Life is said to be a number of things. Many metaphors and allegories have been made of life. Life is a… game, journey, dream, mystery, seed, river, and oh yea, box of chocolate. Those metaphors point to the search for meaning, value and purpose of life. More often than not, life is empty for so many people. Life is devoid of meaning, value and purpose. Among such a rich verse, this is why The Empty Way of Life stood out to me as I read this morning. It resonated with me, because before Christ became Lord of my life, life was empty. I experienced The Empty Way of Life.
In fact, God used The Empty Way of Life to lead me to himself. I just told a student about this on Monday after tutoring. She said, “You are very religious.” I said, “I just love God because He saved me from a life that had no purpose.” I shared with her that moment God brought me to call out to him “why am I here? What is my purpose? I don’t want to go to college to get a job, to buy a house, to get a girl.” It all seemed so meaningless to me. The world’s view which is The Empty Way of Life told us to go to school to get a good job to get the things you want in life. Well, being responsible for buying my clothes at 12, things no longer had such an appeal to me. That is probably why I still drive cars that are 24 and 22 years old. Things and the pursuit of them just did not cut it for me. I tried girls. I was successful at establishing relationships and getting girls to care for me and to do for me, but that too seemed meaningless. I had an old beat up car, but my brother had new one with a great wax job, sound system and sparkling spoked rims. When he went to Germany, it was appealing to drive that car. At first, it garnered a lot of interests, but like a warm breath on a cold morning, it too disappeared.
Nothing in my life, not good grades, good girls, good things nor good money, satisfied me. It was only until I met Jesus as Lord and Savior did I escape The Empty Way of Life. With Christ at the helm, I had meaning, value and purpose to life. I saw how my life was created to fit in to God’s redemptive plan (meaning). I experienced God coming to get me from The Empty Way of Life to put me on His team (value). The goal of God’s team is to replicate the character of Christ in this world, so God can use you to reconcile man to Himself (purpose). Christ freed me from pursuing power, prestige and popularity i.e. The Empty Way of Life. He gave me meaning, value and purpose all connected to the author and creator of life. While not a scrub in life, I became a MVP, and I did not even know it.
Being freed from the The Empty Way of Life is discussed in 1 Peter 1:18-19. Peter was reminding the believers of their position in Christ.
18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. (NIV)
18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. (NKJV)
There, Peter conveys that experiencing meaning, value and purpose in life was costly, real costly. Our freedom from The Empty Way of Life was purchased not with silver and gold, things that perish, “but with the precious blood of Christ.” That phrase signifies that God gave all He had, Himself, to redeem us. He bought us back fromThe Empty Way of Life. As such, we have an obligation not to give ourselves back to pursuing things or people who are less than God’s purpose – to build the kingdom of God by being used to draw people to God.
What is The Empty Way of Life that has entrapped and enslaved you? What do you seek after for meaning, value and purpose only to be disappointed time and time again. What has you chasing your tail like cat or dog? I am not stating that accomplishments are not fulfilling; they are, but I am saying that they are not sustaining. Things and people were not created to satiate your need for meaning, value and purpose. God exists for that, and He, in His creative plan, reserved those roles for Himself. There is nothing that you will endeavor which will fully meet those needs in your life except Him.
No matter where you are today, misguided or misaligned, God is calling you to Himself through Christ Jesus. If you are tired of living The Empty Way of Life, surrender your life to Jesus and get a full life. 2 Corinthians 4 says,
4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed,but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”Since we have that same spirit offaith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Believers, that is to you. Those who have yet to trust Christ as Lord, it is for you to rid yourselves of The Empty Way of Life.