"I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty." (Ruth 1:21a)
Naomi uttered those words, after she made the decision to return to Judah following the death of her husband and sons. Do you know how many times I've read this small book and those words have never resonated with me like they did this morning? (You may remember from a previous post of mine that Ruth is my favorite Old Testament book.) I'm actually choosing to make that a prayer of mine right now.
We're leaving for our beach vacation in two days, and I'm praying that as I leave very full (stuffed actually), that the Lord will use this vacation to empty me. I'm not just talking about those unwanted pounds (but, I'll take that too)...I'm talking about emptying me of those things in life that are keeping me from living this life He's given me to the absolute fullest! I'm so sick and tired of my human flesh getting in the way of victorious, Christian living. I know that I know that I know that He has huge plans for me, but before He can trust me to live out those plans, I have to completely surrender to Him. I've been trying (in my own strength, sadly) to do just that. But, it was in these words spoken by Naomi that I see the key missing piece...emptiness! I need to be completely empty of me...my thoughts, my desires, my dreams, my hopes, and my plans. I need to empty myself of the present daily distractions, the worries of the future, and the junk of the past. And, finally, I need to empty myself of anything and everything that keeps me focused on earthly things rather than those treasures in heaven. Once empty - I will pray for a fresh in-filling of God's Spirit. I don't expect this to be a one time occurrence. As a human, the sin will continue, but I pray that I will be more in tune to those slip ups and will more quickly ask to be emptied of me and refilled of Him!