I love Christian music. Recently, I heard a song called Empty Me. It really encouraged me, and I hope it does the same for you (watch it performed live below). It’s about how to walk in the spirit. I’ve found this is one of the hardest things to do. What does it mean to walk in the spirit? It means to submit ourselves to the control of God. Essentially, it is letting Him live through us. Have you ever wished you were more patient, more loving, or more sensitive? For most of us, the answer is yes. We want to be kind and patient, we want to be polite, we want to perhaps even go the extra mile for a person we don’t even know. Like allowing them to go ahead of us in line in the grocery store or being polite when we have been offended. But more than this, true unselfishness is showing honor to others, even if they don’t deserve it. It’s showing preference to those who are overlooked, especially those in our families—right in our own homes.
Those of us who have tried and failed to do this know the problem is not the rude people who push their way in front of us in line or cut us off on the freeway. It’s our personal inner battle with our will. We can’t change our feelings, but we can change our reactions. The fleshly struggle is real. It’s not our first reaction to turn the other cheek; we want to get even. We don’t want to be nice, we want to give people what they deserve. Romans 8:18 puts it plainly: “For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” Through the active power of Jesus Christ we can give up our selfish desires and show God’s love.
To walk in the Spirit is a choice, daily, hourly, even moment by moment. It’s a decision, a proactive position to keep our minds set on what the Spirit wants. It’s exchanging our selfish desires for spiritual delights. Romans 8:6 reminds us, “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the spirit is life and peace.” When we allow Christ to control our lives, we have his mind, but we must continually submit to his control of our mind, our choices, and our decisions. Empty Me is a song by Chris Sligh, American Idol finalist during season six in the top 24. I like to think of the chorus of this song as a prayer:
“Empty me of the selfishness inside, every vain ambition of the poison of my pride, and any foolish thing my heart holds on to. Lord, empty me of me so I can be filled with you.” When we choose to set ourselves aside and want to glorify God in the tough times, He will help us. Romans 8:1 says, “Therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life has set me free from the law of sin and death.” When we submit to Christ’s control, we not only abide in peace, we invite the presence of Christ into everything we do and say.
Pray this song as a prayer today, “Dear Lord, empty me of the selfishness inside, every vain ambition and the poison of my pride and any foolish thing my heart holds on to. Lord, empty me of me so I can be filled with you.”
And that’s a prayer God will love to answer.