the things that make a part of our lives on this earth. I think about this as an emptying because we need to be prepared to put aside our dreams, ambitions, attachments, values and desires in order to elevate Christ to his rightful place at the centre of our lives. If we are ever at risk of putting any of these things before Christ, we need to re-evaluate.

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