RESTARTS AT 55

God Shaped Void

Oct 22, 2020 | 0 comments

Luke 11:24-26

Return of an Unclean Spirit

24 “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ 25 And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. 26 Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first.”

I’ve heard many times that the hardest and longest 18 inches to travel is from your head to your heart.

We all know that change is hard. Change the way we act, change the way we think, change the way we talk.

But changing the way that we ARE, that is THE struggle.

I came across this passage the other day during my readings. I stopped and read it again, and again….

I’ve changed.

I know I’ve changed because I am not doing a lot of the things that I used to do that were “bad”, but is that enough?

What else do I need to do? What else needs to change?

A lot. The difference is that I’ve changed the big things. Drinking, drugging, lying, cheating, stealing, but I come across little things every day that I know I need to change, but I can justify them BECAUSE I have already changed those BIG things.

Does that make sense?

I know I should eat better, drink less soda, exercise, etc…

I know that I can be a better husband, father, brother, son, employee, person…

“Well, you should see how far I’ve come in the past 6 years!”
“I’m doing pretty good compared to how I used to be”

Being better than I was years ago is really not that big of a challenge. When one hits rock bottom, any improvement is a huge improvement!

But being better than I was yesterday?

We get comfortable about where we are. We figure that good enough is good enough. But is it?

When I read that Bible passage, what jumped out at me was that in recovery, we have to “clean house”. We have to take a long, hard look at our past and admit to God, ourselves and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

I’ve done that. But it doesn’t end there. That should be the START of the journey

Just like graduating high school is called commencement, which doesn’t mean “Yay! It’s over”. It means that it is time to start your life.

I can attest that just getting ones life in order does not guarantee that it will stay in order. That is where it needs to start.

Reading further into the passage, getting rid of that bad spirit by cleaning up my house is not enough. That spirit is going to find 7 more of his “friends”, each more nasty as the first and come back “home to roost” by reclaiming their space, which we were so nice enough to make nice and clean for them.

How can I keep this from happening again?

I can’t. Plain and simple, I can’t do it. No matter how hard I try to do things on my own, I cannot do it.

So why even try? Because I have to. Because I don’t want to go back to the way I was, I don’t want to live the rest of my life wondering about “what could have been”.

You might be thinking, but you just said that you can’t do it!?!?

Yup, I can’t. But I am learning how to rely on a power greater than myself to guide me through life. I am learning to rely on God.

I fight it still, even though I know it is what I have to do and must do in order to be a productive member of society. I try to take things back into my own hands all the time, and He lets me because that is the only way that I am going to learn and to be able to help others.

A long time ago I went on a retreat with a bunch of people in recovery. It was to a place called Menno Haven. The theme for the entire retreat was “God Shaped Void”.

As it was explained to me, when we remove something from our lives, be it alcohol and drugs, relationships, love of money, or anything else that causes that “empty feeling” inside, we usually try to fill it up with one of those other things. Maybe we start eating too much, maybe we isolate ourselves, or jump right into another relationship.

What was suggested is that there is an emptiness inside of us that nothing can fill. Like putting the last piece of a puzzle in and it being the wrong shape, no matter how hard we try it is just not going to fill that void. That’s because that void can only be filled by God. Hence:

GOD – SHAPED – VOID

So how do we fill that void with God? Easy, ask Him to fill it for you. That’s it, just ask Him every morning to fill your void and at night thank Him for doing it.

Even if you don’t believe it will work, do it anyway. What do you have to lose? Only takes a couple minutes, but the benefits could be enormous.

You don’t have to start quoting bible verses or condemn others who don’t or can’t believe in God. You don’t even have to tell anyone you are doing it.

One mantra I heard a while back is “God, I am open my heart to thee, please come and sit inside my heart” Substitute Jesus or Holy Spirit if that is you feel is necessary. But say it every day for a couple weeks.

Your heart is going to change….if you really want it to change.

Let Him in, might just be one of the best ideas you’ve ever had!