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June 2005 The Problem With Emptiness The Problem with Emptiness Hear the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel. Thus says the Lord, “What injustice did your fathers find in Me, That they went far from Me

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June 2005

The Problem

With Emptiness

the problem with emptiness
The Problem with Emptiness

Hear the word of the Lord,

O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel.

Thus says the Lord,

“What injustice did your fathers find in Me,

That they went far from Me

And walked after emptiness and became empty?"

(Jeremiah 2.4)

the problem with emptiness3
The Problem with Emptiness

Emptiness versus Substance

The Wicked are not so, but they are like chaff which the wind drives away (Psalm 1)

the problem with emptiness4
The Problem with Emptiness

Substance: Fullness of Life

"I have come that they might have life, and have it abundantly" (Jn 10.10)

“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.’” (Jn 7.38)

the problem with emptiness5
The Problem with Emptiness

Life: Expansiveness

Creativeness

Fruitfulness

Outreach

Orderly Replication

the problem with emptiness6
The Problem with Emptiness

Life: Responsiveness

Compassion

Moral Outrage

Companionship/Fellowship

Gratitude

Praise/Honor

Truth/Understanding

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The Problem with Emptiness

The Enemy of Responsiveness: Sin

"They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more." (Eph 4:18)

the problem with emptiness8
The Problem with Emptiness

The Weapon of Sin: Deceitfulness

"So that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin" (Heb 3:13)

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The Problem with Emptiness

The Weapon of Sin: Deceitfulness

That evil is power (e.g., vandalism)

That evil is actually good (e.g., manipulation)

That evil is not really that harmful

That evil is 'natural' and inevitable

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The Problem with Emptiness

Investments: Bad to Good

What you sow/reap:

Willful, 'obvious' sin --> Selfishness, Discipline

Pseudo-goods --> Disappointment, Dryness

Less-than-Best --> Sadness, Restlessness

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The Problem with Emptiness

Recovering from Emptiness

For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and dug out cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that can hold no water (Jer 2.13)

Before you go there: prevention, vigilance, engagement

As you are going there: honesty/prayer, regret, self-judgment

While you are there: honesty/prayer, reflection, resolve, return

After you are back: thankfulness to the Shepherd/Teacher

the problem with emptiness12
The Problem with Emptiness

Emptiness versus Substance

Substance: Fullness of Life

Life: Expansiveness

Life: Responsiveness

The Enemy of Responsiveness: Sin

The Weapon of Sin: Deceitfulness

Investments: Bad to Good

Recovering from Emptiness

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The Problem with Emptiness

Be not drunk with wine…

But be filled with the Spirit (Eph 5.18)

Being filled with the fruits of Righteousness (Philp 1.11)

…to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge,

so that you may be filled with

all the fullness of God (Eph 3.18)