Filling the Void
Passions. Gifts. Talents. Dreams. We all have them, and we all live through the tension of how to use these pursuits for the glory of God and the good of others. The Stewardship Series is a series of installments from the Impressions Team designed to discuss those innate gifts God has given each one of us, and how to steward them for the glory of His Kingdom.
noun | stewardship
The conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially: the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care.
Growing up I was taught from a very young age that if I work hard every day, I would grow up to be a very wealthy and successful man. It was instilled in me that I needed to give my all to whatever career path I chose. So, I started working hard, going to school, working some more, going back to school, and applying all of my talents and knowledge along the way. I have started from the bottom of the pile and have worked my way through the ranks at different companies, doing various jobs, and improving my position along the way. I would get a new position, or new job with new responsibilities, and for a little while this seemed to be what I thought I was looking for, yet I always found that I wanted more. Something just wasn’t right. I felt like something was missing. There was a void, a hollow that needed to be filled.
A very successful business man told me that there are some key factors to success.
Never be satisfied. Never settle for mediocrity. Always keep improving. Be worth more to them than they are to you.
Now, these may be great pieces of advice for someone in the business world, someone trying to get ahead, but it seems to paint a pretty selfish picture, doesn’t it? My perspective of success was based solely on receiving.
Then, not so very long ago, I came to Crossroads for the first time and I learned to look at life from a different perspective. I learned that the void is not something that can be filled with things. No matter what I do, no matter how much I accomplish, no amount of success or money has ever put a dent in filling the emptiness in me that I was longing to fill. I found that there is only one thing that you can receive that can fill the void. That thing is actually JESUS.
The void is actually filled by giving away.
Giving of yourself, your talents, your successes, your knowledge, your time, and most importantly of all, giving away Jesus. This is the only way you can ever start to close that hole where something seems to be missing. As I learn and as I grow, I am finding that when I fill my life with Him, it doesn’t seem empty anymore.
We all have different gifts or talents that we possess. These gifts are given to us from God and are not intended to be kept to ourselves. God wants us to share our talents or possessions with the world, but He wants us to give from the heart. Give because we want to give, not because we have to. Like the widow’s offering in Luke, giving from the heart, no matter the size, is always more than giving just because you "should."
While Jesus was in the Temple, He watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box. Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins. "I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more that all the rest of them. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.” Luke 21:1-4
Since changing my perspective, I have noticed a shift occurring in the rhythms of my life. Things seem to have gotten a little easier lately. Big worries don’t seem so big anymore. It’s not that things don’t happen, it is that I have changed my perspective of how I deal with them now. I am becoming more plugged into my church and my community, and in doing so, I have started to feel my heart fill up beyond what I ever thought possible. And I can’t seem to get enough.
So often we turn to God in our times of need and we ask Him for help, or a blessing. We want God to answer our prayers. We think that if we can just get this one last thing it will help fill the emptiness we feel. Then, when He answers our prayers we take it and run. Sure, we are grateful for it but then we turn our backs on Him and forget until the next time we need something. Then we go back and beg for more.
Being the Sovereign and all loving God that He is, He continues to provide and care for us. But if we can just show God that we can be trusted with what we are given, and put those things to good use for His purpose, he will entrust us with more. More than we can ever imagine. We were created for abundance - abundance in our finances, our relationships, our gifts, our health. But through everything that God blesses us with, it is imperative that we remember the One who gave it all. The One in whom we find all that we need.
When we keep our eyes on Jesus, we will learn how to faithfully steward the blessings He pours out on us.
God is the ultimate steward, and the kindest of Fathers. He serves us in our time of need. He is all loving and all-sufficient. Like children look to their parents for examples and guidance, we need to look to our Father. Letting God in to our hearts will allow us to live like Him by giving like Him. What we do with what God has given us, can be an act of worship and an act of honor. And in the midst of it all, no matter how much we give to others and give back to God, with the Father as the center point, we will find that He will always continue to pour out His favor in ways we could never imagine.
You can’t out give God.
Give and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full-pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back. // Luke 6:38