In the beginning, the earth
was formless and void, but that did not deter the Almighty. He looked into the
fathomless depth of its darkness and concluded, “All it needs is
light!” Likewise, in the beginning of our spiritual lives, we also are
“formless and void” and God, just as confidently, is still saying,
“All they need is a little light!” Remember: it’s the Lord’s
responsibility to create and our responsibility to submit to His creating.
The Lord only needs three
things to fashion life. First, He needs a “nothing.” The Almighty
always begins His great, creative works with a nothing (and this is where we come in!).
Then, His Spirit needs to be hovering over
the nothing. And, finally, He needs His Word, which is the
“something” He’s going to put in the nothing’s place.
God has no difficulty at
all creating something out of nothing. The only obstacle He faces is when the
nothing doesn’t know it is nothing but instead thinks it’s something. At that
point God has to break it back down to nothing before it is good for anything.
(Are you still following me?) Paul said this better than I when he wrote,
“If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself”
Even as Christians if we
think we are something so that we look down on others or are wise in our own
eyes, we deceive ourselves! The only something there truly is is God.
If we categorically know we
are nothing without God, and we simultaneously recognize whatever grace He has
worked in us is so we can bless others, then there is no limit to how much God
can use us. Our knowing we are nothing is a great attainment in His eyes. For
then our energies are no longer spent exalting or defending ourselves but in
clinging to Christ and relying upon Him.
You see, God is not
offended by chaos. There will be times when, like the precreation universe, you
discover your life seems “formless and void.” Do not be overly
concerned. When you discover there is chaos in the deepest part of you, do not
fret. You are at a new beginning. It has taken the Lord quite a long time to
help you to recognize your nothingness.
So, let all who know they
are nothings rejoice—you are miles ahead of those who think they are something!
The proud, who consider themselves something special, do not deal with the
lightless regions of chaos in their souls; they simply hide them. But if we are
transparent with our need, the Spirit and Word can work in us to bring life and
order. All we need do is to open up and confess our nothingness to the Holy
“For God, who said,
‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to
give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ”
(2 Cor. 4:6).
This is the very way our
great Creator creates. He causes light to shine out of darkness! The only thing
He requires of us is to be honest about the darkness—to confess it instead of
“Do not participate in
the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them. … But all
things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that
becomes visible is light” (Eph. 5:11,13).
When darkness is exposed to
the light, it becomes light. In fact, the very reason our darkness becomes
visible is because God shines His light upon it. If you persevere—if you
continually thrust your darkness into the light of God’s grace and power—that
light will ultimately shine out from within you. Your darkness will actually
Beloved, if you know you
are nothing in yourself, you’re a prime candidate to become something in God!
Consider again Paul’s view of himself:
“If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more:
circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin,
a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the
church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless. But
whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the
sake of Christ” (Phil. 3:4-7).
Paul said whatever things
were “gain” to him (things that made him a “something” before men),
he gave up as “loss for the sake of Christ.” To become nothing in
ourselves, to be excavated of pride and of being consumed by our attainments
and pedigree, is part of the path to sonship. Paul actually saw all his human,
religious attainments as obstacles. Certainly, in time the Lord used all of the
elements of Paul’s life, but not before Paul gave them up to the Lord.
John the Baptist said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John
3:30). You see, though self-confidence dies, God-confidence comes to life!
So, do not fret. You can
admit that you have areas within that are dead and dark. Romans 4:17 says,
“God … gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not
God gives life to
the dead. Do you sometimes feel dead? Good. You’re qualified to get God’s life!
Look to God. Trust Him as your Creator. Do not fear when you discover you are
nothing. There is a time when becoming nothing is an improvement.
About the author:·Francis
Frangipane is the founder of River of Life Ministries in Cedar Rapids,
Iowa, and has traveled throughout the world ministering to thousands of
pastors and intercessors from many backgrounds. In June 2009, he retired
from his position as senior pastor of River of Life Ministries and is
devoting himself to prayer and the ministry of God’s Word. For more
about his ministry, go to www.frangipane.org.