Running on Empty

July 1, 2024 by  
Filed under Worship

We don't like running on empty, do we? And yet, sometimes that's exactly where God wants us to be, because that's when He can show Himself for who He really is.

Our pastor recently spoke on the story of the Widow's Oil in 2 Kings 4. The widow owed a debt, but all she had was a small amount of oil. By following Elisha's instruction and trusting God's power, she was able to fill more than enough jars of oil from that small amount, allowing her to pay her debt and still have money to live on.

That story made me focus on the concept of emptiness. I admit—I don't like being empty. Instead of emptiness, I like to be full. Really full.  I like knowing what's coming up and that I’ll have enough to handle it.

While listening to the sermon, I found a note I had written in my Bible years ago, probably the words from another pastor: "If you're not experiencing the power of God, maybe you're not empty enough."

BAM! I took it right to the heart.

Oh, that's not to say God isn't present and active in my life—He is! I'm constantly amazed at how He's blessed me.  But the truth is, I'm often tired.  It's been a hard year. I sometimes feel overextended and weary to the point of exhaustion. I just feel empty. But could it be that I'm not empty enough? Could it be that God wants me to drain the last drops of me and allow Him to fill me more completely with Himself?

When we can take care of ourselves and are working in our own power, we're not depending on God to be who He is. We can only experience the fullness of His power when we're at the end of us and our strength—the end of our money, our patience, and our hope.

Emptiness may be a gift from God to show us who He is and to bring us closer to Him and His power. But we have to be willing to be emptied. We have to be willing to be bone dry and have no one except Him to fill our tanks.


Are you—am I—experiencing the full power of God in our lives? If not, then we must ask ourselves the determining question:

Are we empty enough?

PRAYER: Thank You, Father, that my weakness is an opportunity to show Your strength to the world.  Help me to willingly empty myself so you can fill me with You and Your power. 

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.  Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me,” 2 Corinthians 12:9 KJV.

Today’s devotion is by Vonda Skelton, speaker and author of Seeing Through the Lies: Unmasking the Myths Women Believe (Regal Books), as well as a children’s mystery series, The Bitsy Burroughs Mysteries. Vonda also teaches writing at writer’s conferences and elementary schools. For more information, visit

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