There is More to Life than This ...
Updated: Oct 17
Have you ever found yourself saying "There has to be more to life than this?" There is MORE to life, and it can be found in God and His purpose for you. Learn how to allow God to fill your empty places with His love and purpose in today's blog.
A God Who Satisfies
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, so that it will be evident that such overwhelming power comes from God and not from us.
2 Corinthians 4:7
At the time I originally wrote this devotion, there was a song on the radio I just loved and would turn up to sing along every time I heard it. It was recorded by Chris Sligh and called, Empty Me … even as I can relate to every word of the song, the chorus especially echoes my own struggle and my own heart …
“Empty me of the selfishness inside,
every vain ambition
and the poison of my pride,
and any foolish thing my heart holds to …
Lord empty me of me
so I can be filled with you.”
God created us with a hunger and a thirst for Him. But until we find Him and truly know Him, we try to fill that void, that God-shaped space in our hearts and souls, with everything that doesn’t satisfy past momentary pleasure and with everything that doesn’t last.
John 4:1-42 records the story of Jesus Christ and the Samaritan Woman at the well. (I encourage you to read this story in John 4. In addition, The Chosen series - Episode 8 of Season 1 - depicts this moving story well.) Scripture says that it was noon when Jesus and His disciples arrived in Samaria. They were passing through Samaria, which was near the field Jacob had given to his son Joseph; and Jacob’s well was there. So, Jesus, exhausted from his travel, sat down at the well while the disciples went into town to buy food. A woman came out to draw water from the well. (John 4:5-6).
Okay, let’s think about this for a moment. We do not know her name. Scripture does not disclose any more than “a woman from Samaria.” She is alone. It is noon. It is hot. The sun is at its highest point in the day. Why would she come to the well at noon in the heat of the day? The women from the town came out in the cool of the early morning to draw water, not at noon. Perhaps shame was the reason. Perhaps she didn’t want to hear the other women whispering and snickering among themselves about her. She was a woman who had been married five times and was now living with a man who was not her husband. (John 4:16-18). Sounds like the kind of circumstances to feed those who gossip in any town in America …let alone 2000 years ago.
Jesus did not ask her why she came to the well alone and at noon. Instead, he said, “Give me a drink of water.” (John 4:7). “The woman from Samaria said to him, ‘How is it that you, a Jew, ask for water from me, a woman of Samaria?’ (For Jews don’t associate with people from Samaria.)” Jesus answered her, “If you knew God’s gift, that is, who it is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink of water,’ then you would have asked him: and he would have given you living water.” (John 4:9-10).
Not only is a Jew (who is also a Rabbi) asking a Samaritan for water, a man who appears to be alone is talking to a woman who has come to the well alone. Both of these aspects defied customs of the time. Then Jesus asks her for water first, before stating that He could give her living water. Let’s think about this. God is always the one to initiate a relationship with us. It started in the Garden of Eden, continued through the Old Testament tabernacle and the prophets and culminated in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
He asks us for a relationship. He asks us to surrender to Him. He asks us to give to Him whatever we have. He asks us to empty ourselves of pain, of the past, of sin … of whatever we are holding on to that we think will satisfy us. Why? He has something so much better for us! He asked her for a drink of water and in turn offered her living water! Her name could be any one of ours. A woman from _______. What is Jesus asking us to give Him, so He can in turn, fill us with so much more? The choice and how we will respond is always up to us.
Notice Jesus said to her, “I AM the living water” (John 4:13-14) … Water is the only substance that can fill every nook and cranny, every dark, hidden place, every crevice, every empty space. Jesus was saying that He alone could fill the emptiness, every void, every space in her heart and life. Have you ever noticed that when God fills us, we are satisfied? But when we try to fill ourselves with all that our human nature craves and desires, all that the world offers, all that our culture condones by popular consensus … we may be satisfied … momentarily … but we are left wanting more. Jesus Christ is the only one that satisfies.
Throughout His ministry, Jesus responded to people’s needs, their searching, their desperation, the cries for healing … “I Am” (Exodus 3:13-14 and John 8:58) … “I Am ____ however He could fill the need, “I Am the Bread of Life” (John 6:35. 41, 48, 51); “I Am the Living Water” (John 7:37); “I Am the Light of the World” (John 8:12), "I Am the Door of the Sheep." (John 10:7, 9) "I Am the Good Shepherd." (John 10:11)"I Am the Resurrection and the Life." (John 11:24); "I AM the Way, and the Truth and the Life." (John14:6) "I Am the true Vine." (John 15:1, 5). I AM.
What do you need God to be to you? What empty space in your heart or in your soul or in your life can He alone fill? Notice in John 4:28, she left her jar, her vessel at the well. My question is; what is in my vessel? What is in your vessel? Is what is in my vessel beneficial or useful to me? To others? To God? Would we be willing to lay those things down which are not honorable to God, healthy for us, or helpful to others? To pour those things out? Can I gently encourage you to pour those things out, so that God can pour more of Himself in? - I find Psalm 19:13-15 to be a searching prayer in this process.
Who can discern unintentional sins? Cleanse me from hidden faults.
Also keep your servant from presumptuous sins, so that they won’t control me. Then I will be blameless and free of great offense. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your presence,
O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
I encourage and challenge you to think about these questions:
What is in your life, your vessel that can be poured out? And what is it of God that can be poured in? How empty are you willing to get to be filled with everything God wants to fill you with?
When it comes down to it, our life here is just a vapor … are we going to live for ourselves or leave a legacy that points directly to Christ and God’s love? Will the cracked and broken vessels of our lives - skillfully put back together by the Master Potter’s hands and made whole - shine with His light? Are we going to focus on our own story? Or are we surrendering our lives day-by-day to be a part of His story?
I pray, oh Lord, empty us of ourselves and fill us with more of You, for you alone completely satisfy!
This blog is by Freedom to Flourish Life Coaching Founder and Christian Life Coach, Jen Stone-Sexton. She is currently accepting new clients. You can learn more about Jen here.
Jennifer Stone-Sexton © 2022. Freedom to Flourish Life Coaching. All Rights Reserved.
© Empty Me, by Chris Sligh and © LYRICSREG.COM – Used with copyright credit.
All Scripture references and quotations used with permission: Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern, Published by Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc., Clarksville, Maryland USA & Jerusalem, Israel
Photo Credits: Cover & Photo 4 by William Farlow on Unsplash | Photo 1 by Egor Myznik on Unsplash | Photo 2 Graphic Art by Morgan Howard | Photo 3 by Dana Katharina on Unsplash