“I firmly believe that the moment our hearts are emptied of pride and selfishness and ambition and self-seeking and everything that is contrary to God’s law, the Holy Spirit will come and fill every corner of our hearts; but if we are full of pride and conceit and ambition and self-seeking and pleasure and the world, there is no room for the Spirit of God; and I believe many a man is praying to God to fill him when he is full already of something else. Before we pray that God will fill us, I believe we ought to pray that He would empty us. There must be an emptying before there can be a filling. And when the heart is turned upside-down and everything that is contrary to God is turned out, then the Spirit will come.”
In my opinion, it’s the biggest bane to the life of the modern Christian. We’re taught to add more and more to our lives because simplicity is a sign of laziness. Those who multitask well are usually better paid and looked up to as someone who can do it all. But there’s one aspect of this lifestyle that can be a negative and create difficulty in our walk as a Christian. When we’re used to being full, having a busy career, a full weekend each week and a new project constantly on the table, we’re more likely to simply add God to our lives as an afterthought.
As the quote above teaches, God deeply desires to fill us with his Spirit. He’s fully aware of the struggles we face in this life. He’s completely knowledgeable that Satan has many crafty ways to keep us busy and our minds off of Christ. As Mr. Moody so succinctly put it, we should pray for God to empty us before we ask Him to fill us. Our priority is not just to fit God in somewhere but to have Him at the center of our lives.
So let’s be honest. That’s much easier said than done. We’re conditioned to act like the rest of the world. We’re taught that the busy people are the ones who are successful. We’ve got to change our mindset. We must be transformed (Romans 12:1-2). We can be busy but we should be busy for God. Our thoughts, our actions, our responses should radiate out from a God-centered life. When we empty ourselves and fill that void with God, his love will shine through us to the world.