Running on empty is not a good thing.
Years ago when I was single, I was driving in town and all of the sudden my car sputtered, coughed, and then STOPPED.
I know nothing about cars, so I had no idea what the problem could be, but I assumed I had engine trouble.
I was teaching at a Christian school far away from my parents, so I called my pastor and told him my car was dead and I needed help. He came to my rescue and the first question he asked was,
“Do you have gas in your tank?”
“Oh yes, I have gas,” I replied.
My dad always said he doesn’t feel sorry for anyone who runs out of gas because you can see if you need to fill up! I tried to live by the good principle of keeping the tank full, and was sure that I hadn’t stooped to this negligent nature of not watching how empty my tank really was!
So, after my pastor did all the checking he could on the engine, he decided to look at the gas tank level. It was on empty. I can still remember the embarrassment I felt. No matter how much I said the tank had gas, the truth was eventually revealed.
Empty is never good. Think about it…
- Empty cupboards
- Empty house
- Empty wallet
- Empty life
- Empty words
Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness:
but a faithful man who can find?
Proclaiming our own goodness is using empty words. They come from the person who says they’re full, but they’re running on empty.
- I go to church.
- But their life is their own the rest of the week.
- I’m a good person.
- But they fail to realize that all are sinners in need of a Savior.
- I’m better than _______.
- They compare themselves to others instead of God’s standard.
- I’m a Christian.
- But they live their life as they please.
- There’s little desire to grow, to be in God’s Word, or to talk to God in a relational way.
- In a trial they fall apart.
- In difficulty they are weak because they are far from God and they operate in their own strength and get what they can do, rather than what God wants to do.
- They look just like an unbeliever in their lifestyle, their activities, conversations and desires.
If we’re honest, we all run on “empty” from time to time. The encouragement here in this Proverb is not to say you’re full, when you’re really not. We must be honest and admit the need. When we confess the need we call it what God calls it – this is repenting and turning from our own way. Then we open our arms and embrace God’s way instead. We allow Him to fill us and enable us to be faithful. You can keep your “tank” filled by reading His Word and talking with Him. Keep short accounts of your sin. Obey whatever He tells you to do. Your heart will be filled with His joy and His life!
Let’s not be like foolish I was, running on empty and thinking I could boast about being full. Let’s admit our emptiness and allow the Lord to sweetly come to our rescue!
The emptiness you feel can only be met in Christ. If He is already your Savior, tell Him your need and your heart’s longing. He promises to fill us with His presence and peace. If you’ve never trusted in Him to be your Savior for your sin, tell Him you want to have a relationship with Him, that you know you’re a sinner and need Him to save you.
Rather than boasting while on empty, let’s stay faithful and full!