S175P5 – Filling the empty space: service

2 Cor. 9:10-13

He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you.

If you have not noticed yet, there is a pattern when it comes to this feeling of spiritual emptiness.  We already know that we are not spiritually empty if we are filled with the Spirit.  That is not up for debate.  God lives within us and so does his kingdom.  Any feelings of emptiness we experience are a symptom of something else.  We see that there is this tactic of the enemy and our own flesh to make us think that we have nothing within us to pour out.  This certainly can be a battle with regard to service.  I think most of us would define service as giving in some way, so the sensible expectation is that one first needs something to give.  If we are Christians who love the Lord, there certainly is something we always have available to give.

This passage tells us that God enriches us for service and generosity.  It is He who gives us what we need to give to others.  If we fall for the deception that we have nothing to give in service because we feel empty, there are two blessings we will miss.  The first blessing belongs the one who would have received our act of service.  The second blessing is the thankfulness which grows in us through the process.  Yes, our service to others should generate thankfulness toward God for his provision and his allowing us to partner with him to provide for others.  This actually fills us, which is an obvious solution to feelings of emptiness.  Allowing God to give to others through us fills them and us, and it is all for the glory of the God who makes it possible.

All of these things we should force ourselves to do when we feel a void inside us are really about trust.  We must ask ourselves whether we trust God to give us what we need to walk full of faith when it seems that we are not full at all.  The truth is that we do none of this out of our own strength or ability, and that is quite the comforting truth.  Availability and malleability are what God wants.  If you have nothing to give, perhaps that is how it should be because then you know that He is the one who has done the work.  Father, give us faith and trust to be available to move in your service at all times knowing that You will work in the servant and the served for your glory.