by Brandy Webb
I’m trying to learn a priceless lesson that Jesus taught when He walked the earth: “Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty’” (John 6:35). I call this the “never empty” scripture. Those who choose to come to Jesus with all their heart and soul will never run on empty. The reason I have been thinking about this is that I know there are a lot of self-help books and studies out there that warn of the dangers of becoming empty by helping others too much. And it actually got me to thinking, is “emptying oneself” for the good of others actually a bad thing and is it completely possible?
Now, before I go on, I am not saying being a doormat for someone nor am I saying tolerating abuse in any form. What I am saying is, I don’t believe that you can fully empty yourself out by loving and serving others in a Godly/scriptural way. Doing this may empty out your carnal flesh, habits, negative way of thinking, etc., but it allows for God’s Spirit to grow, to expand, and to fill up all those “empty carnal crevices” with life fulfilling qualities. When we stop ourselves from doing good out of fear that it may drain us, we are limiting God’s ability to make us strong when we are weak (2 Corinthians 12:10).
God desires us to love Him above all things and then to love our neighbor, which requires us to put others first, to serve them, and to trust that God will then fill us up with the “waters” that never go dry and the “bread” that never spoils. This isn’t easy because it goes against every fiber of our carnal being which believes: “I must first take care of myself, and then take care of others.” But what if the very fact of helping your fellow neighbor is what actually helps you become filled and strengthened? What if serving others is what actually fills your faith to the brim that your cup overflows? What if by “being poured out like a drink offering” is what fills you with complete gladness and joy like it did for Paul (Philippians 2:17).
The truth is, if we put our trust in God, and we strive to walk in the footsteps of our Messiah, we will never go empty. We will be overflowing with their Spirit that it will be impossible for us to run on empty. It doesn’t mean we won’t ever feel tired. Even the Messiah took breaks and rested, but His tiredness never stopped Him from serving. He filled Himself up with prayer and kept right on going because He knew God would give Him strength. Maybe this belief is what is required for us to tell a “mountain” to move, and it will move.
When we face our fear of running on empty, we can say, “I’m not afraid because God is my strength (Psalm 28:7). He will lift me on eagle’s wings (Isaiah 40:31). I will run, and I won’t grow weary because nothing is impossible with my God (Matthew 19:26), whom I serve.”