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When Emptying Means Filling

The closing salutation of Hebrews leaves us with this request:

Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.1

Two phrases in particular should be highlighted here: “make you complete… to do his will,” and, “working in you what is well pleasing in His sight.” For clarity, replace the words, “what is” with “whatever is.” The prayer of the writer then is this: That we be made complete to do whatever the will of God is pleased with doing through us.

How are we made complete? Our emptiness of self is directly related to our completion in Jesus Christ. The more we empty us of our self, the more God is able to use us for himself. My goal, and the front lines of a lifelong battle, is to be completely emptied of self. Every work I do should be done for him, directed by his will. It means complete openness to the promptings of the Spirit, surrender of anything self-centered, and confession of sins that would hinder his communion with me. It means being frequently in God’s Word to us and frequently in thoughts and prayers toward God.

This struggle against self would be impossible without the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, who also emptied himself to the will of the Father. In this great act, he sealed the New Covenant of grace with his own blood, paid the penalty for our sins, clothed us in his righteousness, and sent his Spirit to indwell all who believe in faith. In doing so, he has equipped us to fight this battle. May we be his treasure in earthen vessels, vessels of gold and silver, vessels of honor.


  1. Hebrews 13:20-21 []

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