Aristotle is quoted as saying, ‘Nature abhors a vacuum’; He was one of the first to observe that on Earth, there are no naturally occurring spaces where nothing exists. The moment that a vacuum or empty space begins to develop, some form of matter will quickly fill it. You have seen this law of nature in action whenever you open a vacuum-sealed jar. You hear the ‘pop’ of air rushing in when you open it.
This natural phenomenon says something about God. Out of his abundant goodness, he wants to fill all of creation with something of himself. This includes us – those made in his image. God wants to fill us with everything that Jesus is. Unfortunately, all of us have things that get in the way: bad habits, impure motives, selfish desires, and other manifestations of sin. These are the things that interrupt our relationship with God and negatively impact our relationships with others.
God does not address sin by creating vacuums, rather he fills us with the heart and mind of Christ so there is no longer room for sinful things. It is Christ living in us that allows us to love God and love others.
In his letter to the Colossian church, Paul had to address false teaching that was infecting the Christian community. Instead of simply calling for the heresy to be removed, he prayed for the believers to be filled. Notice what he said:
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. (Colossians 1:9-12 NIV)
When we consider our own spiritual health, it is natural to focus on the things we want to change. We may ask God to remove our sinful tendencies without giving much thought to what we would like to see take up that space. In those moments it is important to remember that God wants to fill that space – that vacuum – with himself. His desire is to fill us with his love and his life that we can share with others. Because of his grace, we can look forward to the day when sin will be no more because everything and everyone will be completely filled by Jesus.
Presented by Heber Ticas
About the presenter:
Heber Ticas is an elder in Grace Communion International and is the Superintendent of the churches in Latin America. The Word of Life each Sunday is taken from ‘Speaking of Life’, (https://www.gci.org/videos/media-speaking-of-life/), a public resource video on the USA website of Grace Communion International.
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