The idea of being more godly is appealing. We just get rid of all the bad stuff, right? We just flee temptation, right? Sounds easy. As people it seems that we are always working so hard to eliminate all the junk in our lives. The quicker the fix, the better. Some of the most successful businesses in our nation have something to do with either shedding weight or stuff. So, why should our spiritual lives be any different? If we have a problem or something we’re suffering with…we will just find a book or set of instructions somewhere on how to cleanse it from our life.
Really, it can be a good place to begin. We should all desire to be cleansed and free from sin. But we should all know, by now, that empty does not equal clean. An empty heart is not righteous. An empty room is not fulfilling a purpose. Losing weight does not automatically make someone healthy. Reading a book does not transform a soul.
God has not designed empty beings. His plan is one of fulfillment. He has created us to not just be emptied of sinful things but to be filled with righteousness. From the beginning of time, when God spoke into the dark void, His plan has been one of filling emptiness with perfection. He declared His filled world to be good.
Knowing we would be a straying people in need of cleansing and some examples to live by, God gave us His Word. The prophet Ezekial had specific instructions from God to give to the Israelites: “And when they come there, they will remove from it all its detestable things and all its abominations. And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God” (Ezekial 11:18-20, emphasis added). As God gathered the people and removed the sinful things, He filled them with His righteousness. He never left His people empty. When God gives them a new heart and a new spirit, He is restoring them. God wants to fill His people with everything necessary to keep His commands.
God never leaves us empty. After removing the sin, He will fill us. He will restore us. He will give us everything necessary to obey Him.
When we’ve cleaned out a room or a drawer in our home, we cannot leave it empty. It’s cleanliness would not be admired for long. Junk would eventually make its way back, because emptiness does not have a purpose. Our hearts are the same way. The evil one will start moving his junk back in, as soon as we fail to fill our heart with God’s purposes and righteousness.
Wise cleaning takes place when a new purpose has already been established. As we confess our sins, we take the next step and ask God to fill us. If He is the One who cleanses us, He is the One who can repurpose us.
In Colossians 3, God gives us a new purpose. “If we have been raised with Christ,” we will follow His instructions. We will replace the things of this world, with the things of Heaven. His righteousness fills us. After telling us what to put to death, the sin to get rid of, Paul encourages us with what we can “put on then, as God’s chosen people…” When sin is taking up room in our life, it pretends to fill us. It takes up room, but never satisfies. The virtues that God fills us with are truly satisfying. Leading us in the way of the everlasting.
Designed to be filled, that we make walk in God’s statutes and keep His rules and obey them. Filled for a purpose…