vacu-um (vak’yoom) n. 1 a space with nothing at all in it; completely empty space… 3 a space left empty by the removal or absence of something usually found in it; void: often used figuratively~Webster’s New World College DictionaryFourth Edition
“Nature abhors a vacuum”~Aristotle
There have been times in my life when I felt like my soul was caught in a vacuum. Ahead, I could see God’s light, His hand reaching for me, waiting for me to latch on so He could pull me out. Behind me, there seemed a force that should not be stronger, but somehow was…pulling and tugging at my legs with a strength that was constant and persistent. It only felt stronger because it was so near. A household vacuum works much better at sucking up the dirt when it is placed close to the surface it is cleaning. I believe Satan understands this well.
That tugging and pulling came from the world, my world: the people I surrounded myself with, the movies I watched, the stories I read, the activities that took up my day that in-and-of-themselves were not evil, if I had not let them crowd out God’s whispered pleas.
My daddy once said that he felt that for years he had been “playing” at being a Christian. He felt like he was riding a fence between two worlds, dabbling at his spiritual life while keeping a hold on worldly things. Once he believed that he had become more “serious” in his attempts to follow Christ, his world was turned upside down. He became obsessed with Jesus like he had become infatuated with the many hobbies that took up his time.
I feel not just a physical kinship with my father, but also a spiritual one. I love having fun, being entertained, visiting with family, learning a new skill, reading and obsessing about the next shining star that gets dangled in front of me. This is what I imagine John was talking about in I John 2:15-17 (NKJV):
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world–the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
None of these things are wrong. I’m not saying that having fun has to be a sin. But when we let the world pull and tug at us…when we let it suck up all of our time and fill every available space in our hearts…I think we are setting ourselves up for letting it completely consume us to the detriment of our spiritual life with our Father.
Am I too busy to help out a neighbor?
Am I too busy to take a dish of food to the ill?
Do I walk a little faster by someone who looks like they might want to talk?
Do I spend hours reading a good mystery while my bible gathers dust by my bed?
Do I speed-dial my Lord, instead of having a good conversation with Him?
Do I let myself get too tired with daily activities that I feel I have an excuse not to attend a worship service?
Do I not practice hospitality because I don’t feel good enough about my life to share it with others?
Do I have time to just be still and know that He is God?
These are questions I constantly ask myself and I’m too often ashamed of my answers. I am not perfect. There is no way I can be! This constant self inventory can backfire on me if I look only at myself and my lack and not at what our Lord has done for me, which is more powerful than any “Hoover” Satan can put at my heels.
John 1:16 (NKJV) tells us:
“And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.”
Ephesians 3:19 (NKJV):
“to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
We all possess a hope, if we hope in Christ…if we allow His love to fill us to overflowing, taking up all residence, leaving no room for hate and sin.
If I stop looking at myself and my every weakness and if I lean on His mercy and grace while I try to follow Him, I can rest at night knowing that I have been covered in His blood and that evil will pass over me. I can rejoice in the fact that I have been buried with Him through baptism.
Romans 6:3-9 (NKJV):
“or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.”
What kind of a sucking, pulling sensation does that have on me…on you? After reading that and letting it fill every empty space, knowing that God has provided the way and even the vehicle to take us there, how can we ever again be caught in Satan’s vacuum? We are free, unchained, and carried on the wings of faith and hope. Thanks be to God!!!
I’ve done many things in this life that I’m ashamed of. I seriously doubt I will ever have the courage to do a tell-all, baring my every iniquity so that you can relate to me. I have a feeling that you already do. We are all human and if it were not for Jesus, none of us would have a fighting chance to make it out of this world with our souls intact. We must hold tight to Jesus…He won’t let us get sucked in.