Emptying Of Self Is Not Easy But Worth It


Emptied To Be Filled

Before the minister shall preach the word to thousands, he must be emptied and made to tremble under a sense of inability. Before the Sunday School teacher shall bring her girls to Christ, she shall be led to see how weak and insufficient she is. I do believe that whenever the Lord is about to use us in his household, he takes us like a dish and wipes us right out and sets us on the shelf, and then afterwards he takes us down and puts thereon his own heavenly meat, with which to fill the souls of others. There must as a rule be an emptying, a turning upside down, and a putting on one side, before the very greatest blessing comes. -Charles Haddon Spurgeon-


Every person in the Bible whom God used in a mighty way had to go through this “emptying of self.” God could then work through them using His Power to accomplish supernatural things.

Moses felt that God wanted him to save Israel, so he tried to do it in his own way and power. Instead of being hailed as a hero, he had to run for his life and live in another country for many years. God hadn’t given up on him, but was “emptying him of self.” Moses probably had no idea how his leadership skills would be used, but God knew it would take a special man to lead Israel for what would be 40 years in the wilderness.

Moses would have never been strong enough to do it had God not been preparing him carefully during this special time. Moses may have thought of it as wasted time, but God was getting him prepared for the great thing he had been born to do. And what an awesome thing it was!

We will never be able to do anything in our own power that can create lasting change in the life of another person. And what’s the point, anyway?

It’s a waste of time, energy, and resources to try to do something that is supernatural when you are not allowing God to work through you in a supernatural way.

Many times we think of being emptied as a terrible thing because we want to be busy doing good things. We look at doing “nothing” (or at least what we think of as doing nothing) as a huge waste of time and certainly just sitting there learning a lesson is something not many of us want to do.

I don’t mean that when we are doing “nothing” we are just sitting in a chair all day twiddling our thumbs waiting for God to move. It just means that God has told us to quit doing certain things and now we are waiting on Him to tell us what to do next.

It’s amazing how closely our identity can become connected to the things we do that make us feel fulfilled.

Then when we aren’t doing those things any more, we feel that we have lost our identity.

I used to tell myself, “I am not just doing nothing” because I had been waiting on Him for quite awhile to bring a certain thing to pass. I know that is not good English, but that’s what I felt like I was doing – nothing. I wanted to be busy doing something where I could see visible results and I’m ashamed to say that I wanted others to also see my visible results.

It’s hard to admit your pride, but God has a way of getting rid of it when you sit on a shelf for awhile. You start to see what has been hidden in your heart, and it usually isn’t very pretty.

God wants to use us in a great way, but He never can if we are filled with our own selves and plans.

Sitting on the shelf for awhile makes us give up ourselves and see that our way isn’t nearly as good as God’s way.

I can truly say that I did not enjoy sitting on the shelf, but it allowed me to see myself more clearly. Eventually I was able to see that God had much greater plans than I ever imagined. They didn’t materialize in the way I had imagined, but in the end I knew God’s Way was much better.

I can truly say that I have grown and matured in Christ by sitting on the shelf, but that can’t happen if all you do is complain and concentrate on yourself and your predicament. You must see that God has a greater plan and this is what it will take for Him to carry it out.

You must concentrate on the fact that when you are taken down from the shelf, God will have cleansed your heart and filled it with Himself so that He can use you in the way He desires.

God wants your identity to be IN Him, not in the things you do FOR Him.

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God has radically changed my life, and I want to share the awesome things I am learning with you. I have found that the Holy Spirit is an awesome teacher when I listen to, obey, and apply what He teaches to my life.


This post written by Cathy Deaton.

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How To Deal With A Selfish Person
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Cathy Deaton

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About Cathy Deaton


My name is Cathy Deaton, Owner of Fan the Flame Ministries. God has radically changed my life, and He has shown me that I am to share the awesome things I am learning with the Millennial Generation (1981 – 1996), but I love connecting with Christians of all ages.  I have found that the Holy Spirit is an awesome teacher when I listen to, obey, and apply what He teaches to my life. You truly can make a difference for God in an uncertain world.