“God created the world out of
and as long as we are nothing, He can make something out of us."
– Martin Luther, 16th century
Out of Nothing
and success have little correlation. The Donald Trumps of this world
put that beyond question long ago. If our goal is wealth or fame we need
not trouble ourselves with humility. The crowds like to be wowed by the
wonderful and the powerful. They want classy performances more than
creates a dilemma for us. Do we pursue the limelight or step back from
it in our hearts?
truth, the Father needs nothing to create something, a statement
that may be taken two ways. First, He does not need any ability or
resources of ours to achieve His purposes. Second, He needs our
"nothingness," our self-emptying, to fulfill His desires in
and through us. He needs nothing to create something.
proves more difficult.
within us wants attention, recognition, and affirmation. Our pride
will not lay lie down but keeps intruding into our thoughts,
conversations, and actions. We want others to notice us. We like --
perhaps even need -- the applause and the accolades, whether from
friends, family, or fellow-workers. "You're terrific! You're doing
a great job! You're special! You're amazing!"
die to ourselves, to empty ourselves, to abandon all self-promotion, to
walk away from selfish ambition, to risk being misunderstood, to be
overlooked, to release any sense of "entitlement," to glory
only in Christ and not at all in ourselves, to trust Him to open doors
that we want to push through, to elevate ourselves over others, to
serve rather than be served, to embrace humility rather than hubris --
is the Way of Jesus. No wonder that He described the Way as narrow!
-- nothingness -- remains contrary to most of our Christian culture.
Yet, if we believe Jesus, the path downward is the Way to peace, joy,
harmony, and abundance.
way forward, if we're courageous enough to step in that direction, is
not through sheer resolve but through steady surrender. Repentance
plays a vital role, in the biblical sense that we both turn away and
turn to; away from our pride and back to Jesus.
a pilgrimage to an unknown place for many of us, but an imperative and